Friday, October 2, 2009

Think Pink for October

I created a Treasury on Etsy yesterday with such beautiful items from such a talented group of artists! You can see it at What a great time to shop for very cool items and to shop for such a wonderful cause! Shopping and doing something good does it get much better than that? I'm certain that we all have our story about someone we know and love that has had their life stopped for a time with the news of Breast Cancer and it is all you can think about and then the many decisions that go with this news of surgeries, and treatments. This is my chance to share my story of the first time this frightening cancer attempted to enter into my life. Unfortunately since this first time there have been so many others. It is time for a cure what a silly statement it is way past time for a cure!
I was a Junior in high school which would make me 16 years old when my mom was hospitalized in preparation for surgery. The night before her surgery my dad returned from the hospital and I can still visualize him sitting in his brown recliner with tears running down his face. This was the first time in my life that I had seen my father cry! This left quite an impression on me! Life truly was easier when at 16 mom and dad pretty much control your world even though as a teenager you are not always so grateful about that fact and thankfully I thought that dad could take care of anything! I used to tease my parents saying that mom knew everything and that dad could fix anything! So this was a tender reality jolt to find my dad in this distress. I don't know yet seeing this time in hindsight if dad didn't have something to do with fixing this too as I know he was sending so many prayers to our Heavenly Father about this situation. My mother had a lump in her breast. This was in 1972. When my dad was at the hospital the day before mom's surgery was scheduled he was pulled aside by our family physician who told him that he wanted to prepare my father for the worst possible outcome. He thought mom had breast cancer, he thought that her lymph nodes were involved, and that he was concerned that it was so involved that my mom might not even make it off of the operating table. My dad traveled home that night offering up prayers to God that he would do anything if God would save his wife. My youngest brother Kevin was only 12. My oldest brother Wayne was married and had a child of his own and my older brother Mike was just finishing his University studies and was to be married that Spring. My mom would tell of this day of her surgery that the surgeon patted her hand before surgery and told her, "innocent until proven guilty." My brother Kevin reminded me recently that what he recalled was the impression it made on him when he heard that our family doctor took time to pray with mom before the surgery. This was a terrible scare for us however we were very blessed by the outcome as her lump was benign. I will always remember how it felt like my life would be changed forever by this and how fortunate our news was. Regretably at this same time I had a class mate named Nan that was in a hospital bed in the room directly across from my mom's room who had also had surgery and her news was not to rejoice about. She had throat cancer and we both missed our Junior Prom that was the weekend following these two surgeries. I always think of Nan when I remember about my mom. You know the feeling when you actually feel guilty because your news is so wonderful and someone else has such terrible news? Then too I remember that I felt so bad for Nan and prayed for her but I was a putz and didn't cross the hall to walk into the room to tell her these things! I have always regretted that! Of course other than being a not so great friend to her I truly was afraid that I would faint! Seriously! Fainter at the scent of hospitals maybe that should be the title to another blog? It is an embarrassing burden that thankfully has since left me. She was a courageous girl who lived to graduate from high school, ended up being employed in the same place that I was, married, had children and unfortunately did die too young. That puts me back to the reason for this blog. Too many lives have been touched by cancer! It can leave us feeling helpless and that is not a good way to feel. The month of October is set aside to remind us to be educated and take all of the precautions to do our part to help remove breast cancer. Make a stop by the Susan G. Komen website to learn what you can to help prevent and fight against this cancer. Get your yearly mammogram, do a monthly breast check, take care of yourself you are important!
Now for a fun topic as women shopping is like a sport to us. We might not be sitting in front of the television to watch every football game this time of year but chances are good that we are searching flyers or strolling through the mall to find the latest item that we really NEED (cough, cough)! I want to encourage you to check out there are so many talented artists there and you don't even need to leave home to browse and shop. Many shops on Etsy are offering to donate for Breast Cancer Research so stop by to see their beautiful things and know that your purchases could be helping to someday remove this frightening disease. I too have faced this disease twice in my life the first time I discovered a lump was when my firstborn was only a few weeks old. I remember going in for my first mammogram at the age of 22 while my husband held our baby boy in the waiting room. I was safe as the lump was a remainder from having Mastitis when trying to breastfeed but I remember all too well what a frightening time this was. I have since faced this scare a second time a few years back when I went through several tests, a biopsy and then surgery. I had a fast growing lump and was fortunately benign. I think it is important that we don't become so immersed in the fear that we don't do our health checks. The proceedures that can be done to save lives have increased. There are so many survivors of breast cancer. We need to be a part of cheering this process on. So this blog is to honor the women in my life who have been touched by this disease or by going through the frightening time of finding a lump. This blog is for Eva, Sharon (survivor), the memory of Shirley,memory of Colleen, Joanne (survivor), Becky (survivor),memory of Dorothy, Mary (survivor) , memory of Elvis' mother. Feel free to comment to leave the name of your loved ones.
Also, if you managed to get through this long blog there is some fun to check out. My two shops and are offering free shipping throughout the month of October to encourage shopping for the cause and any item in my shops with pink on them will have a portion of the sale price donated to find a cure! So please stop by to see if there is anything that just has to come to your home. Also, I am going to have a drawing to give away a free pair of earrings on this blog. So please register in the comment section for this drawing with your name and your email address and on November first I will choose the winner and notify the winner! Have fun!