Think Pink

About five or six years ago I accompanied my mother-in-law to our local hospital for a biopsy a short while after she had discovered a lump in her breast. This wasn't her first test in connection with this so we all had an ominous feeling that it was not going to be good news.

Usually my father in law would have gone with her but for some reason he wasn't able to that day and so, because I felt she had to have someone with her, I had volunteered.
I am ridiculously squeamish so we probably both knew that I wasn't the best person for the job and I probably wasn't any help at was not a pleasant or straightforward procedure and I am not sure who squeezed the most tightly as we held hands that day, brought together not just by family ties but by real fear.

The kind of fear that most of us rarely experience, it's in your throat and your tummy and you can hardly bear to make eye contact because you are trying so hard to hold it all together.
She was a private and contained woman but I am pretty sure she knew what lay ahead of her....

1 in 9 women in Britain will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and it is still the second biggest cause of death from cancer here....

She was diagnosed not long after with breast cancer - this was followed by chemo and radiotherapy and evenutally a lumpectomy.

1 in just under 8 women in the US will be diagnosed with breast cancer & 1 in 35 will die from it
(Sept 2010 figures)

For about two years she was cancer free....but then it came back - it had spread to her liver and spine as well.  It was a terrible, traumatic, heartbreaking time, faced by her with huge courage.....
we finally lost her in November 2007.

I am sure everyone says this but she left a space as a wife, mother, grandmother and friend which we have never managed to fill.
Married for 47 years, my father in law was lost without her - he passed away just 15 months later.

She was a really fantastic mother, selfless and capable, wise and always husband knows how lucky he was to have the gift of such a presence in his life but not a day goes by when he doesn't miss her enormously. We all do.

Seeing someone fighting and eventually losing the battle is something that never really leaves you.
I support Breast Cancer campaigns as much as I can in the hope that one day this terrible disease will be eradicated.
My aunt also died from it last year at the age of only 53...I think about it and I worry for not just myself, but my own daughter, my friends, all the women I know....

Five-year survival rates for breast cancer have improved significantly worldwide over the last 20 years. The most recent figures show around 80 per cent of women diagnosed today will be alive in five years time largely due to increased awareness of breast cancer, the introduction of screening programmes and the successes of breast cancer research, which have led to improved treatments that are now available.

OCTOBER is Breast Cancer Awareness month and October 29 is Wear It Pink Day here in Britain as a reminder of the 125 women who are diagnosed here every day with the disease.

 The Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign began in 1992 and has done amazing work in its aim of "Early Detection.Cure.Prevention".

They state that if breast cancer is detected early then it's 98% curable.

The message from Evelyn Lauder is:

Don't be afraid of Breast Cancer.
Don't be afraid to do breast self-examination or to have a clinical breast exam as part of a regular doctors visit.
Don't be afraid - or wait - to go to your doctor if you find a lump or suspect something.
And please keep spreading the message that early detection and treatment saves lives.

So wear your pink ribbon, donate online, maybe plan a fundraising event....Think Pink!

The Breast Cancer Site

My in-laws Giovanni and Luisa on their wedding day in September 1960....
(we were married at the same church 38 years later!)


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