Friday, October 05, 2007

Pink Ribbon Month

A few weeks ago I was googling a favorite cookbook author to see if she had any new cookbooks out. This is what I found instead. I about fell off my chair. IBC is the cancer that my mom died from and here my favorite cookbook author had it too! October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. To quote my BFF Kary "Yippee skippy flapper doodles." I have such mixed feelings about BC awareness. On one hand, it is great that so much attention is paid to such an awful disease. We need all the research we can get and the higher the awareness is the more private $$ comes to fight this. On the other hand, it reminds me of all BC has taken from me. I no longer have a mom. I have a great stepmom who I love but she is still not my mom. It hurts to see my friends all drop their kids at Grandma's house for an afternoon so they can do something as selfish as going to the dentist or seeing their insurance guy. I was at the mall yesterday at Gymboree redeeming my Gymbucks (what fun that was!) and there were 3 Grandma/Mom/Granddaughter combos shopping. I don't have that fun of Grandma buying stuff for my kids. (Well, my mom was never the spoiling type anyway, but hey. This is my dream.) Linda was 53 when she died. When I was 20, 53 seemed O-L-D. Now at 35, it ain't old. What is also hard is seeing the survivors of BC. While I am happy for them and do not want to sound mean, it is hard to hear their rhetoric about not giving up and having faith that God healed them. My mom didn't give up or lack faith. God choose to take her and I do not know why. I do not want to try to figure out why. If I could understand God, I would be equal to God. I do not wish to serve a God who is as good as me since that would be pointless! So even though I am not a fan of this month's "awareness" I do want people to know what IBC is. So here is my PSA.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer is deadliest and rarest form of BC. The survival rate at 5 years is less than 40%. Most people have never heard of it. It does not present in the typical fashion with a woman discovering a lump. IBC grows in sheets just below the skin. It is also more common in younger women than older women. The first symptom most women notice is what appears to be a mosquito bite and redness on one boob. Often there is swelling and itching. It often mimics the symptoms of mastisis so docs send you home with antibiotics. For more info you can visit the IBC website or watch this video with lots of great info.

Another thing I am doing is helping to support Whymommy by spreading the word about IBC and what it is. She is a fellow mommy blogger with 2 little boys~ages 3 and 9 mos~who was recently diagnosed with IBC. Please check out her blog and leave a note of encouragement.

9 comments:

amanda said...

Jen, my heart breaks for you when I think of what you and Kim have lost. I am so sorry. I agree, it's great to inform others, but it's still so painful, I'm sure. I was at Target today and saw the loads of pink cooking utensils they had on an endcap and thought "those are cute, and I love pink, but if I had gone through breast cancer or lost someone I knew to it, would I want to constantly have these things in my face everytime I cooked?" I'm sorry, Jen. So so sorry...I wish your mom was still here.

Mommy Brain said...

I'm putting footprints in my own carpet in honor of your mom! (Although my carpet is not as clean as Linda's so you can't see them......= ( I'd go make OJ muffins but don't have the recipe!

It was a tough battle that she and you went through...and you guys fought bravely! I'm sorry that the sting is so fresh...and it's not fair!

Dee said...

Jenny, I, too, miss your mom soo much. There are still so many times I want to pick up the phone and share something with her (just like the old days). Cancer sucks! My mom battled BC for 16 years before she lost her battle. She suffered so much, just as Linda did. We love to get the photos out and go down memory lane when our families spent summers at the cottage together. Life changes and sometimes it is hard to except. You have your faith, a great family and a great stepmom.

mommy to an angel said...

I definitely don't get it! Why God heals some and not others, Why God calls some home WAY before their time...but like you said, if we understood it all it wouldn't be the same. I accepted Jesus into my heart at an early age so that I could have eternity in Heaven, it's something we look forward to, but something we definitely want on OUR own time...don't do it too soon God! I'd like to think that your mom and Jesse have met up together on the streets of gold and that she is taking care of him along with many others who have gone before us. I'm so sorry your mom is not here with you today. You have adopted my mom and hopefully your mom has adopted my little angel.

Jenny from Chicago said...

Wow. Great post. Thank you for sharing about your mom. And this didn't sound like a PSA at all even though I did learn something.

i_am_4given said...

I can't imagine the pain that you are going through, because of losing your mom. It is hard to have Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but that is what it is, awareness. I lost a very close childhood friend to breast cancer, I don't know what kind it was, but it attacked her with no mercy. But she was very strong, she never gave up, until the end, when she became very tired. It hurts to see a person, the same age as you, go through this, and you were spared. But I have to think that the ones that were left behind were left to tell the story, and that is what I think your job is.

BC Survivor said...

I know exactly how you feel- you should embrace what you had and learned-it will help you to be a better Christian and take a step back and appreciate the friends and family you have--including in-laws. If you think about it-- kids don't know the difference between 'step' and 'real' grandparents. Breast cancer awareness month is a great thing--it will help reduce the chances your children do not have go thru the same thing you had to. Keep a positive attitude as God would want you to.

Dee said...

What a cutie! Steve says he is a cross between your Dad and Tim

Whymommy said...

I just stopped by to see your latest Wyatt photos (he is SO darling, and just a little younger than my boy), and saw this first. Beautiful post. My heart aches that your mother isn't here fo you and your kids today.

It isn't fair.

Hugs to you, sweetie.