Cancerversary: a celebration, not of one’s cancer, but of a survivor’s life following a cancer diagnosis.
On June 2nd, I was left shocked and scared when I received the call that the lump I had found in my left breast while nursing my nearly one-year-old daughter was cancer. In three weeks I met with a breast surgeon, an oncologist, a radiologist, and a fertility specialist and then another round of doctors in search of a second opinion. Finally, a plan was drawn out and chemotherapy began in July. After 20 rounds of chemotherapy, I will have a lumpectomy, then undergo radiation, and finally begin hormonal therapy. I share my story not only to make you aware of the disease, but to encourage you to be proactive about early detection. I am 33 years old. I never expected that I would get diagnosed with cancer, let alone be survivor at this age!
October is breast cancer awareness month. The American Cancer Society recommends regular breast self-examinations beginning in your 20s while recommending annual mammograms beginning at age 40. The John Hopkins Medical Center reports that 40% of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump. My daughter, Lia, saved my life. Breastfeeding made me become familiar with the look and feel of my breasts. When I felt the lump, I did not question the change but instead made an appointment with my doctor to have it examined.
If there is anything you take from my story today, take this: know your boobs. Cancer does not discriminate. If you have never examined yourself, do it now.
Fingers crossed and prayers said, my cancerversary on June 2, 2015 will be one filled with life, love, and laughter.
Why Do Something With Kathy?
It is important to recognize the assumptions that accompany cancer - as they can create an environment where those fighting cancer may feel disabled or exploited. The #DoSomethingWithKathy Campaign is an effort to avoid such negative environments by promoting the concept of doing something for Kathy by doing something WITH her. This awareness allows for the growth of the empowerment that cancer instigates and celebration of the inspiration displayed and generated by those who become catalysts for a cure.
With your help, this campaign will educate and raise awareness about breast cancer, and funds to aid the Xiong-Rivera family in medical costs.
Want to Do Something With Kathy?
The #DoSomethingWithKathy campaign allows anyone to give the greatest gift that one can give: support. No matter where you are, or what you're doing, share it with Kathy!
Take a picture, record a video or post a status of anything that you find inspiring, or just plain fun, and use the hashtag #dosomethingwithkathy.
Sometimes just knowing that someone is with you makes all the difference.
social media sites that you can post links to:
email: [email redacted]
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