October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I am a 16-year breast cancer survivor. I am proud to wear my badge of courage, willing to share my story to help other women and their families battling this disease and help by continuing with my mission to improve people’s eating habits and overall health.
Each fall ushers in one more year I am officially cancer-free and one more year for me to help spread the word about this disease that has taken so many women’s lives. Women, including my own close relatives and even my sister, whose lives were cut short due to this dreadful disease. I am so blessed and thankful.
There is so much that is being done now in terms of research into the disease, which is wonderful. But there’s still so much more we need to do to find a cure.
I urge you to be vigilant and proactive about self-breast checks each month, annual mammograms and having a healthy lifestyle – good eating habits, low alcohol consumption and have an active lifestyle, all of which have been shown to have an impact on preventing this disease.
We can also be supportive of those stricken with the disease, helping where needed and also when not necessarily wanted. Sometimes it’s difficult for busy, active women to seek help or assistance – even when undergoing surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Women are not accustomed to seeking help, but by being supporting and helpful we can allow them to focus on themselves and their health. It also helps them do battle with the disease one-on-one without worrying about what’s for dinner, who’s picking the kids up from school or how they are going to get the laundry done or groceries purchased.
We can also be supportive of the American Cancer Society, the preeminent cancer organization that truly has a mission to lower cancer rates and reduce cases. Their sole mission to eradicate cancer has been going strong for more than 100 years. They are the reason we have more survivors than ever before.
Why do I share my story of survival? Simple – it’s to give others hope of survival, to know how well I’m doing and going strong. I attribute my good health to healthy eating, staying active and being positive. I am 84 years young, and I have so much to do. I used to say I would retire at 90, then I pushed it back to 100…perhaps I will have to push it back again.