I sometimes feel that breast cancer awareness month is a misnomer. Most of us are aware of breast cancer—painfully so.
For me, breast cancer is something that has been a part of my life since I was a child. My mom’s mother died as a result of breast cancer when I was seven and my mom was diagnosed when I was 13.
My dad’s mother was also diagnosed with breast cancer, but as opposed to my mom and her mom, the diagnosis came after menopause.
I’m sure many of us have similar stories of friends or relatives who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. For those of us who have had a loved one stricken with the disease, it's hard to forget.
I remember my mom saying she felt it was a question of when, not if, she would be diagnosed. It's a fear that runs through our family.
For me, there is no such thing as a month of being unaware of breast cancer.
While a reminder is not necessary for me, I have a soft spot in my heart every time I see those pink ribbon pins on suited NFL announcers during the month of October. When sports teams, businesses and organizations opt to wear pink or donate proceeds to cancer research, it's something I want to cheer for.
For me, October is not about awareness, but about support and solidarity. It means support for people like my mom—who is coming up on 12 years as a cancer survivor. It means support for those who are losing their hair because of radiation and for scared kids worrying about their moms.
It means commitment to putting time and money toward curing a disease that impacts our mothers, sisters, friends and by extension everyone those women touch with their lives.
It means that, at least for the month of October, breast cancer is as much a part of everyone else's lives as it is of mine.
How has breast cancer impacted your life? Share your stories along with mine by leaving a comment.