“You have a suspicious lump,” were the words uttered by my doctor in a recent routine breast exam at my gynecologist. I already have my yearly mammogram scheduled for the end of February. Because of my history with Leukemia and the three years of chemotherapy I endured, which puts me more at risk for breast and skin cancer, the doctor also suggests a visit with a specialist.
My mind races – will I be one of the 226,870 new cases this year to be diagnosed with breast cancer? Will I be one of the 39,510 expected breast cancer deaths this year? Will I have the most common cancer in women worldwide? I had eight friends over for dinner on my birthday – one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime – none of them have it, will I be the one?
I can suffer once or I can suffer twice. I decide to suffer once – when I find out the news on March 8. It is likely it is nothing but a benign cyst in my lumpy breasts, but then again, four and a half years ago I went to the emergency room with a migraine and was told I had leukemia.
Now I am faced with the questions so many women today are faced with: What will this lump mean to my future? To my kid’s future?
I had a friend, Kim, who died last year of breast cancer. Kim was only 30. She lost one breast and embraced her new beautiful body with style and grace. One year at Halloween, she dressed as Sid and Nancy, a 1986 movie of Sid Vicious, the bassist of the Sex Pistols. How she did it was nothing short of genius. She dressed the breast side of her body as Nancy, covered up, and the Sid side without the breast, she displayed bare-chested. The humor, courage, and zest it took to embrace her disease as she did was truly inspirational. I was honored to know her.
With the recent controversy with Susan G. Komen and a personal fan of Planned Parenthood, I am now a full on supporter of Susan G. Komen, the most widely known, best-funded breast cancer organization in the United States. I leaned heavily on the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) during my leukemia ordeal, so I know how important organizations that provide education, services, give hope, and provide an outlet for families and friends of those afflicted with the disease are.
Miss Andrea Rogers, Miss A, challenged our writers this past month to create a city team for the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure, engage all our writers, and engage at least 10 readers per writer to come race with us. If every one of us across the nation raised $200, Miss A would contribute over $420,000 toward finding a cure. I am inviting you to come join our team if you are in one of our cities!
Coming up soon is our walk Miss A’s Seattle Team, so I hope you will either walk, run or help us fundraise for a cure.
Come celebrate the survivors and help the millions of women and families dealing with this devastating cancer!
WHAT:A 5K walk or run, a 1-mile walk, a kid’s race – all proceeds benefits Susan G. Komen.
For race day information, go to Susan G. Komen, Race Day Information page.
WHEN: Sunday, June 3, 2012, 7:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Fisher Pavilion, Seattle Center
305 Harrison St
REGISTRATION/DONATION: To register or donate to Race for the Cure with Seattle Miss A, go to Race for a Cure, Miss A – Seattle page.