October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month #health
I am no stranger to breast cancer. Although I have personally never had cancer of any kind, there are several types that resonate with me because of my connection to individuals that have/had cancer and my risk level. As a black woman, my risk for breast cancer is lower than that of white women, however, mortality rates among black women are higher. There are a number of reasons for this - a major one is that many of us simply don’t have mammograms. For many this is a result of a lack of health insurance but even with health insurance only 71% of us get a mammogram. Sadly, I count myself among this number.
I was initially told to get a baseline mammogram when I was 35, I didn’t do it. I had health insurance but I always put it off for some reason or another. As a matter of fact, I put it off for years! I’d leave my gyn’s office with prescription in hand and still didn’t set an appointment. I finally buckled down and had my first mammogram last year. Reflecting on this I can only believe that I let fear hold me back. I didn’t want any bad news. I am well educated about breast cancer, I’ve lived with someone who battled it, my “aunt” dies from it, one of my closest friend is in remission, and the mothers of two of my best friends both battled the disease and unfortunately one did not make it.
This is why I try to remind my friends about the importance of mammograms because early detection can save lives! I post about my annual mammogram on social media, I participate on the Susan G. Koman blogger panel and I always post about breast cancer in October. Help yourselves ladies and have a mammogram done!
I was happy to receive this gift from Susan G. Koman, it is a limited edition Lokai bracelet. The black bead holds mud from the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth. The white bead holds water from Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Reminders of our lowest and highest points and the creator of Lokai says this is a reminder of keeping our lives in balance. This bracelet arrived when I was at a low point and served as a reminder that even in the darkness there can be light. This is a wonderful gift for those in treatment, in remission or simply anyone who can relate to the message - EVERYONE!
I celebrate the lives of my loved ones who have battled, are currently battling or have lost their lives to breast cancer. It is my hope that by spreading the word, I can encourage you to love on yourself and have a mammogram done - and tell others!