“Empowered Women, Empower Women”
October 2018 Issue
“Empowered Women, Empower Women”—YES. WE. DO. We support each other through thick and thin and through diagnoses, especially the one called breast cancer. We provide care and sustenance, we’ve “got your back”, we help each other maintain and often lift each other up. Women help each other with funding, upkeep, advocation and with words—encouraging, meaningful words and phrases we share to let each other know, ‘You are loved and very special to me.’
We asked women diagnosed with breast cancer what the best advice they received while fighting the fight. They've spoken. Turn the page to read on.
by Lindsay Gifford
Five years, half a century seems like a long time until you put it into context. Five years is the difference between my age and my mom’s when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. With our family history, the C-word isn’t one we take lightly. Every generation has had breast cancer since my great grandmother. Thankfully, all have survived. Diagnosed at 37, Mom has always talked about her yearly checkups and reminded me (along with my doctor) about starting early with mammograms. And I’m here to tell you…I was scared. It’s not like I’m 40 and all my friends are doing it, plus the family history already puts me on high alert for the “what ifs.” In other words, I understand why people put it off, but beg you not to.
I had my first “squish” at 25, and everything showed clear, so I put it to the back of my mind and forged ahead. The next year came around, and the next, as my doc reminded me I needed another one (then threatened to schedule it for me) several years in a row—hello procrastination. I finally realized the closer I came to the age Mom had cancer, the more scared I was. This past summer Mom and I scheduled our mammograms on the same morning and our “mommy-daughter mammograms” tradition was born.
Going to the appointment with someone definitely calmed my fears. Her presence was especially important when they came back and said they needed to ultrasound me, as well. I was panicked and thankful she was there for support. After a fear-filled 30 minutes, during which I reminded myself how much of an idiot I was to wait seven years, the result came back CLEAR. The lessons here: Be proactive, face your fears, and knowledge is power!
If you’ve had breast cancer, or a family member has, consider starting a mommy-daughter mammogram tradition if you have a daughter.
• Knowledge: Make sure your daughter and family are
aware of genetics, risks and the age of cancer onset.
• Accountability: It’s a great way to make sure both
of you are staying on top of your screenings.
• Support: Having someone with increases your
courage and helps to conquer fears and nerves.
• Make it a Girls’ Day: We made a day of it by enjoying
lunch, shopping and quality time together.
#mommydaughtermammograms #beproactive #faceyourfears
#knowledgeispower #breasthealth #savethetatas