In October in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness I will post a daily blog with a reflection about breast cancer. The reflections will stem from something in the play. (All quoted lines are text from the play.)
Day 6: Audiences are sometimes taken aback at how quickly I in the play, The Actual Dance, I turn negative, assuming the worst. The line is: “The Doctors words. They are strange. A new vocabulary that I don’t understand immediately though their import is clear to me.” Once the doctor lays out the details of the results of the biopsy, my line is “I now know what these words mean. … The outcome is inevitable.” I was referring to my expectation that Susan would not survive this disease. At each step in Susan’s breast cancer journey I became more and more certain that things are going to turn out badly. Perhaps I was too “Aware”, aware of the fact that Susan’s mother had died of metastasized breast cancer at the age of 56. Susan was 54 at the time of her diagnosis. Although my mother was older when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she died from a metastasis 7 years after her diagnosis. My only experience with breast cancer was that it was a killer. We have a daughter and now three granddaughters. Awareness of the risk of Breast Cancer is a year-long process, NOT just in October. Family history in particular needs to dictate the level of daily Awareness – checking and testing.
Stat of the Day: According to the most recent Government data, it is estimated that those in 2015 diagnosed with Stage 0 and Stage one Breast cancer 100% will survive 5 years. Today 93% of women diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer survive 5 years or more! The statistic for those whose cancer is chemically more resistant to treatment often called “triple negative” is 72%.
Task of the Day: Check out your family history. It is critical to be able to tall a doctor if someone in your family has also had breast cancer. Be Aware of family medical history. Create a book or log in a place where you know you can find it. Or create a computer file and save it “the cloud.”
Resource of the Day: Check out AARP’s health resources including their own “Health Vault” for a personal medical record.