Think Pink, It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 0 Comments A + a -

ctober is the Breast Cancer Awareness month. I put significance to this because, I, as a woman on remission, three and a half years to be exact, benefited on being made aware of this disfiguring and life-threatening cancer. I had my first mammogram at the age of forty. At 40, the images showed a 0.6 cm lesion I did not know about. It was cancerous.

Breast Cancer Awareness T-shirts
Breast Cancer Awareness T-shirts 

I should be jumping up and down, but I am not. The scars on my chest from breast removal and the hip to hip scar line where muscle and subcutaneous tissue were removed for my chest flaps, will forever remain. My fears that my cancer will come back continue to linger. I should be grateful I am in remission. It is a blessing. I should feel relieved.

Remission in cancer means the disease has been reduced significantly or completely eliminated. Having been on remission, my fear should go down to the possibility of this deteriorating disease relapsing. I got my health physical health back; I am no longer fatigued post-chemotherapy. I still have follow up and blood tests after my chemo as I want to stay compliant with recommended health maintenance. Do I sound like a car? Even so, all this can be tiring and stressful. I did not like blood draws before, and I grew to hate it so much after I was diagnosed with cancer. If you see me before my blood is drawn, you would be surprised to learn that I am a nurse by profession, and I do poke patients' arms for a living. Well, that is not all I do but . . .

Here's a bit about breast cancer. 

As known already, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among females accounting for about 18.2% of all cancer deaths worldwide. It can be invasive and non-invasive. The invasive breast cancer easily spreads to other parts of the body such as liver and lungs, while the non-invasive is usually localized to the place of origin. Guess what? I had the invasive kind. However, it was caught early, in Stage 1.

And another thing, I had the tripe negative kind. What is that? When doctors are diagnosing breast cancer, they look for three receptors, estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. The presence of these receptors is what causes most cancers to grow. However, my rare condition where all of these receptors are not found, is referred to as triple negative breast cancer. Triple negative breast cancer is usually more challenging and difficult to treat as it cannot be treated with common oral drugs like Tamoxifen. Nevertheless, triple breast cancer can still be treated using chemotherapy. I did that, plus elective bilateral mastectomy.

So, to the women out there, think of taking care of yourself. Think Breast Cancer Awareness month. Purchase products that will support breast cancer research. There are a lot more to be learned.

Think pink ribbon.

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