It is the month of October and everything is pink. This is when we are supposed to make sure everyone is aware of breast cancer or something. After my own breast cancer journey in 2015 I felt like I had closed that chapter. And now, having “graduated” after 5 years cancer free, I don’t want to walk around with pink ribbons and clever breast cancer t-shirts. That was so 5 years ago! But I do acknowledge the impact that season had on my life and the sense of responsibility I feel to make sure that we are all taking care of our health. I have learned the importance of sharing my story so I encourage you to read through the “Hogblogger Archives” to see how our family navigated that season. It was hard and often not pretty, but God is faithful and good. I am oddly thankful for that time and how it solidified my relationship with Jesus.
Maybe it is ok to read back through old chapters…
For today, here is my Pink PSA…
- Ladies, go ahead and schedule your mammograms. I cannot stress this enough. Early detection is critical. Many women don’t get mammograms because they are afraid the doctors will find something. Guess what? If there is something to find, you want them to find it NOW!
- Advocate for your health. I talked about this last year. The latest recommendations for screening mammograms state that women without a family history of breast cancer should wait until after they turn 50. I am glad my doctor did not follow these guidelines. Had I not gone for that mammogram at age 41 (and I almost didn’t!), I would still be blissfully ignorant today as the disease had its way in my body. Insist on getting your screening mammograms at age 40 (earlier if you have family history). There was no history of breast cancer or any cancer in my family. I was the least likely candidate for this disease.
- We are all aware that breast cancer exists. Take advantage of “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” to encourage your friends, family, neighbors and strangers you meet at the grocery store to get screening mammograms. I was shocked to find out that many of my friends put it off because they are too busy. It is ok to nag your people until they agree to go.
One in eight women will develop breast cancer over the course of her life. I was that one and I thank God we found it in the earliest stages.
Do not neglect your health.
© Elizabeth Smith 2020