I know this isn't an art topic, or is it!? But I just want to share this month in particular. Everything effects our art, and we are effected by so many things in life, so here it goes....
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, I would like to share some of my story: I am sitting at the computer, eating chicken noodle soup made by a friend, as I heal from bi-lateral mastectomies. It is a long haul to say the least, but a miracle that it was found! No matter where you place your faith, God, Nirvana, Great Spirit, Universal Spirit, you name it, for me personally, it was a God thing....
I was a childhood burn victim, and in treatment on the burn ward for 1 1/2 years (from age 3 to age 5). My torso and hand were burned, 18% of body. At about 21 years old, I made to decision to have breast reconstruction & augmentation. So, please don't do the math, but... I had a 30 year old breast reconstruction that was needing to be investigated. I held out not wanting to have a MRI for over two years (I am extremely claustrophobic). They tried other different types of imaging: mammogram, 3D imaging mammogram, ultra sound, with no clear picture. So I ignored it for a couple years.
Then when my neurologist wanted an MRI for my migraines, I gave in. I got very sedated, and they gave me 4 MRI's. After my family and myself were on our way back home, the hospital called me and asked me to come back because they had given me the wrong test. So I returned for two more MRI's. The next day, I got a call from the pathologist, and the first thing she said was that she was sorry I had to come back, and that they made a mistake, and I wouldn't be charged for 2 of the MRI's. Well, the tech (bless her heart to no end!) mistakenly gave me a cancer screening MRI, and they saw that I had two masses.
Stage 1 breast cancer. So if I had not done the MRI's, all of my recent imaging showed nothing! They were all normal! I could have gone for a few more years not knowing I had cancer brewing inside me! Yep, a miracle of a "mistake" for sure! So even though I am not thankful for having cancer, I am thankful and fortunate they found it, and I am thankful that it's treatable. I have had an amazing outpouring of friends and family willing to help and support me. I know that I am blessed, albeit in a strange way, but I am blessed. I have a long way to go, and am struggling with healing, but I am a fighter!
One more shout out: From my pathology, one tumor was 96% hormone positive and the other tumor 99%!! I never worried about Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), because no one in my family has ever had breast cancer, and I felt that breast cancer was the one thing I would always be free of getting. So I never heeded the warnings of the Breast Center for two years following my complete hysterectomy, of how I should consider going off hormone treatment. In fact, just a couple of years ago, I was sitting with my friend's mom, and we were discussing our hysterectomies, and chatting it up about which hormone therapies we were trying, and now we both have breast cancer. So, Please, consider not doing HRT, a large number of women who get breast cancer DON"T have a family history. So maybe enduring hot flashes & various other menopause stuff, as horrible and terrible as they are, might be worth not needing bi-lateral mastectomies and not having breast cancer. Another thing, my family history is riddled with osteoporosis, so I've always worried about my bones, and that is one benefit touted for HRT, your bones. But now I will be undergoing hormone suppression, which can thin my bones and gives terrible hot flashes. So in my attempt to keep my bones good, doing HRT, now I have no breasts, will likely have thin bones, and I have horrible hot flashes. Please, if you have any say in the matter, consider not doing HRT and let your body do it's own thing naturally.
And lastly, consider sharing your story for Breast Cancer Awareness Month!