For Share Six this month we will be doing our final Disease awareness highlight for 2019.
For all of you ladies, and men, out there, this month is Breast Awareness Month and pink is our color. I have a cousin who was diagnosed and fought to win against breast cancer. Two years ago, a fellow photographer was diagnosed with breast cancer and I followed her journey, prayed for her recovery, and have witnessed an extraordinarily strong woman have to deal with a painful part of her life. Our own Janet Douglas is a breast cancer survivor as well.
Now I will confess to being a bit of an ostrich. If I stick my head in the sand it will go away. Honestly, the less I know the better I feel. That way I do not have to worry about anything. But I know that is not the best way to look at life.
However, if I am worried about it I will definitely do something. I had never had a mammogram. I had heard that they hurt like hell. I was staying away from that lady and the jaws of death… And then I had a pain in an area that I should not have had pain in and so I pulled up the big girl panties and headed off to the gynecologist who automatically sent me off for a mammogram. I sucked it up, only to find that I either had an exceptional radiographer or it was not as bad as I had been led to believe. Turned out I had muscle pain. That was good news but I will be honest and confess that I was a little nervous. I know that I will need to go for another one in the near future. I won’t put it off for too long this time.
Ladies check your breasts regularly. If you are bathing or showering take time to feel for changes in the normal structure of your breasts. Look for a change in the size and shape of your breast. If you have pain in your breast, don’t let it go, get it checked out. If you are not breastfeeding and have nipple discharge, get it checked out. If you find a lump in your breast or under your arm, get it checked out. Be proactive, rather than reactive. The consequences of pushing it aside could be a long and heartbreaking journey, which you may survive or you may not. Don’t let it go. Take a look at the CDC site for more information on breast cancer
While it may be uncommon, Men, you don’t get off Scot free. Like woman, if diagnosed early enough you have a good chance for cure. Watch out for thickening of the breast tissue, or a random lump that is not painful. If you have changes to the skin area of the breast. If it is red, dimpled, puckering or scaling, get it checked out. Discharge or changes to the nipple area, get it checked out. For more information on cancer in men, take a look at this site at the Mayo Clinic
Remember be proactive, rather than reactive. While we have not had breast cancer in our family, my husband has had a melanoma, that spread to the glands under his arms. I knew the fear of being newly married with a husband who now had one of the deadliest cancers I knew of. He survived but it could have gone the other way. My dad was not so lucky. He had pancreas cancer. His time was very short once diagnosed. Don’t leave it. When it is too late, it is definitely too late.
What are some of the risk factors for breast cancer:
Some of the ways that breast cancer is treated:
Some of the side effects of treatment:
Most of my information has been researched on the CDC site
If you are dealing with breast cancer, you have my heart. The journey I followed with my photographer friend, has been up and down, good days and bad days, laughter and tears, sometimes more tears than laughter. She has been strong. She was fighting for her life, for the opportunity to have more years with her husband and her young children. It has not been easy for her, but she has stayed strong, and even on the hard days she has been as positive as she can be.
This month the theme color is pink. I have to confess pink is not my favorite color. Added to that work has been crazy and I did not have time to go out searching for pink. So today I am sharing some of my favorite pink images I have in my files.
This last image speaks to me. While in New York in July ’19, I saw a lady selling photographs which I really loved. However, we were just starting out on our day’s activities and I could not see how I could carry it around, take photographs and not damage the image. Walking along the highline, I happened to look down at the Chelsea Market and spotted this image on the side wall of the Chelsea Market and I fell in love. The artist Kobra did an amazing piece of work not only on the Chelsea Market wall but further along as well. I will confess that there was a street light in the middle of my image which I painstakingly took 5 hours to remove to get the end result of this image.
Mother Theresa, born Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu, in Skopje Macedonia, is one of the women that I admire. Simple, humble and caring, she tried to emulate unconditional love all her life to the women of India. In 1948 Mother Theresa began her missionary work to the poor. She labored in the slums of Calcutta. To be willing to give your all, humbles me. She humbles me.
On a side note, I hope to go to Macedonia next year, to celebrate the marriage (18 months later) of my daughter to her husband Daniel with his family.
Mahatma Ghandi, was born in Gujarat, Western India. He trained to be a lawyer, but when that was not working out so well, he traveled to South Africa to assist an Indian merchant in a law suit. Ghandi stayed in South Africa over 21 years, actually living in a area not far from where I grew up, years before I was born. The house had been memorialized over the years. He was a civil right activist in South Africa. In 1915 he returned to India. In 1948 Ghandi was assassinated on his way to a prayer meeting. If you have not ever watched the movie, check out Ben Kingsley in his role as Ghandi. It was excellent.
In the words of Mother Theresa “Peace begins with a smile“, and that is what I see in both faces in this image. Let us try to spread love with a smile, with all those we come in contact with. Remember to be proactive rather than reactive.
Thank you for joining me for this month’s Share Six blog post. This is a circle blog. From the sneak peak images I have seen, you are going to want to follow the circle. Please take time to visit my friend and very talented artist Janet Douglas and see what she has for you this month. Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month. Don’t forget to leave a little love on their page as well.
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