Normally, this time of the year is decorated with brilliant reds, yellows, oranges, and of course, that really gorgeous shade of gold that simply says fall has arrived.
This month, you may have noticed a distinct new color theme – pink!
The month of October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and even my ten-year-old brother was decked out in a t-shirt for “pink out day” at his school to help raise awareness of breast cancer in his community.
The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 230,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 64,000 cases of early stage breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2012.
Almost 40,000 women will die from breast cancer. Many others will survive. If you listen, you’ll hear their stories everywhere -- almost 3 million of them.
Following a banner of pink, we call these gallant ladies survivors for a reason. Don’t be fooled by the little pink ribbons – breast cancer survivors are tough, tenacious, determined, and possess a courage that is truly humbling.
This terrible disease isn’t for the faint of heart. Breast cancer takes a toll on the family -– just ask my girlfriend Connie who’s lost three sisters to breast cancer. There are holes in this close knit family that will never heal.
Breast cancer takes a toll on the body. Ask any woman who’s lost all her hair and lived bone-weary sick from the effects of chemo.
Ask my friend Joan whose breast cancer had already spread to the bones by the time they found it. Radiation has left her body looking like someone boiled her in hot oil.
I wept -– she just smiled and said it wasn’t that bad. She views it as a minor, temporary inconvenience because she’s alive.
Unfortunately, breast cancer also takes a toll on the heart. The very drugs that offer the cure and hope for a healthy future, may leave the heart weakened and susceptible to heart failure or cardiomyopathy.