Saturday, October 25, 2008

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month

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Before this month ends, I want to say my thing about breast cancer, since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

When I was in my early 20s (1985 :-O), my future mother-in-law died just a week before my wedding. She died of breast cancer, which had gone to the lungs. I didn't know her well, but from what I did know, she was a very kind woman who loved her family, and was deeply loved by them. She was probably at that time just in her late 40s/early 50s. She had fought breast cancer for many years, but it finally got too far. RIP Colleen Showers.

And then... my current husband's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999. On my wedding day, she had just finished up her chemo, was at my wedding in her wig, but with high spirits. We were all so hopeful. And then, in the spring of 2003, they found the cancer again, this time in her bones and liver. We heard the news just days after my second miscarriage. The last time I saw her, she was so sick, and I was 5 months pregnant. At least she knew her first born was going to be a father before she died. But, she didn't live to see Lydia. She was one of the dearest women I've ever know, and I'm so sorry that my daughter will never know her wonderful, beautiful grandmother. RIP Jean Ostromek.

Just now, I got a phone call - my dad's cousin, Linda, has just been diagnosed with bone cancer - without knowing the details for sure, I'm willing to bet anything it's breast cancer that has metastized. She went through treatment for breast cancer about 5 years ago. My heart is absolutely breaking for her right now.

And yet - I have a friend who has passed the 5 year cancer-free mark! Yay Jan!!!

The charity I donate to is the Susan G. Komen foundation. Maybe because they started locally, maybe because I try to do their annual walk/run each year, or maybe because I just like them and think they do a good job.

Anyway, I urge all of you to get your mammogram each year if you are over 40. And for all women, do your self-exam each month - I just the other day talked to a young mom - all of 36 years old - who just finished chemo for breast cancer after finding a lump during a self exam. She told me her story as we stood and watched our 4 year old daughters in ballet class. I send a prayer out right now that she stays cancer-free.

See your doctor each year, making sure they do a breast exam. Take care of yourself and eat healthy and exercise.

Be good to yourself. You are sooooooooo worth it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a sister-n-law to the late Carolyn J. Ostromek. I am deeply saddened that my family has forgotten all about Laura Ostromek, as I knew Jean would not have. Laura has problems with her body as well, I.B.S. disease to where some doctors recoganize it as Intestinal lining of the stomach cancer and to my kind hearted doctor here in Cleveland, Ohio I am recognized as a cancer survivor, unfortunately I cannot at this time have any operations for this cancerous disease do to I am homeless in Cleveland, and the forgotten sister, aunt, auntie, great auntie, trying to make the best of bad decisions, comments: laostromek@excite.com