View Full Version : Evening of Pink Wrap Up
10-18-2007, 12:41 AM
Thanks to all of you who joined my for an Evening of Pink. I had fun and I hope you do!
And thanks to Debb and the Design Team and CT that helped me put this evening together!!!! Amy put a special kit together for us and Donna and Maria helped me out at the chat - thanks, GiGis!!!
Speaking of GiGis (notice how smooth that segue was :D :D :D), if you want to be part of the Pink GiGis, you still can!!!
Would you like to share the love and be a Pink GiGi support Susan G. Komen For The Cure? Join the Pink GiGis Passionately Pink Fundraising Team at: http://www.komendonations.org/site/TR/Events/KomenTR?team_id=70250&pg=team&fr_id=1040
my Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure site in the greater Houston area: http://www.komen-houston.org/site/TR/Race/General?px=1016739&pg=personal&fr_id=1020
Donate $5 to either site, and you will get this wonderful kit from Amy Head:
Please note the name - It was Mary's Inspiration that I came up with the idea for this whole evening!!!
10-18-2007, 12:48 AM
We had two scrapping challenges last night!
One was to scrap how breast cancer, or any other cancer, has impacted your life or the life of one you love. When one person gets cancer, that's not the only person impacted. It has an effect on family and friends as well. You may not go through the pain of the treatment and the invasion of your body, but you suffer nonetheless.
The other was a more fun challenge - to scrap Pink!!! This one can be any subject, just has to be Pink!!!
10-18-2007, 01:01 AM
Now on to some more serious subjects. Some were presented in discussion and some were presented as part of the Bingo games - definitions for terms on the Bingo cards.
But I wanted everyone to know that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. There are several risk factors - including age, obesity, family history, personal history, HRT, smoking and alcohol. Other factors include whether you had children and at what age, if you breastfed or not and the age of menstruation onset. More information can be found at:
There are several types of breast cancer. The most common is ductal carcinoma. If it's confined to the mild ducts, it's known as ductal carcinoma in situ. If it's broken through into the surrounding breast tissue or worse, it's knwon as infiltrating ductal carcinoma. If the tumor forms in the milk glands (or lobules), it's known as lobular carcinoma. And there is a more rare form that's not easily diagnosed, inflammatory breast cancer. Men can get breast cancer - about 3% of the diagnosed breast cancers are in men. For more information, go to: http://cms.komen.org/komen/AboutBreastCancer/BreastFacts/WhatIsBreastCancer?ssSourceNodeId=284&ssSourceSiteId=Komen
We discussed some of the warning signs of breast cancer: thickening of the skin, pain, lumps in the breast, discharge from the nipple, the nipple sunk in or inverted, change in size or shape of the breast, the appearance of orange skin on the breast surface - not an inclusive list. For more information: http://cms.komen.org/komen/AboutBreastCancer/BreastFacts/BreastCancerWarningSigns?ssSourceNodeId=284&ssSourceSiteId=Komen
10-18-2007, 01:05 AM
And finally, what can you do?
First, from about the age of 20 you should be doing self exams or be aware of how your breasts normally feel.
Every 3 years until you reach 40, you should have a clinical breast exam, then once you hit 40, they should be annual.
Once you reach 40, you should have annual mammograms!!!
And yes, I have a website for more information :D http://cms.komen.org/komen/AboutBreastCancer/EarlyDetectionScreening/EDS3-3-1-1?ssSourceNodeId=284&ssSourceSiteId=Komen
10-18-2007, 01:36 AM
Most of you know that I lost my sister, Mary, to breast cancer. Donna asked me to tell Mary's story.
Mary was playing with Audrey in bed one morning - February 1, 2002 to be exact. Audrey pounced on Mary's chest and hit a lump that hurt. Mary said it felt flat and about the size of a quarter - just above the nipple. Fortunately, she was able to get into the doctor that morning and they set her up for a mammogram the following week. Mary was 27 days shy of turning 36 and had never had a mammogram.
When she went in for the mammogram, even knowing she had a lump, they couldn't find it on the mammogram. (Because breast tissue tends to be more dense when you are younger, then become more fatty as you age, this is why they don't recommend mammograms until you are 40 - that and the risk of breast cancer increases with age.) They did an ultrasound and determined the lump was approximately 2x2.2x2.3 cm. She was already scheduled for a needle biopsy that confirmed it was indeed cancerous.
She had the surgery in mid-March. Because of her age and the aggressiveness of cancer (if you are diagnosed with breast cancer, younger is not better - it tends to be more aggressive the younger you are), Mary decided to proceed with a double mastectomy and a TRAM Flap reconstruction at the same time. The TRAM is the abdominal muscle otherwise known as the 6-pack ab muscle. Mary joked she was getting a tummy tuck and boob job at the same time, and wondered if she did sit-ups after the surgery, would she get perkier? OK, Mary was a nut and humor really helped her get through this!
Mom was able to go be with her for the surgery and I traded places with Mom a few days later to be with Mary when she came home from the hospital (my dad was in a nursing home recovering from a brain stem stroke and had a tracheostomy - we didn't leave him alone). Mary came home with 4 drains, one in each breast and one in each hip area. Those had to be flushed several times a day plus she was in a great deal of pain. Remember she had an abdominal incision along with all the incisions from the mastectomy.
After 6 weeks of recovery, Mary begin 8 rounds of chemo. Four rounds were 1 protocol and four rounds a second round. Because her oncologist was caring and stayed on top of her case, Mary didn't suffer too much from actual vomiting but she did have the tiredness and nausea that go along with chemo. Remember, she had a 2 year old at the time. Plus she and my BIL owned their own software company. And on top of all this, right in the middle of chemo, Mary found her dream house - they moved while she was undergoing chemo. And I can tell you, that she worked hard to get the new house in shape. I know this because she worked rings around me when I went to help.
Mary thought because she had the mastectomy, she would be able to forego radiation. But her doctor recommended that since cancer was found in the lymph nodes, she should have the 6 weeks of radiation.
Mary kept her sense of humor through all this and also used her own eperiences as a learning tool. She even blogged her experiences and feelings: www.xanga.com/The_Booby_Files (warning - she is blunt, graphic and to the point and doesn't hold back on her feelings - she does cuss in her story - but it's honest)
We thought she was in the clear - she was getting good check-ups and was even extended to a 6-month recall in the summer of 2003. But in October 2003, she started having pain in her back. She fell off a ladder and injured her back further, but they couldn't really see anything in the x-ray at first. They finally decided that she cracked a vertebra when she fell, but there was something in the blood work that they didn't like so more tests. The reason the vertebra was fragile enough to break was it was being invaded by a tumor. They found tumors in her lungs as well. The cancer was back.
The thing about recurrent breast cancer - the metastatic kind - is that it's a life sentence. They can possibly control it with chemo or other treatments and maybe even stabilize it, but once it recurs in other areas of the body, there is currently no cure. In spite of that, we were hoping she would have several good years. That wasn't to be. She died in May, 2004 at the age of 38. Audrey was 4 1/2 at the time and she matter of factly told me when I got there, "Mommy died."
10-18-2007, 01:37 AM
So now you know why I fight so hard for Breast Cancer Awareness.
Why Do I Choose To Support Susan G. Komen For The Cure?
In 1982, Nancy Brinker made a promise to her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, to find a cure for breast cancer. In 2002, my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. At first, it looked like she had beat the beast and participating in the Race For The Cure was a kind of a lark and an exercise goal for me. What started out being a Sisters’ Weekend, ended up with a 17-person team, Life Is Good. The team spread to 4 cities, as more friends and family jumped on the band wagon. But in November, 2003, it all changed. The cancer was back and back with a vengeance. My sister wanted to beat the disease so that she would be around to watch Audrey grow up – her dream was to embarrass Audrey at her wedding by dancing at Audrey’s wedding. The fight become a lot more personal at that point. And then Mary died. I have continued to raise funds through Komen because of what my sister and mother went through. And the fact that Komen was started based on one sister’s promise to another has really struck a chord in me. My promise to my sister is to do what I can to eradicate this disease so that Audrey never has to suffer what her mother and grandmother have.
10-18-2007, 05:02 PM
Bumping this up!
10-18-2007, 05:07 PM
Maggie, thank you so much for putting all of this together for us. The chat was fun and informational, and I so appreciate your taking the time to post it all here as I couldn't stay for the whole chat. ((hugs))
10-18-2007, 05:31 PM
Wow, Maggie, your family is full of strong women and I am proud to know you. Such a wonderful person your sister was and you were lucky to have one another. Reading Mary's story chokes me up every time. I am so happy that there are women out there like you who fight everyday to help with BC. Thank you for all that you do.
10-18-2007, 08:58 PM
10-18-2007, 09:01 PM
I wasn't able to be there other than the last 45 minutes...but I am so glad you posted all this info. I will be working on my LO's for this, I am a slow scrapper so might take me a few ... ((((hugs))))) to you Maggie and thank you for your work on this...Also to Amy and the others who helped out!!!
10-18-2007, 11:58 PM
Maggie thanks so much for all of the info you provided here for us. I didn't quite make it long enough to hear it all but so glad you posted it. Your story is heartbreaking....(((((((hugs))))))) to you Maggie for being so strong.
10-19-2007, 10:59 PM
Thanks Maggie for all the info. Unfortunately the chat is during my day and work has really been stressful this week. Usually I can work at home a few days but we had meetings this week so I was unable to join you. Just for your info you have gently reminded me to donate and I have donated to the Breast Cancer Institute of Australia, which is our local version I guess.
This also brings back memories for me as I had a friend who died of Breast Cancer a few years ago. It was at her funeral that I made the first committment to make changes in my life which 2 years later bought me to the point where I was able to leave a highly abusive partner after 17 years. Life is strange..
10-19-2007, 11:02 PM
OMG Carolyn! I'm so glad that you were able to get out of that relationship!!! And I truly believe that we have angels watching over us - maybe your friend was your angel. I know that my sister saw my dad before she died, and that brought me so much comfort!
10-20-2007, 12:02 AM
i used all my words in conversation at work and they think i truly am crazy!!
10-20-2007, 01:29 AM
Maggie thanks so much for all the work you did on this. But what I really appreciate is the all the wonderful info that you shared! Thanks
10-20-2007, 02:03 AM
Lindsay - I would have loved to hear that conversation - LOL!!! And did you use all of my definitions??!?!
Nancy - thank you for your kind words.
If I helped one person, then it was worth it - and if I convinced any one to get a mammogram or start BSE's, then it really was worth it!!!!
11-06-2007, 10:46 AM
Maggie you would be proud of me. I have booked for my first mammogram - your voice has been in the back of my mind. The appointment is for July 2008, yes here in Brisbane Australia there is an 8 month waiting list!!! Maybe I should book the next one now also!!! At least it is done....
11-06-2007, 12:53 PM
Yay Carolyn!!!!! And the hospital where I've started doing my mammos does book the next one one year in advance.
Note to self - contact hospital to find out when in December mammo is scheduled for.
11-07-2007, 01:18 PM
I have called to schedule a CBE and talk to them about what my future practices should be. :) Also scheduled my pap for the same time. Oh joy or bliss. I love being a woman. lol
11-07-2007, 01:25 PM
Amy - Good for you! Yes, being a woman is fun, isn't it?!?!? :D
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