Monday, October 24, 2011

October is Breast Cancer Month

Pink is every where. It's October. It's a reminder that I don't really like although I understand the need to build awareness. Last Saturday, my nephew Sam wore pink shoelaces and pink stockings when he went out on the Augustanta football field in honor of his Aunt Pam.  I want someone to conquer the disease.

I don't need a reminder. It kills. It killed my best friend in 1999. It broke my heart and took away a friend that filled my heart with love, kindness, thoughtfulness and friendship that was to endure through our retirement years. We grew up together in our twenties, raised our children together, spent every spare moment together and worked together at the telephone company in Virginia. We planned our retirement years. I don't need the month of October to remember her spirit or feel her loss as a friend. The loss is a forever feeling.

I live with the threat of breast cancer. My identical twin sister is a breast cancer survivor. We live her survival every day and when she goes in for her checkups we hold our breath that survival is still the word. Losing her to this disease would be like cutting off part of my body. I thought losing my friend to the disease was almost inconsolable but losing my twin sister to the disease would be catastrophic to my life as I know it.

We don't acknowledge or particpate in breast cancer walks and the like. My twin sister does not like being reminded that she had breast cancer. She says she lives it everyday. A walk in October is just another day with the disease. For others, the various events in the month of October provide peace and support. To each their own.

Her daughter and I talked her into getting a breast cancer survival ribbon tatoo on our right arms. She did it because we asked her to do it with us. We thought it was a show of our support.  She hates that tatoo because she says everytime she looks at her arm, it is a reminder that she had breast cancer. She is thankful each year when she gets the thumbs up news that she is still cancer free. It is that little irritating thought that sits back in the subconscious that is a reminder. October is not seen as a month of celebration. Each day, each month, each year being cancer free is a celebration in and of itself for her.

When I go in for my yearly mammogram in November, I am once again reminded by the technician that I am at risk because my twin had breast cancer. I don't need a reminder. I live with a reminder, my sister. I need a cure. So I thank all those people who support breast cancer research through their donations and support. We each do what we can for the cause because the majority of us are touched by this disease one way or another.

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