October is one of my favorite months. The cool air and the amber leaves that make the trees look as if they are on fire in the afternoon sun; it makes for a beautiful scene. We all think about partying and going out for Halloween but there is something bigger going on this month.
This month is breast cancer awareness month.
I sometimes think back on my views of breast cancer just a few years ago. It seemed like there is so much awareness about it that it was almost solved. I thought that maybe this was a disease where it was going to be cured soon. I thought that way and I am sure many others still do but that was until a relative of mine died from breast cancer.
It is a hard reminder of what this month means when you look the disease in the face; the treatment and everything. You understand that this is not only about wearing pink and donating a few dollars; this is about saving your life.
I watched this relative slowly deteriorate. She had a double mastectomy and yet the cancer grew. It had spread faster than they had seen. A year is all it took for breast cancer to take her.
That ribbon represents more than a cause.
According to CDC.org, 40,676 women died from breast cancer in 2009. However, women are not the only ones who can contract breast cancer. Cancer.org estimates that a little over 2,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. this year.
I tell the story of my relative in hopes that it can show how devastating and quick this cancer is. It took her in a year. She was a grandmother, a mother and a friend.
Get tested. The earlier the detection, the better the results. Cancer knows no age.