Eleven years ago this coming Monday, I woke up groggy from surgery. Staring up into John’s face he looked funny to me; not funny ha-ha, but funny weird. His eyes reflected something different, a sadness I couldn’t quite comprehend. “We don’t have a problem, right?” I stated more than I asked. “Yes, we do” he answered. That was exactly how my journey with breast cancer began.
It doesn’t really matter if you’re a printer, a journalist, accountant or teacher, cancer is indiscriminate my doctor told me. It didn’t matter that I took care of myself, ate well and exercised often. I don’t have a history of breast cancer anywhere in my family. So, when I woke up that morning years ago I felt sucker-punched. Cancer…really?
In our office right now there are four of us. Four survivors out of the 14 women who work here. Higher than the 1 in 8 ratio normally referenced in breast cancer statistics. Many of us will participate in the local Komen Race For The Cure to raise money for research and to honor those we love who currently battle, or those we’ve lost to the disease.
Since that day, September 30th has become my day of reflection. Then, the next day, and for the entire month of October, or breast cancer awareness month, I’ll represent my fight. I’ll wear my pin and my bracelet that serves to remind everyone that this is the month to be aware, and perhaps to consider donating.
I’ve written before about Chump Change. Not inferring at all that the money I had tucked away for years in my jewelry box was chump change. But, more that I was a chump for not realizing what I had. How many of us might have valuable foreign money…tucked away from trips long ago that might be exchanged and used for donations? Whether you donate to the Komen, or any other good cause, it’s a good thing. Don’t be a chump