I'm All Pink'd Out

Sharing an article I wrote for the Danbury Patch last October.   "Behind the Pink Ribbons"

Many breast cancer survivors hate PINK-TOBER because it’s SO PINK and so “go bra-less” and “save the tatas.” That’s all well and good but what awareness did you gain? What do you know more this October than last? For many it’s a reminder to get their mammogram which is great but let’s do more!

Will you do me a favor this October and not buy the pink Campbell’s soup but spend a few minutes reading about breast cancer at www.breastcancer.org? Learn something you might save your life!

When I was diagnosed, time stopped. I had almost a full year of surgeries, chemo and radiation. It’s over a year later and I’m still finding my new normal-- a term that is growing very old as the meaning becomes clearer.

I did not find my tumor through a mammogram but felt it at random. I instantly wondered how long it had been there right below my skin. How could I have missed it before? Life is crazy and as the mother of 3 active boys between 5 and 10, mine is a whirlwind and most days I was happy if I remembered to breathe.

Then time stopped. Then everything slowed down and we all took care of me. Imagine if life had slowed down a bit earlier? If I had spent a little more time aware of my breathing and not just reminding myself to do so? Imagine if I had slowed down time so that it never needed to stop.

Early detection saves lives. I am cancer free today, but had I found my tumor earlier I could have avoided chemo or at the very least radiation, both of which have long term health risks of their own. I may not be suffering from “chemo brain” or skin irritation or even all the joys of the hormone therapy I am undergoing for the next 5-10 years. But you know what matters more than that? That life slowed down, that we learned to help each other and to know our limits and to focus on the gifts that surround us each and every day.

Life is still crazy but I am so happy to be back to “normal” craziness and my heart swells with happiness to be given these moments back. What I would tell any of you who are afraid to get checked? It is far scarier facing a late stage cancer than stepping in an exam room. And if the worst should happen? You are far stronger and more loved than you could ever imagine.