Wednesday, August 29, 2007

One reason I have started blogging....

One of the reasons I have started blogging is because of WhyMommy who blogs over at Toddler Planet. She is one of the blogs I have 'stalked' for a while. She has, unknowingly, helped me come to the decision about our big relocation. I say unknowingly because she doesn't even know me. But I have known too many people (one is too many, sadly I know more than one) who don't have family histories or 'classic' symptoms, are too young or too old, are the 'wrong' gender, or just don't fit the profile and are still diagnosed with something. Something - cancer, liver disease, heart disease- that has drastically impacted their lives and the lives of everyone in their lives... I am, at this very moment, healthy (just 'passed' a detailed physical for my new job!) but will be making a physical appointment for Rooster as soon as the office comes back from lunch. Please be aware and take care of yourselves...and join TEAM WHY MOMMY today. (Another goal for myself is to figure out how to attach the awesome Team Why Mommy logo...)
We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of breast cancer?
I didn’t. I thought that breast cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my
monthly breast self-exams, and found no lump, I’d be fine.
Oops. It turns out that you don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer. Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/GYN because my breast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked…funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn’t worried. I should have been. After a round of antibiotics didn’t clear up the inflammation, my doctor sent me to a breast specialist and did a skin punch biopsy. That test showed that I have inflammatory breast cancer, a very aggressive cancer that can be deadly.
Inflammatory breast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis because many doctors have never seen it before and consider it rare. “Rare” or not, there are over 100,000 women in the U.S. with this cancer right now; only half will survive five years. Please call your OB/GYN if you experience several of the following symptoms in your breast, or any unusual changes: redness, rapid increase in size of one breast, persistent itching of breast or nipple, thickening of breast tissue, stabbing pain, soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay – for a while), flattening or retracting of the nipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d’orange). Ask if your GYN is familiar with inflammatory breast cancer, and tell her that you’re concerned and want to come in to rule it out.
There is more than one kind of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is the
most aggressive form of breast cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It’s not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our breasts undergo during the years when we’re pregnant and/or nursing our little ones. It’s important not to miss this one.
Inflammatory breast cancer is detected by women and their doctors who notice a change in one of their breasts. If you notice a change, call your doctor today. Tell her about it. Tell her that you have a friend with this disease, and it’s trying to kill her. Now you know what I wish I had known before six weeks ago.
You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer.

P.S. Feel free to steal this post too. I’d be happy for anyone in the blogosphere to take it and put it on their site, no questions asked. Dress it up, dress it down, let it run around the place barefoot. I don’t care. But I want the word to get out. I don’t want another young mom — or old man — or anyone in between — to have to stare at this thing on their chest and wonder, is it mastitis? Is it a rash? Am I overreacting? This cancer moves FAST, and early detection and treatment is critical for survival.
Thank you.

One really happy hen...

Yay! I am finally blogging...I have been stalking other blogs and am riveted by the writers...their honesty, their friendships, their camaraderie....all of it. Now, it is my turn to join the club and I am in a really great spot in my life. I hope. No, I am...we are on a new adventure - more about this one later, but it is a GREAT adventure and everyone falls asleep happy and TOGETHER in ONE house. Again, YAY! And, I - the oldest, reliable, take the familiar road child, am jumping into some new things - old, but very new, and my eyes are open, but this road is not so familiar any more, but I do know how to drive. Boy, I also know how to babble. Even in my writing. OK, this blog may be simple - but it is mine and I really hope someone reads it and maybe even reads it again and maybe someday somebody new will stalk my blog....:)