cross posted to Marketing Roadmaps
Just before BlogHer, I started reading Toddler Planet, the blog of an incredibly courageous woman who had to change her plans to attend the conference because she had been diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, a particularly nasty and often undetected form of breast cancer, and her chemo was scheduled to start the same week.
She has written a post about the disease and asked fellow bloggers to repost as much or as little of it as they wished to help spread the word.
Here is WhyMommy’s post:
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.
Please spread the word, and if you are so inclined, make a donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Today is indeed my birthday. Douglas and David did a wonderful job of surprising me with birthday presents this morning:
I did not expect either of the gifts as I knew David had already ordered these dishes from LL Bean and we had also gotten each other a Broadway in Boston subscription (Dave’s birthday is two weeks after mine.)
I guess that’s why they call it a surprise 🙂
Now some people worry that having a birthday in a holiday week is a no fun. I’ll admit, having a birthday near Christmas, as my brother does, isn’t too great. Folks either forget or give you just one gift for both birthday and Christmas, which really sucks for a child when quantity of gifts is the preferred measure.
But Fourth of July week. Man, oh man, Mom-101, do not worry about Thalia. Even if you don’t read her my comment about the benefits of this birthday week, she will figure them out for herself.
Here’s the deal:
If you live in North America and your birthday is in the first week of July, you can pretty much celebrate the whole week.
In the US, it is easier if your birthday is in the few days after the 4th, and I imagine in Canada, it works best the closer your day is to Canada Day. You start with family celebrations on the relevant holidays, and sometimes that takes a couple of days. If any of your friends are around, maybe your mom will take you all to the movies or something. And then, when the holiday week is over, and your friends are back in town, you get the birthday party.
(From flickr under a creative commons license. Photographer has great fireworks shots. )
The rest of the country may be celebrating Independence. Your family…. it ends up being all about you. Don’t believe me? Ask my mom. When she asked if we could come over for a cook-out this week, it was for my birthday celebration, not the Fourth of July.
Born near the Fourth of July? It’s not bad at all.