Archive for the ‘{22} November Updates’ Category

(Ignore) The Revised Guidelines

November 25, 2009

There have been abundant discussions about the recent and radical changes in the recommendations for screening breast cancer and I’d like to add my two cents.  First of all, I find it tremendously suspicious that these “unbiased” guidelines are coming out at the same time that the health care reform bill is gaining steam.  Secondly:

a) Mammograms are not perfect, but for now they are the best imaging tool in detecting breast cancer.  If you have NO known risk factors I believe that a base line test at 40 (not 50)  is still a good idea, and then once a year or once every two years is a good check-up time.  If there are any red flags in your history than obviously heed your doctor’s recommendations.

b) Even more importantly than mammograms are self exams (in my opinion) and the recent asinine comment that self exams offer little detection IS CRAZY MAKING!  It’s basic common sense; know your body and all of its parts and always watch for any changes!  My mammogram showed a false negative because the tumor was so close to my chest wall, so my knowledge of my own body was an important part for my early detection.  So, please do your monthly exams so at the very least you become familiar with all of the normal lumps and bumps!

Pass It On!

November 23, 2009

I’m very excited to announce a couple of positive improvements to my humble little blog!

First, it now has an official web address, so it’s easier to pass along to anyone you feel it might help:

Second, I added an in-depth section titled “Diagnosed!  Now What…” on the righthand side that speaks directly to anyone who has recently been diagnosed.  I tackle each topic explaining my own experiences and advice to others.

I’m very excited about these updates and it’s my hope that my experiences will help others!

The Nicest Essay Ever

November 17, 2009

I’ve received letters from loved ones to strangers and everyone in between, sharing how my stories have helped them, but this essay that I just received from my niece impacted me so much and left me practically speechless.  She is a beautiful, soccer-playing young lady in 8th grade and she chose to write about me.  I’m completely humbled and immensely honored. Thank you Hannah!  I love you too!

My Aunt Megan

My Aunt Megan is one of the most inspiring people I know. I love her so much. Unlike most people, she stayed strong and in good spirits during a horrible time.

My Aunt Megan is one of the best photographers I know. She usually photographs weddings, and she does a marvelous job. When I grow up, I want to be a photographer as well! So she is truly an inspiration to me. Sometime, I am hoping we can go take pictures together! Whenever I see her pictures, they give me goose bumps because they capture everything key in a picture, the emotions, the expressions on their faces, and why they love what they are doing in the picture.

I had noticed my parents hadn’t been talking about my Aunt Megan as much, and I just blew it off.  Then we were at Safeway, and she donated 5 dollars to the Breast Cancer treatment research. I just was thinking in my head, “that’s weird.. she never usually donates money to those kind of things.” But again, I just blew it off.  In October, 2009, about two days after my mom made the donation, my parents sat us down altogether. They said, ”Girls, your Aunt Megan has been diagnosed with Breast Cancer.” I froze. I didn’t know what to think, do, or say. I just froze. My parents kept talking, and I just zoned out and didn’t listen. I had major flashbacks of when I was 5 and my Aunt Megan was taking pictures of my sisters and I and we were laughing, and when we were visiting and we were on a big log and she was taking pictures of us.  I couldn’t believe someone who meant this much to me, and who I look up to, had been diagnosed with such a horrible disease. I was shocked, terrified, miserable, and disoriented.

While my Aunt Megan was fighting Breast Cancer, she had to go through chemo therapy, which is a treatment where you have to lose all your hair, to make it less traumatizing, she cut her hair really short. She looks so gorgeous with barely any hair, and she doesn’t really mind.

It started out with just a little cancer, and they did one treatment, and then more, and more, and more. I didn’t really understand why she kept having treatments. But I guess they just wanted to make sure they got it all.

My Aunt Megan did the Avon Breast cancer walk which was 39.6 miles! When I heard she was doing it, I was so proud of my Aunt. She was raising money, and was going to walk every single mile. When I heard her stories, I was in awe.  It sounded like an amazing thing and an outstanding memory that she will cherish forever. She raised over 2,000 dollars!

Not only does my Aunt Megan share the exact same interests as me, but she is a fabulous role model. I love my Aunt Megan to death, and I hope to be a photographer just like her when I grow up.