Breast and Ovarian Cancer Awareness months are wrapping up – but, of course, the diseases will continue to play out in our lives. I want to be sure that the lessons learned and stories shared these past two months will help you. These are common cancers and we are all touched one way or another. I also want to thank those who have shared their stories, and thank everyone that helped us raise money for the ongoing fight against cancer!
Round up of 2016 Breast and Ovarian Cancer Advocacy Month – Lessons and Gratitude:
- Men and women, do your monthly self breast exams – no excuses, no putting it off. I found my cancer doing my exam while taking my evening bath. Make a routine and stick to it. Thank you to Norman Smith for sharing your story about male breast cancer. Your story is saving lives, I’m sure.
- If you have any family history that suggests your genes may put you at higher risk of these cancers, then talk to your doctor. Detection of the mutations may save your life or the life of a beloved family member. These same mutations increase the risk for some other cancers too like prostate, pancreatic, colon etc. Click here to learn more.
- Thank you to Carole and Suzanne for sharing your stories in the comments section of our blogs. Sharing stories helps everyone impacted by cancer, whether personally, or through a loved one. The cancer journey can feel lonely and it’s important to know that we are not alone. These common cancers will probably impact every one of us at some point, and I believe there is comfort in community.
- As a a local and online community we raised $3,056 for the American Cancer Society – and we had fun! Thank you to everyone who supported our team, those that donated, and those that entered our donation contest – “it takes a village,” and we have an awesome one. Dr. Bailey’s Team raised the second highest donation amount in our local Making Strides event. Well done everyone and thank you!
- Gratitude is the theme for this advocacy season. Thank you to Michelle Grinsel and her family for creating the powerful video that captures their joy and gratitude in the midst of living with the uncertainty of cancer. Like Michelle, I am grateful for every moment that I am here, no matter what the next moment holds. It has also been a surprise that I am now grateful for how my journey to cancer survivorship has made my life richer – by forcing me out of my head so I became present for each precious moment. Getting cancer was also a wakeup call to immediately curate what is important in my life, take better care of myself, and let a lot of other stuff go. I’ve shared my story in our 5 part Thriving Series, which starts with Part 1. Thank you for letting me tell it to you.
And, of course, my team and I are not done. Not by a long shot. We are continuing cancer advocacy all year by deciding to donate 50% of the profits from the sales of my Chemotherapy Skin Care Kit to FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered). FORCE is THE advocacy organization for the Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer community – of which I am a member. FORCE played a huge role in providing me with the information I needed to ease rampant anxieties and make key decisions in my own cancer journey. Thank you FORCE, we will be sending you checks all year! The Chemo Kit is the skin care routine I developed to keep my skin comfortable, healthy and free of infections during chemo. If you know someone undergoing chemo, this is a really thoughtful gift to give, and it comes with my dermatology skin care information for chemo patients!
Thank you for your support and participation in this year’s Ovarian and Breast Cancer Advocacy Season. We will share more on these topics with you next year!