Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Facts Don't Lie

While my previous posts have all been on a more personal level, I want to take some time to talk about breast cancer. Since it is the main reason behind my blog, it is necessary that I share the scary, yet real facts about one of the most deadly cancers affecting women.

If everyone took a moment to think, I am almost positive that you know someone who has been affected by breast cancer. I always used to believe that my family and friends were invincible to such a terrible cancer, but I was completely wrong. I have watched a women of only 40 years beat breast cancer, and I have also witnessed a close friend, at the ripe age of 22, go through numerous doctors appointments in order to rule her new found lumps as benign. We may not want to accept it, but it is undeniably real and could affect any of us at any given moment.

Out of all the races, white women hold the greatest risk of getting breast cancer, while African American women are the most likely to die from it. The scariest part about breast cancer, in my opinion, has to be its unpreventable nature. While steps can and should be taken to reduce ones risk, there is no way to be sure that you will be able to avoid such a blind attacker. Even I have fallen short of keeping up with my monthly Breast Self-Exam (BSE), but after discovering these horrific facts I will be sure to make a stronger effort.

1. A woman has a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime.
2. Every three minutes, there is a new diagnosis of invasive breast cancer.
3. Every 13 minutes, a life is lost to breast cancer.

These three statistical facts have truly got the wheels in my head turning and have solidified my fight against breast cancer. It only takes a few minutes to do a BSE each month and those minutes could be the difference between life and death. So for all of those women out there reading this, if you are 20 years of age or older, do a BSE regularly and never be afraid to have a doctor rule out any potential worries you may have. Also, be sure to receive a clinical breast exam (CBE) every three years until you reach the age of 40, in which it then increases to a yearly exam.

The information provided above only scratches the surface of knowledge on breast cancer. More statistics and facts can be found through the AVON website.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Goodbye Summer, Hello Senior Year

Well, Summer has officially come to a close and reality came swooping in... a bit to fast. With the beach no longer at my fingertips and with the nursing books piling up by the minute, it truly is time to get back to work. The lack of internet is also no longer a viable excuse for my severe lack of posts, thus far. Before I am able to accept the turning of the seasons, I believe a proper goodbye to Summer is in order.

This Summer was full of good times shared with great friends. With Emma's (my sister) graduation, the season began in an all out celebration frenzy. Family and friends from all over gathered to congratulate her on all of her hard work.

As the weeks went by, the focus switched from Emma to Tharin who somehow turned sixteen before I could blink. Tharin has been like a little brother to me since the day he was born and his is also the first born child of Melissa White. 

And as fast as Tharin turned sixteen, I turned 21. However, this year I decided to throw a party in honor of Melissa instead of myself. With 21 years of birthday presents under my belt, I decided I could make a sacrifice this year and ask for donations in place of gifts. All together my friends and family donated a grand total of $320.00 towards my walk to end breast cancer. 

Not only was I able to raise money through the party but I also was able to spend quality time with an amazing woman. It is my hope that such memories will continue for many more years. I want to thank all those who have contributed so far and who have helped me reach the 25% mark of my overall fundraising goal. While there is much more work that lies ahead, I want to take a second to remember the amazing moments created and shared over the past four months. 

So here is to the most amazing women in my life, to those who have been with me since birth and to those who will always stand by my side. I am beyond grateful for the strength and knowledge I have gained from these women and hope that come October I can carry a part of each of them with me as I walk towards a cure. 

A special thanks belongs to my wonderful Mother for helping me throw the 'Pink Party' and to all of those who came. And as I have safely made it back down South, a part of me remains with my one and only sister who will have to survive the Winter without me. She is stronger than me though and if I could manage the distance when she first ventured off to college, then I am certain she will be okay... 
but that does NOT mean a visit wouldn't be greatly appreciated. 

Any and all donations will help me continue to climb to that $5,000 mark I hope to reach. If interested donate through my Personal Page on the AVON website.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Let the Celebrations Begin!

August is a big month for celebrating in my family and this year is no different. While today may be my fathers birthday... the royal celebration doesn't truly begin until Wednesday which marks my 21st birthday. And man has it been a long time coming! But to be a bit more selfless, I also recognize August as the birthday month for my Aunt Alice, my grandmother, my cousin Patrick, and many many more.

Although I can be rather witty and sarcastic (not to toot my own horn) with my father, I truly can not believe that he is 58 years old today. He may look young but there is no denying his age. However, when joking around with him over breakfast it really got me thinking about how lucky I am to have two healthy and active parents. Not only am I blessed enough to have both of my parents alive and involved in my life, but I also have a close relationship to several of my extended family members. As I grow older each year, the reality of the world gets heavier and heavier and constantly reminds me how life can change in an instant. While my dad is doing great for his age, his baby sister is currently fighting end stage lung cancer. I could not imagine a worse feeling than to have to watch my sister go through something so horrible and I know it gets to my dad.

I am not writing this post to sadden your day, but instead to remind you to be grateful for each day, each month, and each year you are given. Do not take for granted the time you have with your parents and grandparents and siblings. I have been blessed to have avoided any losses in my close family to date, however I have watched my friends be forced into accepting a void where a loved one once belonged.

So celebrate life this week in honor of those who are not so lucky and enjoy the rest of the week... I surely will!

Happy Birthday to my father, who I may not always see eye to eye with, but who I will always love despite his ever persistent stubbornness. 
Please donate here to help those who are fighting cancer celebrate another birthday