In October We Think Pink

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Nurses don their themed medical uniforms, pink ribbons make an appearance in every mall, grocery store, and car dealership, and we get to use phrases like, ‘Think pink,’ and, ‘Save the ta-tas.’ But what is Breast Cancer Awareness Month really about? It’s an annual campaign organized by major breast cancer charities geared at raising awareness of breast cancer risks, encouraging screening and early detection, and ensuring that those diagnosed are fully aware of all available treatment options. Of course, funds are raised for research into the disease’s prevention, cause, diagnosis, treatment, and cure.

Sure, it’s easy to go pink for ‘the cause.’ It’s the thing to do and PINK! Who doesn’t love anything pink?? The numbers, though, are startling. Did you know that 1 in 8 US women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime? That at the start of 2016, studies estimated 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women, along with 40,450 deaths? That there are more than 2.8 million women in the US with a history of breast cancer? Pink or not, this is a disease that requires our awareness. Mothers, daughters, sisters, friends…most of us know someone who’s gone through the hell that is breast cancer. And if you don’t, count your blessings. It’s a roller coaster of emotions; one which the women in the articles below, unfortunately can describe. Click below for the real, the raw and the crazy of it all, and see how each one of these women took their circumstances and made something positive of it.

1. Life With Breast Cancer

Kathy Ellen Kups is a registered nurse from Michigan who is living life with metastatic breast cancer. It doesn’t end there. Her niece survived childhood leukemia, her mother battled both breast and lung cancer, and she and her sister both tested positive for the BRCA-2 gene mutation. If all that weren’t enough, she lost her father to cancer as well. She chronicles her story for us and we gt to see the ins and outs of life with breast cancer.

2. After Chemo, Can I Still Have a Bad Hair Day?

Andrea Hutton, a graduate of Duke University and interior designer, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 at the age of 41. She is now 5 years cancer free and is a critically acclaimed author (of Bald is Better With Earrings: A Survivor’s Guide to Getting Through Breast Cancer) and speaker who is on a mission to empower and educate women on how to take charge of their health.

3. ‘Beauty Pearls’ Help Women Get Through Chemotherapy

Marybeth Maida received ‘the news’ in 2004, at the age of 43. While undergoing bilateral lumpectomies, 6 months of chemo, a preventive double mastectomy and reconstructive breast surgery, she promised to write a book to help women deal with the awful side effects of chemotherapy. Her book, Beauty Pearls for Chemo Girls covers all things makeup, skin, wigs, and emotional stamina.

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