It is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
We've come a long way in the fight against Breast Cancer. When I was growing up, you never heard about breast cancer. I knew nothing about it. But I was soon to find out a lot about it when my mother got it in 1964.
Back then she had a mastectomy where her left breast was removed and the lymph nodes under her left arm were removed. Then she went to have Cobalt treatments. She survived, which at that time was a miracle. She lived another 37 years and the cancer did come back in her lung and brain before she passed away. But she lived to be 87. A good long life.
Fast forward to 1993. First of all, I want to say that my mother was in a car accident before she got cancer. A driver ran a red light and hit her. She was bruised up, but otherwise fine. In the fall of 1993 I was driving home from my second job at 11 PM on I-95 when a drunk driver going northbound in the southbound lanes hits me. I am bruised up but otherwise fine. I was more upset about my car that I had just bought 6 weeks earlier!
The following spring I had this nagging thought telling me to go get a mammogram. To this day I swear it was an angel nagging me. It was a stressful time then as my dad had been in the hospital for almost 3 months and with 4 children, 2 jobs and running back and forth to Gainesville to bring my mom to see him, it can wear on you. I had my mammogram and was told that they saw something suspicious in my right breast and wanted to do a lumpectomy. Following the minor surgery, the doctor told my husband that it look good and he didn't think it was cancer. Well he was wrong! It was cancer. So they schedule another lumpectomy to make sure they got it all. I then had 25 radiation treatments. Since we had caught it so early, I did not have to have chemo. I was thankful for that.
Did you notice anything in my story? Both my mom and I were in a car accident. After each accident, we both got breast cancer. My cancer was located right where the seat belt went across my body. Could that seat belt have caused my cancer? I don't believe so, but I think it just helped start "the ball rolling". I am so thankful that my little angel nagged me. My mom and I were around the same age when we got breast cancer. She was a survivor and I am a survivor going on 20 years next May. God was looking over both of us.
We have a daughter. I would be lying if I didn't admit that I worry about her. Hopefully she won't follow in my mom's or my footsteps. She has already started getting her mammograms because of our history. But I believe they say to start getting your mammograms at 40. Don't ever, ever put off getting a mammogram. It could save your life!