...Because I have breast cancer. I've become a poster girl for the early detection of breast cancer, as a matter of fact. Take that stuff seriously, ladies! I found my own lump by self-examination, which I've been doing for years. Even then, I was skeptical, and waited before I saw my doctor. I had a clean mammogram in May, I thought. I'm Stage 2 right now, in October, five months later. That's how fast my cancer grew! It's scary to think where I would be if I waited until next May to find out, but fortunately, I don't need to go there. I'm diagnosed and taking care of it. As you read this, I'm probably in an operating room, having my tumor and a few extra lymph nodes removed. Chemo and radiation are also in my future.
It's easy to ignore all the hoopla about breast cancer. Everywhere you look, everything is pink, and people are hollering at you about it. Almost every commercial that you see is about it. The White House is lit up in pink, and many other major landmarks, except perhaps Mount Rushmore, go pink for the month. And the men have to get involved, too, because cancer doesn't discriminate. Soccer teams wear pink shoes on the field. The NFL has their teams dress all in pink(okay, I'm making that up). I'm not a big fan of pink, because it's a girly color, and I'm not all that girly. I'm pretty anti-girly, actually, and prefer purple. But even people who like pink are begging for mercy by the middle of October. By the end of the month, you become so saturated with hearing about breast cancer that you start to tune it out.
And that would be a mistake.
Any woman, any time, can get breast cancer.
No matter how one feels about the color pink, the message it conveys needs to sink in. Schedule a mammogram today. Even if you're not old enough to need a mammogram, self-examinations can save your life. Every woman should be an expert on her own body, and doing self-exams are part of that.
I know that some women are skittish about feeling around their boobs, but get over it. As they say, embrace the Ta-Tas! It's not about titillation; it's about your health. Go to the American Cancer Society's website and learn about early detection of breast cancer. There's a link on there about self-examinations and how to do them, complete with pictures.
A little minor embarrassment each month can be a life saver.