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.