Thursday, October 14, 2010

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I feel fortunate to have never experienced Breast Cancer in my personal life - in myself, or my loved ones.  I have experienced it in my professional life, though.  I want to share a story of my first professional encounter with Breast that effected me deeply and will always stay with me.

Back when I was still in college (really, it wasn't all that  long ago...) I had to complete a clinical job placement for my degree.  I am a medical laboratory technician, by the way.  My clinical was done in the hospital of my home town, where I gained experience in all aspects of the lab.  This particular story takes place in the Histo-pathology lab, where any tissue removed from the body is sent to be examined.

On that particular day, we received a breast, removed via mastectomy.  The patient was a year younger than my mom was at that time.  My supervisor there had me examine the breast to find the tumour, which was 2cm in diameter.  Now keep in mind, this is nothing like examining your own breast for lumps.  I could press as hard as I wanted or needed to without risking pain, I could flip it around and feel from the "inside".  I could do whatever I needed to do.  I started off examining it the way I would do my own breast exam, and found nothing.  I kept looking and feeling in different ways, and though I searched and felt and tried to find the tumour, I could not.  I wasn't able to feel it until my supervisor found it and pointed out where it was.  It was as hard and as big as a large marble.  It was something I had felt before (tumours in general, not that one).  I could not find it.

Like I said, the patient was younger than my own mother...who had never had a mammogram.  That day, I went home to my mom's and begged her to schedule one.  You see, self exams are infinitely important...but even experienced hands can miss a tumour.  So if you've never had a mammogram, and you're "that age"...make the appointment!  I will be scheduling my first for shortly after my 30th birthday.

So this memory brings me to another story.  The story of a woman named Cathy (coincidentally, this is my mother's name, but she is not my mom) who did lose her mother to Breast Cancer.  Cathy...oh how can I describe you?  Cathy, of the blog: Cathy's Creations makes stunning hand made bracelets by crocheting beads.  Don't ask me how...I can crochet a blanket, but the beads perplex me.  Cathy is a beautiful, loving, kind, generous, creative, and absolutely *hilarious* woman.  Cathy is one of the greatest women I've never met (yep, I meant that - "never met").  Having been touched so deeply by breast cancer, Cathy has made it her October mission to get the word out.  To raise awareness.  And I want to help her. 

In her efforts to raise awareness, she is having daily draws on her Facebook Page for a breast cancer awareness T-shirt, as well as other items, including her own bracelets and other breast cancer awareness goods donated to her cause.  You can win one of your own, just by visiting to her FB Page, becoming one of Cathy's *many* fabulous "Frikes" ( check out definition #1 at The Urban Dictionary ), and just comment on her wall daily.  That's it, and you're entered to win! 

Check these beauties out...

...those are the hands of my daughter, modelling two of Cathy's creations!  I have a matching bracelet to the blue and silver one, with a "Mother" charm, to N's "Daughter" charm. Cathy designs unique bracelets to support so many worthy causes (which she donates a portion of the proceeds to!), and will even custom makes one to your request (like that yellow ribbon "Army Brat" bracelet N is wearing).  You can find her Esty page here ... Go there!  Order some pretties!  You know you deserve to give yourself a little shiny present!  You can find one for any occasion, any novelty, for you, your friends, the little and grown girls in your life!  Anything!  And if you don't find it, just let her know!  She will do whatever she can to make your bracelet dreams come true.

1 comment:

  1. This was very touching Stacie. Very nice of you to share with everyone just how awesome Cathy is. And what she is doing! Hugs!