October. For some it symbolizes Fall, the leaves starting to change color, apple picking, pumpkin soup, or maybe Halloween. But for some, this month means something entirely different. While it may still entail the awesome activates of apple picking, pumpkin carving, soup eating, costume making, the month also has major significance. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This may or may not be something that you knew but my guess would be that you are quite informed of this (media explodes this time of year with awareness).
Two summers ago my mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. It’s a very surreal moment when you are told that your mother, your role model, the most important woman in your life, your person, has been diagnosed with the a disease that is the second leading cause of death in woman. I don't even remember the moment that I was told; I am 99.99% sure that this is because it’s one of those events that you push away. My subconscious has taken this moment and pushed it into the depths of my subconscious. Everything kind of stops and changes but then at the same time it doesn't. Life, surprisingly, does go on. Which is one of the big take-aways I learned from this experience. My mom is the strongest woman I know and once again she proved it by taking this whole experience with her head held high and she kicked cancers butt! People kick all types of cancer's butt every day, so while this may seem like a sad topic it's not. It's just as much a celebration of all the woman and men, yes men suffer from breast cancer as well, who have survived ethis and come out on top.
I am writing this not just to express how damn proud and inspired I am by my mother but also to just keep spreading awareness. No, it's not going to cure Breast Cancer but I plan to do anything I possibly can to help spread the word and make as much of a difference as a 19 year old can. So I decided to use the most efficient way possible to do my part, using the internet. I decided to write this post because this past Sunday, my mom, aunt and I participated in Breast Cancer Awareness Run/Walk here in Århus - "Støt brysterne" organized by Alt For Damerne (a Danish woman's magazine). I've always heard or seen advertisements for these types of events but never actually attended one. Then my mom happened to be visiting that weekend and she was the one that found the event, so we decided to sign ourselves up and go. I think it's one of the best mother daughter (and auntie) bonding activities we've ever done. I'm not sure if it was the fact that it felt like we were actually making a difference or that I saw what it meant to all of the woman who were there. There was story telling, dancing, walking, running, and tears shed but most importantly there was an amazing vibe. There was strength, empowerment, positivity and hope floating through the air as all of these woman, and yes some men participated as well, came together. It's truly an amazing thing to experience.
Here are some facts about breast cancer that you can share with family and friends and help spread awareness (All facts are found from www.nationalbreastcancer.org :
- "1 in 8 woman will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their life time
- Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in woman
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women
- Each year it is estimated that over 220,000 woman in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40, 000 will pass
- Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,150 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 410 die each year"
Many lives have been lost to this battle but there are also so many that have fought, survived and continued on to live an amazing, wonderful life. Cancer sucks but we can kick it's sorry little butt. Together we can make a difference, fight this and come out on top. Whether you have fought, are fighting or have a loved one who has been affected by breast cancer, you understand my motivation to write this post. I am constantly thinking about how it seems as though almost everyone has been affected by cancer in some shape or form. We've all lost someone, know someone who's fighting or someone who's won the battle.
So do your part, not just this month but every month. Do your part by simply remembering, spreading awareness but also spread the love. "Love is all around" as quoted in my favorite movie of all time, "Love Actually" (obviously the best movie ever).
I think it's fair to say that this month has some significance to a lot of breast cancer patients or their loved ones, so if you know someone give them a call, tell them your proud of them and show them how much you love and care for them. If they are still fighting, remind them of how strong they are. If it’s someone you've lost send them a prayer, and remember that they are always in your heart and watching over you from a better place. "The breast is yet to come" so keep your heads held high and always keep that gorgeous smile plastered on your lips.
If you would like to donate to the National Breast Cancer Fund, I have attached the link below.