Friday, October 3, 2008

Are You Doing Your Part For Breast Cancer?

Many of you have recently read my post about my grandmother, written after her death in January of this year. Your kind words are comforting. Thank you. I would like to invite you into more of her, and my, story. (To the best of my recollection, that is.)

My Granny was diagnosed with breast cancer at 93. My aunt was her primary caretaker and discovered that she was bleeding from the tumor, which was roughly the size of a tube of toothpaste. When asked why she hadn't told anyone of the lump before that, Granny replied that she was too old for chemo and radiation. She didn't want the medicine to make her 'sick.'

She was finally convinced that she should at least have surgery to remove the tumor. Upon her admittance to the hospital she was asked when the last time she was in the hospital. Granny looked up at my aunt and said, "How old are you?"

She had not been hospitalized since her youngest child was born, some 52 years before.

The surgery was successful. The doctors and nurses were astounded that at 93 she was healing much better than many women even half her age. As a family, we were lucky. Breast cancer did not claim my Granny. She took her 5 years of tamoxifin and was declared disease free at 98. (If you've read the above link, you know that she lived to be 101, and died peacefully in her sleep.)

Again, our family is lucky. We all know of a family that has been torn apart by this disease. Perhaps it is your own. Now, thanks to Dr. Susan Love, we can ALL be a part of the research to not only find a cure, but find the cause of this disease. If you saw NBC Nightly News the other night (Wednesday, maybe?) you were able to see her talk to Brian Williams about their quest for 1 MILLION WOMEN to join in to help researchers.

The Army of Women website says this:

Our revolutionary initiative has two key goals:

  • To recruit one million healthy women of every age and ethnicity, including breast cancer survivors and women at high-risk for the disease, to partner with breast cancer researchers and directly participate in the research that will eradicate breast cancer once and for all.
  • To challenge the scientific community to expand its current focus to include breast cancer prevention research conducted on healthy women.

Are you willing to join? Even with one diagnosis my 'family' risk is relatively low but I've already put my name in the hat. Maybe I can contribute, maybe I can't. But wouldn't you rather have made the effort?

Pass it around. Let's help Dr. Love reach her 1 million women in record time.

There's no time to loose.
Headless Mom


ShannanB aka Mommy Bits said...

What a great story and what an amazing woman! We all need to be checking our girls regularly and this is a great reminder.

Keetha said...

Oh dear, and I just BEGGED my doctor to let me SKIP my mammo this year - - - he did NOT relent, but I am feeling GUILTY about even begging after THIS post. Mine are just so stinkin' painful - - - and then they always make me come back for MORE torture - - - and then it is always "normal" after all that.

On to OTHER things - - - I gave you a shout-out at the end of this post on my blog

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

Wow! Go Granny!

Sarah said...

My Ma (Stepmom) has had breast cancer twice in her life, 12 years apart from one another. She's a survivor from both attacks and the second time she demanded a double mastectomy (removing lymph nodes as well, the darned buggers!). You know what? My dad asked her to marry him just after her second go-around--he said it was stupid of him not to before that point. We all cried--they told us at Christmas. They were married last February in front of family and friends; my dad a nervous wreck (he called me 3 times that day!)and she was glowing. She refused to have reconstructive surgery that would give her the appearance of breasts, she says she's come by her breast-less-ness honestly and that's just the way it's going to be.
Yeah, I love her. She's a great gal. I have dutifully been a "checker" since high school, when she had her first "bout" with cancer--in fact when I was nursing my second baby, I had a plugged duct and made my GP check it out in front of my husband and daughters--just whipped that puppy out and said "What's this all about?". So incredibly important, but so darned funny that I just whipped it out in front of everyone. I didn't care--I wanted to catch it quick if it was something bad!!!!

Headless Mom said...

Sarah-What a great story! She is obviously a great lady. Sounds like you are all lucky to have her in the family. Thank goodness you have a happy ending, too.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this grandmother was just diagnosed..

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I have joined and will post the info at my blog. I had both grandmothers affected and have had one scare in February, which was nothing, thankfully

melissa said...

I agree...what a great story and what an amazing woman your Granny was!
I have joined reading your blogs. My Aunt is a breast cancer survivor too!

Tracey said...

How wonderful for your grandma to have such a long, happy life...

Cancer sucks beyond all measure. Anything we can do to stop it is worth it...

Jennifer, Playgroups Are No Place For Children said...

Hers is quite an inspiring story. Great message, Headless Mom.

Kelly said...

thanks for the info. My aunt has had breast cancer TWICE in 20 years and BOTH times she found it herself. My MIL also had breast cancer, both are SURVIVORS!!!

Rachel said...

Bless you and your family.
I'm donating all proceeds from ad revenue for this month to Breast Cancer Research.
Thank you for posting this!

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

Featured on Good Mom/Bad Mom on the Houston Chronicle: