Friday, October 4, 2013

One Piece of Advice

First, I think I may still be in denial that it is already October.  Yikes!  Well, it is October - and that means Breast Cancer Awareness month.  If you watch football; you may have noticed in last night's game that many of the players and referees were wearing pink.  

1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer in their lifetime.  In my family, that was both my grandmother (father's mother - who passed away) and my aunt (father's sister-SURVIVOR).  It is definitely part of my family.  I come from a very large family on both my mother and father's sides.  Fortunately on my mother's side of the family none of the women have been diagnosed.....and fingers crossed that it stays that way.  A few of my good friend's mothers are also survivors.  It is almost impossible to not be impacted by this terrible disease.  

My first friend (who wasn't in my family --- sister or cousin) was Nicole.  She lived a few houses down the street from us and we did everything together.  Nicole was a year older than I was and our little sisters were the same age; so the 4 of us were always together.  If we weren't at their house together - we were at our house.  We were the best of friends........then, we started to drift apart a little when Nicole started high school, because she was a year older than me, she started before me, but we were still friends.  We drifted further apart after high school and then more during college.  But, we would still send each other letters and cards (yes, this was before facebook) and we knew what things were going on in each others lives.  She attended my wedding and I attended hers - but we didn't see each other often.  Once we were both on facebook, we reconnected through that.  Nicole lived about an hour away from me so we weren't able to get together often.  In 2010, Nicole was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and she fought it with everything she had.  Unfortunately, the cancer spread and in November last year, she passed away.  We are coming up on the 1-year anniversary of her death, and it serves as another reminder to me.  She was my very first childhood friend.  This is a terrible disease and it takes away our family and friends.  

Nicole's sister recently added an old picture to facebook which made me think of her and of breast cancer awareness.  Please, if you do nothing else today, this weekend or even this month - PLEASE take a few minutes and do your monthly self-exam.  

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