We all remember those best days of our lives! Nailing that dream job, getting engaged and married. Going on your first real vacation or even the day you pay off your student loans. Life is made up of so many moments that it can be hard to remember them all. But there are other days that we just can’t forget and whether they made time stand still or you can’t stop playing them over and over in your head, you know you just can’t shake them. From hearing someone was in an accident, losing a job, the end of a relationship or being told you have cancer. Cancer -that diagnosis that everyone fears and no one wants to hear. And unlike a car that can be fixed or a job that can be replaced, cancer can’t quite so easily be fixed and forgotten.
One in eight women will have this unforgettable moment. One in eight women will be told by their doctors that they have breast cancer. Women who we know, women who we love, and maybe even you; could live this all too common, deeply devastating and unforgettable moment. http://www.breastcancer.org shares many facts that can take your breath away. For example, “In 2017, an estimated 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 63,410 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer.” The site shares that, “About 2,470 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in men in 2017. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.” These numbers are big, these numbers are scary, these numbers include all people, men and women who are at risk from that chilling moment of hearing they too are now part of these statistics. We can help.
So what do we do? If cancer doesn’t discriminate and any one of us could be diagnosed at any time, how can we move forward? We band together and make the commitment to ourselves and our loved ones to take prevention seriously. We make it a priority to attend our prevention visits with our physicians; we get our mammograms on time. We call our doctors if we see or feel something suspicious and we support and encourage all those around us to do the same.
We can also raise awareness by talking openly and candidly about cancer. There is a stigma that comes with cancer but also with a “women’s cancer” (although men get breast cancer too), that it’s something that shouldn’t be discussed openly. Everyone has breast tissue in their body and any one can get breast cancer. There is no shame or embarrassment that could ever make this topic less important. Talk to your friends and family about their screenings. Ask them if they want someone to go with them. Offer to give them a ride if they need it.
October 17-24 will be “Wear PINK Week” at The Wellness Center. This week will be a time to celebrate our friends and family who have survived or are in remission from breast cancer. It will be a week to support those in the current struggle and battle against it. It will also be a week to honor those who have lost their life to this horrible disease. At The Wellness Center we have seen staff and participants who have faced all of these areas and we are taking a week to raise awareness for those who can’t. It will be a week to welcome open conversations about breast cancer, a week to remind those around us to make those important appointments and it will be a week to raise funds for those who need it. All participants and staff will be encouraged to wear pink all week and for anyone who would like to donate, we will take donations for the North Country Hospital Oncology Fund. Every penny donated will go to our local friends and families in need in their battle against cancer.
Wear pink with us. Wear pink and let people ask you why. Tell them you are raising awareness. Share a story of a friend you loved who beat cancer. Tell a coworker you made your mammogram appointment and would they like to make one too. Share a fond memory of someone you treasured who lost their life too soon. We may not find a cure for cancer next week, but we will raise some money and we will raise lots of awareness. For all those who are faced with and will face that bone chilling moment in time that changes everything. You may not remember wearing pink for the next week, and it certainly may not be a life changing moment, but if it helps even one person take steps towards getting checked or calling their doctor about a concern – it will be worth it. Pink can be stronger than you think!