pink ribbonOctober is breast cancer awareness month.  This month is important to me.  It was the month that my mother was first diagnosed with simple DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) at stage 0 just three years ago.  October was the month her newest doctor, the oncologist, said “don’t worry, we don’t consider this cancer.”  October was also the month that she was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic breast cancer exactly one year after her initial diagnosis of “it isn’t really considered cancer.”

Stage IV is technically terminal. 

It is October again and my mother now has breast cancer cells in her ribs, her spine, her spinal fluid, her brain, adrenal gland, thyroid, and various other places.  She doesn’t have much time left.  It is her illness that made me take stock of my  life and realize that *I* wanted to be in control and not some company, some bill or some house. 

So check your boobs, check them monthly, have your mammograms and most importantly if you are diagnosed with this disease research.  Every day new therapies are approved for earlier and earlier stages of breast cancer leading to longer and longer survival rates. 

Don’t wait for a terminal illness to remind you what is important in life.  Jobs will come and go but your experiences are yours to keep.  Make time in your life for you, for your family, for your friends.  Everything else can wait.

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