Martine, in reading your story below we can hand on heart say we stand with you! Early detection is essential, and as women and men, it is in our best interest to do everything possible to look for the signs and take action.
Whilst we might not be able to physically and emotionally grasp what these past eight years have been like, we love and honour your story and THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for sharing this with the BH fam!! You are BRAVE, you are BEAUTIFUL and you are STRONG!!
Like everyone else, I was shocked when I received my initial diagnosis.
No risk factors, no family history, non-smoker, non-drinker, not overweight, regular exercise and what I considered a healthy diet.
Then my chosen breast surgeon said, “There are only two risk factors for breast cancer, female and over fifty”.
I was just turning fifty and definitely female. Less than 12 months after a mammogram and more than a year before I was scheduled for my next appointment, I thought I could feel a tiny lump which I fortunately decided needed further investigation.
So, began my now eight year journey through my sometimes terrifying, painful, worrying, unknown, nauseated but ultimately successful trip.
I cannot underestimate the strength giving support, concern, love and help I received from my husband, children, grandchildren, family and friends during this unimaginable time. I truly believe this support was a vital and immeasurable part of both my physical and emotional treatment.
There are so many times I have seen stories of how uncomfortable a mammogram or even a physical exam can be, but speaking from experience, that minor discomfort can never begin to compare to the physical, mental and emotional pain and trauma of actual breast cancer, both for the patient, the families and those close to you.
My greatest wish during this awareness month is that this campaign highlights the importance of early detection. Regular mammograms are vital but the detection process doesn’t end there. Regular self and doctor physical examination, and the insistence of further test such as ultrasound if there is anything suspicious are what you must insist on for your own health. Too often, I’ve listened in tears to the stories of young women who have been given poor advice or worse still been miss diagnosed by well-meaning doctors, and I do believe you have every right to insist on the best form of diagnostics and treatment. We live in one of the greatest countries there is with some of the best medical facilities available, and it is your right to insist that you receive the best.
During these past eight years, I have endure eight surgeries, with possibly one or two to go, six months of chemotherapy, six weeks of daily radiation and all the trauma associated with this, and my wish is that through regular and thorough screening you can be spared the same.
In the very early stages of my treatment, my surgeon said to me that her earnest wish was that by the time she reaches the end of her career, she hopes that the need for her as a surgeon no longer exists. The only way for this to become a reality, is for all women (and men) to be vigilant with their early detection regime.
The stunning Marine wears the Pink Flamingo Tee.
Throughout the month of October 2020, we are donating $1 from every sale to The National Breast Cancer Foundation and their fight to reach #ZeroBy23.