As most of us know, October is breast cancer awareness month. Since 1985, corporations have been championing this cause, making it hard to miss the pink ribbons everywhere in October.
For me, this year is different. I am one of the 1 in 8 women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Per breastcancer.org, "Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2021, it's estimated that about 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers."
I've been undergoing treatment since September but as with most cancer diagnoses, it will be a long road ahead. As I've been going through my own journey, I've learned a lot. I never knew how many different types of breast cancer there are (I have two of them!). And the effects of the treatment can be brutal but very different person to person. I also never realized just how many people I know who had cancer, not to mention all of the people around them who are directly effected. And did you know that mosquitos won't bite you if you have cancer (they can smell it)?
My daughter gave me a faux-hawk before I lost all my hair from chemo.
Ironically, one of the hardest things emotionally about cancer is losing your hair (ironic for me as I'm a haircare founder). That can be one of the most unsettling moments of cancer -- as you look in the mirror and see a cancer patient, not yourself. It's hard to face your own mortality but it makes you want to really enjoy your life while you're in good health. That's why it's so important to be focused on self-care, not just when you're not well, but as a year-round priority. I'm thankful that my own products (MASAMI & Isle de Nature) are made to be good for you and good for the environment.
So, this October, let's celebrate all that we have to be hopeful for. First, there are the 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S., thanks to some amazing new cancer treatments and progress in immunology, with more on the horizon. We are able to spend time with our friends and family. And reconnect with people we've lost touch with. Early detection continues to be key to survival, so don't put it off -- get your boobs checked TODAY!
Cover image by Angiola Harry Unsplash