I need to periodically tell my story, because, as a mom, I know that we need to take care of ourselves in order to be the best mothers possible for our children. I am now three years cancer free, and I want to share my story in hopes of reaching other moms who face a similar ordeal.
According to the most recent stats from the American Cancer Society (ACS), the chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer some time during her life is about 1 in 8. The chance of dying from breast cancer is about 1 in 35. Ladies, that means that when you're in your Little Gym class and you take a look around the circle of 8 women, one of you will likely get breast cancer. Please don't think it can't happen to you.
My cancer was detected through a routine mammogram. I never felt a lump or any pain at all. In fact, after the doctors knew exactly where the lump was, they still couldn't feel it. Believe me...they tried! Because my little lump was detected so early, my oncologist dubbed it an "excellent little cancer." As cancer goes, that was a nice diagnosis to have. It was excellent because it was found early was extremely susceptible to treatment.
I went through a few surgeries and a summer of daily radiation and have been in tip top shape ever since. There is little history of breast cancer in my family - it just happened and no one knows why.
So, to be the best parent you can be, you must take care of yourself. The ACS recommends that women without a family history of breast cancer get their first mammogram at 40. If you have a history, you need to talk to your doctor about the appropriate age to begin. A mammogram is a walk in the park compared to breast cancer treatment. Take a girlfriend, build in a lunch out at a real restaurant to celebrate your health.
I'd love comments from other women, especially those who for some reason refuse to get a mammogram. I want to try to change your mind before it's too late.