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It’s Still a Pink Month…some history October 25, 2009

Posted by Admin in Cancer, Women.
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Six more days of Breast Cancer Awareness Month! The first time I had cancer, there were no pink ribbons,

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Danskin triathlons, no tamoxifen or test for the breast cancer gene mutations, no Race for the Cure, no Susan Love books; the Susan G. Komen Foundation had been established, but I didn’t know about it.  No internet either.

No Save Second Base or the site I found last week-Save the TaTa’s!

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How did I do my research back then?

  • I went one of our fine local independent bookstores and found three books. Two of which I remember. One was called  First, You Cry (accurate, but not such a motivating title) published originally in 1975! The other one was a rather dry tome on plastic surgery options.
  • I opted for a lumpectomy, still not done a lot at that time.
  • My surgeon was five months pregnant. (check your mental image of a surgeon here-this surgery changed mine!)
  • I called 1-800-4 Cancer and spoke to someone in my area who let me know about current research.
  • I also recall a program called Reach to Recovery that sent a volunteer to my house post-surgery to help me with exercises to get the reach back in my arm after the axillary node dissection.

No one was really recommending exercise for cancer patients then, but crawling my arm up the wall gradually as my surgical sites healed was vital to recovering full use of my arm and feeling ‘normal’ again. Today, I urge people to check out the LIVESTRONG™ program , which is found at YMCA’s across the country. I attended my local Y’s “Exercise and Thrive” program as a 20 year plus survivor and found it quite motivating.

A First Lady Who Had Cancer in 1974

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The First Lady Then (later diagnosed in 1987)

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The First Lady Now (FLOTUS) Celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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