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what really matters

October 25, 2010

{ZTA for Breast Cancer Awareness!, originally uploaded by Josho.}

In a really cruel twist of fate, life has driven its point home and reminded me that indeed there are worse things to stress about than unruly hair and missing mirrors. Just after having reflected on my need to control the little things as a result of having no control over the big things, I received some very shocking and upsetting news: a good friend has been diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. This is beyond losing control of something big – it’s a loss of control the magnitude of which I cannot even begin to comprehend. This dear friend is only thirty years young and has two small daughters. She’s a person who’s always smiling and cheerful and full of life. She’s not someone who should be thinking about cancer. (As if anyone should ever be).

I write this because it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and because I urge all women reading this to remember to do regular self-exams. I urge the men reading this to remind the women in their lives to check their breasts for lumps and to be vigilant about their health. My friend had actually been aware of a lump in her breast and had brought it to her doctor’s attention. For a variety of reasons, he had dismissed it as a breast feeding related infection, and so it went untreated until she recently sought the advice of a different doctor.

I hate to write a post with a moral because I’m really not one for moralizing, but this time around, I do offer you a take-home message: enjoy every moment that life gives you with your loved ones and take good care of your health. It’s more important than money, career, or fame and so much worthier of your energy.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 25, 2010 16:34

    That’s horrifying re the dr. My coworker recently went through almost a year of treatment for aggressive breast cancer. Cancer is the worst. Thanks for posting this.

    • October 25, 2010 17:53

      jesse.anne.o – I hope your friend is in recovery now, my best wishes to her!


  2. October 25, 2010 17:40

    I’m so sorry to hear your news, S. That’s really sad, but I’m sending good, positive thoughts your way. We have to hold onto hope, you know?

  3. October 25, 2010 18:46

    I think the good news (if there is such a thing with breast cancer) is that research and developments are ever-evolving with this form of cancer, and I hope that one day we can rid it completely from human existence. My grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 50’s and passed away at age 58 due to complications with the treatments in the hospital. My mother has just finished up chemo/radiation treatments for her own bout with stage 3 breast cancer. Fortunately, my mother (at 64) has done much better with her treatments, though it is still relatively early in the after stages.

    It’s an exhausting process for anyone to go through and I am glad that your friend was vigilant in finding a doctor who didn’t just dismiss a lump that she knew wasn’t right. Sending positive thoughts to her, and wishing her a speedy return to health as well.

  4. February 16, 2011 13:12

    Thank you for the post and sorry to hear about your friend. Hope she’s doing well. Both my mom’s mom and one of her sisters had breast cancer. My grandma died at the age of 90, 45 years after being diagnosed. My aunt has been well for the past 15 years. I have been quite aware and do self-checks regularly. Recently I felt something different and have been to the doctor. Somehow it gave me the impression she didn’t take my concern seriously. I am 28 and maybe there is still this general misconception that breast cancer is something that only older women have or should worry about. Sure, perhaps the stats show that it’s more common in older women but that doesn’t mean women in their 20’s shouldn’t be aware as well. Knowing your body and learning to listen to it carefully sure helps. And always ask for a second opinion.

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