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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month,
I have had a big dose of awareness given to me today.

One of my childhood friends has had to have her Left Breast removed due to breast cancer--she starts Chemo soon and is only 37....

I've been walking in the Breast Cancer 3-Day and knew that I wanted to do something to help find a cure. Now, that spirit has been renewed yet again....

I plan to walk again for the 3-Day in 2007.... Currently, I'm working on an art project using the shoes of former walkers, which I hope to auction off once my project is completed.

Please help me pray that my friend gets through the next part of her battle with breast cancer. When I embarked on the 3-Day walks in 2005 and 2006, I hadn't had any friends who had to go through the tough battles with breast cancer. Now, I've gotten a dose of reality... My friend has a husband and a child--she needs the strength of her friends and family to make it through the breast cancer battle....

IrisSVB


Tue. Oct 17, 11:28pm

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My 2 best friends were diagnosed with breast cancer within two weeks of one another. That was Dec, 2003. Both have survived but it took a year from them with surgery, chemo and radiation. Before they were diagnosed I got a mammogram every other year (I was in my mid-40's...no risk factors). Since then I get one every year and plan my annual gyn exam 6 months later so that I get a clinical exam as well.

The first friend has become a volunteer for the American Cancer Society. She has used this experience as a spring board for a cause she believes in and works for every day. The other friend has become a social recluse, is at risk of losing her job because some days she just doesn't want to get out of bed. She shuns friends, even the 1st friend who can understand what she has been through. After years of trying to reach out to her I now am reduced to leaving an occasional voice mail (which she does not return). She speaks in terms of HAVING cancer where the 1st friend has told her "we HAD cancer, we are the lucky ones, we survived!".

To the OP, I am keeping you and your friend in my thoughts and prayers. Good for you for transforming your friends' experience into positive action.. We can crumble from our challenges or we can rise to meet them.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006, 7:16 AM

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OP, thanks for this reminder. A year ago I had my first ultrasound, and they discovered tumors. This was about a month or so after my aunt died of breast cancer. She ignored the lumps for a year, then refused treatment... but I refuse to take that route. The tumors they found were benign, thank heavens. But I need to go for another checkup, and have been putting it off. Your post is motivating me to make an appointment and get it over with. Thank you. And your friend is in my thoughts.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006, 9:15 AM

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Thanks for posting me back. I feel bad because I haven't kept in touch very well with this friend of mine. :-( I will, however, call her and see if there is anything I can do to be supportive-- I told her sister that I would be happy to cook them dinner, if not to help out, just for an excuse to stop by and visit.

When I started doing the 3-Days (I walked in 2004 & 2005), it was due to my best friend's mom getting cancer-- but luckily, she was diagnosed so early that she only needed radiation as treatment...My husband works in cancer research, so when he heard about our friend having to go through chemo and a mastectomy, he knew that it is much worse in her situation...Having a young friend have to lose a breast is quite sobering.....

To 9:15 poster-- yes, go for that follow-up, I hope that you will be okay as well. To the 7:16 poster, I read somewhere online that there is a comic book written by a woman about beating breast cancer--the woman wanted to empower herself while going through it...

Some people withdraw and others fight loudly... Perhaps your friend who has withdrawn could use some counseling? Sounds like she's in a depression. It's unfortunate that she has become a recluse, but it's good that you still try to keep in contact with her to let her know that you are thinking of her.

Another friend recently emailed me a note about keeping in touch with people that we know--that it is important to reach out and say hello every so often--with our busy society and lives, many people have become ships passing in the night and then one day, they wake up to find that their friend's ships are no longer as seaworthy as in the past...

I needed to get my concern out and "talk" about it with others--I can't help but thinking that my friend is only a year older than my sister and 2 years younger than me!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006, 4:20 PM

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I;m the 7:16 poster..Yes, she is depressed, sees a therapist and a psychiatrist and is on LOTS of medication. She tells her doctors one thing and her friends the truth because she is afraid if her doctors knew what was going on they would commit her. I have even contacted her mother who lives 1,000 miles away but everything is cheery when she calls her on the phone. That was the nail in the coffin for our relationship. Once I called her mother, she just slipped away from day to day contact.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006, 5:35 PM

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OP here....

7:16 - Sorry to hear that your friend has "slipped away". You called her mom because you were concerned--it's sad that she did not recognize that--but perhaps she felt that you violated her trust? As a friend, I guess you can only do so much, but hopefully, she will someday realize that you were trying to help, rather than to hinder her....

I could also see where she could be concerned about the mental health aspect--sometimes it has to do with what we learn while growing up-- I know that some cultures and families are very private and "suspicious" when it comes to mental health issues--i.e. they will do anything in their power to not "lose face" and admit that something is wrong... Unfortunately, that doesn't seem healthy to me... I guess it's the stigma that society puts on people regarding mental health issues..

One of my friends found out that she was bipolar and realized that something was severely wrong and had herself checked into a hospital for depression. It helped her immensely--and after realizing that she had been suffering from depression for most of her life, she was able to seek treatment... It has helped her to regulate her mood swings and to live a more "normal" life....

*************************
An update on my friend--Her sister told me that she found out about the breast cancer through a fluke.....She had decided to get a "baseline" mammogram at age 37 because her insurance was changing and the old insurance would cover the visit prior to the age of 40. It was then that they found calcifications in her breast tissue and asked her to do more tests. Upon further testing, it was determined that she had cancerous cells in her lymph nodes and they made the decision to remove her breast....

Luckily, her sister says that although she has her up and down days, she has remained pretty upbeat--she has even gone to buy herself a wig for when she loses her hair to chemo.... I hope to stop by and see her this weekend.... She starts chemo next week and just celebrated her 38th birthday 2 days ago.

I'm just keeping her in my prayers... This was so sudden!!

Saturday, October 21, 2006, 1:01 AM

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OP here,
I talked to my friend today (was planning to visit her, but was not feeling well and didn't want to be a downer when visiting.) She sounds very confident and upbeat and that really made me feel good for her. Positivity and strength and feeling empowered will hopefully lead to a good end result....

She gets her Chemo port put in tomorrow. I hope to see her in a week or so....

Monday, October 23, 2006, 12:16 AM

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This was just brought to my attention today and I thought I'd share it - for what it's worth... (not trying to start a holy war)


Link

Monday, October 23, 2006, 8:52 AM

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8:52 ---
nteresting link... but how does that pertain to the original discussion on this thread?

And here's another note on the above poster's link--from what I understand, the funds from the Komen Foundation are earmarked for ONLY mammograms and breast cancer prevention at the clinics mentioned in your article.

Also, if you take a look at the source of the author of this article, he is not a neutral, unbiased party....

**************

On a side note, from reading other articles about breast cancer and talking to a nurse who is well-read on the subject, I understand that women who are overweight (especially if obese) also run a higher risk in regard to getting breast cancer--due to their bodies producing more estrogen because of their higher body fat content. (Body fat contributes to higher estrogen output from what I understand.) That is a NATURAL source of estrogen, but none-the-less a source that can lead to higher risk as well.

**************

In other words, It is a good idea to look at all sides of an issue and to provide oneself with plenty of accurate and unbiase knowledge before jumping to conclusions....

Monday, October 23, 2006, 9:42 AM

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how does it pertain? breast cancer awareness month? wasn't that the title of the thread? don't you think that a connection between birth control and breast cancer fits in with this discussion??

Monday, October 23, 2006, 10:20 AM

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