I’m sure you know by now that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. To some people, it might be an annoying amount of pink. The first year after I was diagnosed, I wore pink every single day in October. It’s not that I love the color (I really didn’t own much pink previously). I wanted to raise awareness. I wanted someone who wouldn’t think of getting checked to call and make an appointment for a mammogram. I wanted them to see a (then) 41 year old breast cancer survivor and realize that it could happen to them. I want a husband to remind his wife to get checked. I wanted a mom to urge her daughter to get checked, or a group of friends to go together & have drinks after.

According to statistics, my aunts having breast cancer might not have been of concern – they aren’t “straight line” relatives. Straight line relatives would be mother/daughter/sister/grandmother. I had none of those… yet I went anyway. My cancer was detected because they had a baseline to compare to from the year before. I had gone the past few years. Because of this baseline, they could see the lump that was not there 12 months prior. They could take action instead of just waiting to see if it changed. People may complain about mammograms being painful. It is far more painful to have a wire guided biopsy and then have a mammogram (to make sure they have your cancerous tumors pinpointed).

If you’ve had breast cancer in the past, there is no reason to avoid follow up appointments. None. Think you don’t have the time? It takes less than 30 minutes. 30 minutes once a year. You are worth it. You are so worth it that you should go out for lunch after… or get a massage, or a manicure or get a treat of some kind. 30 minutes a year could be the difference between stage 1 or 2 and stage 4. There is no stage 5. I was 41 when I was diagnosed and I have promised my husband and my boys and my sisters and my parents and my friends that I will get checked every year for the rest of my life. Pinktober is just a good reminder to do so. My appointment is already scheduled for November. When is yours? Make sure your journey lasts as long as possible- make your mammogram appointment or urge the women in your life to schedule theirs.

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