Tuesday, July 8, 2008

This One's For The Girls

In the morning hours of July 5th, the blogging world lost an incredible voice.

Andrea, A.K.A. "Punk Rock Mommy", passed from this life, after a brave fight with breast cancer.

Today, I paid my daily visit to Whymommy's site, Toddler Planet, and discovered a most wonderful tribute to Andrea... and, in order to help her reach out to as many of you as possible, I am going to re-print the information she offered.

Please, please take a moment to take a careful look at the picture below (click on it to find a link to an enlarged version), and read about the 12 signs of breast cancer. Then, check yourself. Regularly. And remind all those you love how important it is to be your own best advocate for your health. Because knowledge and awareness about this terrible disease, and vigilance about performing a regular, monthly breast self-examination could save your life. If you think you recognize any of these symptoms, please call your doctor.

The signs of breast cancer
can be broken down into 12 basic categories:

1. hardening

2. growing vein

3. redness or hotness

4. skin erosion/rash

5. visible bump

6. puckering or dimpling

7. retracted nipple

8. new asymmetry

9. change in shape or size

10. unusual fluid

11. invisible lump

12. skin that looks like an orange

These signs can happen on the breast or sometimes in the armpit where lymph nodes are located. They are sometimes accompanied by soreness or itching. Soreness and itching itself though is not a sign of breast cancer. And near your period, the breast often changes for a week or two. It’s best to check a few days after your period when your breasts have the best chance of being “normal.”

Please visit the World Wide Breast Cancer Site for more detailed information.

In Andrea's last post, she wrote:

"I learned a lot over the year that I battled this dreaded disease. I learned that it is not in our best interest to hold out expectations to God. He is not Santa Clause. He does what is right and good. This was my path. My journey in this world was difficult and painful but important in my spiritual growth. I learned that we have to be happy despite our circumstances. We can’t say I will be happy when…. No sweeties be happy now because today is all you have.

I learned that all the small stuff is very small and not worth your time and attention. Gossip and resentments,worrying about things that never happen, fearing the unknown. Let it go my lovelies, breath and just be good to each other."

Thank you so much, Andrea, for sharing your life journey with us.

You fought a good fight, and taught us so much.

Rest in peace.


Leeann said...

I am bawling. Geez. What a beautiful person.

mrinz said...

Oh that is so sad. I had never been to her site, what an amazing person she was.

My Mother also died of breast cancer- too soon in life.

shauna said...

It was so sad to read her last post. And her husband's post on her death. It's so difficult to fathom a mother dying before her children, and so heartbreaking.

And I've missed you too!

toddlerplanet said...

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

And don'cha love those lemons? The Mayor is a graduate student who did all that just to help other women! So cool....

Candygirlflies said...

I absolutely LOVE those lemons... They are genius! This illustration will help even the most "sensitive" viewer to understand what to look for, during self-examinations. They add a fun element to a serious subject!

I was quite dismayed last year when the Canadian Cancer Society changed their tune about the importance of doing regular, monthly BSEs... I don't know how on earth women are supposed to become familliar with their own bodies, and be able to recognize any abnormal changes, if they aren't encouraged to check themselves REGULARLY.

Thanks for the heads up on this fantastic site, Susan!

Love to you, as always--

xoxo CGF

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