Wednesday, October 21, 2009

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH - Day 3

Today, I'll be featuring 3 cancer survivors. The first two are women whose blogs I read... Tracy Kudrna (Breast Cancer & Me) and Debby Hornburg (Life's Funny Like That). Congratulations on being survivors, ladies!

The third is my good friend, Janie Squire. Yes, she is a former Incredible Woman (actually, she's still incredible - I'm talking about her feature in our first week of this blog!). She helped me so much through my fight with breast cancer - just wanted to honor her again.

TRACY'S INTERVIEW:

KARA: "What is the most important things that you've learned while going through breast cancer?"
TRACY: "The most important thing that I have learned is that the world is a broader place than I ever thought. My friendships, outlook and experiences have broadened since being diagnosed. I have met so many incredible women who have reached out to me or I have reached out to because we share the same experience. It opened my eyes to the strength, determination, graciousness and kindness of people in a way that I never expected."

KARA: "How has it changed you as a person?"
TRACY: "Breast cancer changed my priorities and perspective. I do not get stressed about things that don't matter anymore like traffic or work politics. I realized that the most important thing in my life is my relationships. My friends, my family, my community, other survivors and my relationship with my self. We can get through anything if we have each other."

KARA: "Because it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, can you give the women who read this blog some advice about breast cancer?"
TRACY: "The best advice I can give someone who is diagnosed with breast cancer is to be their own advocate. Do research, get different opinions, ask for help when you need it and question your treatment options. No one knows what the best course of action for you is better than you. Take every possible action you can to know that you are fighting with all of your might."

DEBBY'S INTERVIEW:

KARA: "What is the most important things that you've learned while going through breast cancer?"

DEBBY: "Probably the biggest thing that I learned while going through breast cancer was this one thing...I was always kind of the aloof person who never felt she had much to offer, or that she fit in especially well. I was always there to help others. When I got cancer, for the first time in my life, I realized that I was loved, really loved, by others. I was embarrassed by the outpouring. Meals, and gifts, and cards. Everyone wanted to help. I learned that it is just as faith growing to be ministered to as it is to minister to others."

KARA: "How has it changed you as a person?"
DEBBY: "I love better. I can show my feelings better. And I'm also more conscious about what constitutes a good life. I really find myself prioritizing things, living life more attentively, as foolish as that sounds. I pay attention to things, and I notice the small stuff, the things that make life full and rich, and I am grateful to God for that."

KARA: "Because it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, can you give the women who read this blog some advice about breast cancer?"

DEBBY: "I am the poster child for early detection. Truly. My first mammogram was the diagnostic mammogram after I found the lump. I've always been a physically strong and healthy person. I took things for granted. There was no direct family history of breast cancer. I simply put my head in the sand and ignored everything. I was an idiot! And speaking of idiots, I've gotta say, one thing that I DETEST is hearing some women carry on about how excruciatingly painful mammograms are. I'm going to sound very unsympathetic here, and I apologize in advance, but really. SHUT UP. Number one: You've got no business deterring other women from having the procedure done. Number two: It's a lot less painful than being sliced and diced, and chemo'd and radiated. Get the test done. It's quick. It's uncomfortable, but it has a beginning and an end, and really the two points are not that far a part. Make that appointment today."

JANIE'S INTERVIEW:

KARA: "What is the most important things that you've learned while going through breast cancer?"
JANIE: "Most important thing that I've learned going through breast cancer is that it can happen to anyone. No one is immune. We cannot assume that it will not happen to us because it "doesn't run in the family" or "I'm too young" etc. We cannot
take things for granted."

KARA: "How has is changed you as a person?"
JANIE: "Going through this experience has taught me to be of service to those around me. It has instilled a desire in me to make a difference in people's lives.
There is so much we can be doing for others! We need to take a look around! When one goes through trials, priorities change. We learn what is important in life. To me, that is my family. I love my family. I treasure the time that I have with them and want to continue creating memories with them. So I will continue to be diligent in my breast cancer screenings!!"

KARA: "Because it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, can you give the women who read this blog some advice about breast cancer?"

JANIE: "My advice for women is to go get that mammogram! Yes, it is embarrassing, a little painful, etc... BUT it is not as bad as surgery, chemo and radiation. Early detection saves lives. There has been tremendous advances in the treatment of breast cancer and early detection is the key. Please get checked. If there is any doubt in the results, get a second opinion. Demand an MRI. Do what it takes to save your life. Listen to your heart. If you feel that something is not right, follow through with those promptings."

I love talking to cancer survivors - they are so inspiring!!! Join us tomorrow to meet 2 more cancer survivors and another one of my nurses.

1 comments:

BUSH BABE said...

What a lovely site... just stumbled on it while surfing. You have featured a great woman in my friend Debby... tellin' it like it is!
:-)
BB

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