When breast cancer once again struck someone close to me - I got disgusted by the cheery little pink ribbons popping up all over the place. My aunt's cancer was something I was trying to block out of my mind, and those damned ribbons kept intruding on my denial.
I continued to eye the ribbons with mixed feelings until the other day. I opened the Sunday paper - and there on the front page was a picture of someone I know crossing the finish line for the race for a cure. She was sobbing. It was impossible to tell if hers were tears of joy or grief. When I read the caption, I learned she too is battling breast cancer. We work together. Not in the same building, not in the same division - but I've known her for 20 years. I had absolutely no idea.
There's just no denying it. Its here, and it's extremely unpleasant - but it's also very prevalent, and we need to do all we can to beat the odds:
- Be mindful of family history
- Do monthly breast self exams
- Give up smoking
- Maintain a healthy weight - lumps are harder to find in excess tissue.
- Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Get our mammograms done on time - later may be too late.