In searching for quotes, I came across a website with inspirational quotes for breast cancer awareness month, October, the pink month. I wanted to share those here, with some snippets of my ‘experiences’ related to breast cancer.
The best protection is early detection.
We should all frequently check our breasts, whether you are man or woman, because yes, men can get breast cancer too. In a previous life I knew a man who had ‘man boobs’ and he had a retracted nipple. His wife asked him many times to go to the doctor with it, and when he finally did, it was too late. He was diagnosed with breast cancer and died three months later.
Big or small, save them all.
I think it was about twelve years ago that a colleague of mine had to go for her very first breast scan. All women get call-ups for the scans from when we turn 50, and get them every two years. I am due for my second soon. When the colleague went for a scan, another colleague and I both said that if we ever discovered a lump, we would immediately have our breasts amputated. Like with so many things in life, none of us know how we would react until we end up in the circumstances, which is what happened to me. Less than six months after that remark of mine, I discovered a lump in my left breast. I was terrified. I imagined myself without my left breast and I instantly knew: I DON’T WANT TO LOSE IT! Gone was my false bravery. I had to go for a mammogram and it was three weeks before the appointment. Three. Agonizing. Weeks. The lump was a cyst. ‘Only’ a cyst. The doctor said I still had exactly the same risk as any other woman to get breast cancer; that the cyst didn’t mean I have an increased chance. From time to time the lump is there again, then the cyst drains and it’s gone.
We don’t know how strong we are until being strong is the only choice we have.
Now I haven’t been in a situation where I needed to be strong because of cancer (except when my mom had it and died of it, but that’s different than having it yourself), but there is one person that I absolutely admire and respect her strength, and the way she had made us part of her journey, has shown as all what it is to be brave and strong. Yes, I am talking about Julie. I will never forget the grace with which she has gone through a period that must have been much harder than she has shared with us, and I hope that if ever I have to go through something similar, I can have half her strength and grace.
Supporting the fighters.
Admiring the survivors.
Honoring the taken.
And never, ever giving up hope.