Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Polly's A-Breast...

Does anyone remember the post I did on breast cancer a while back? Well, just to cap things off my friend Jean did one last week on much the same topic. In her post she tells us about two women who intend to run 60 Miles or Bust ...

If anyone's interested in completing this challenge in the Dallas Breast Cancer 3 Day Walker; just click on the picture to go to the registration site.

Well of course I clicked on the link, and then another link, and well, you know, it's the age old story; one thing led to another and the rest is pretty interesting and amusing. As I was surfing I came across Squad 81 who quite frankly are all as mad as hatter's . If you don't believe me check out their video and website; they appear to be part of the advertising campaign for Company 81 menswear who have sponsored 60 Miles or Bust.

To return to my own blog posts on this subject I revisited Two Tits And A Vote this morning, just to see how the story finished up.
Ultimately Alison; the girl whose breast got the whole thing going in the first place DID eventually get her ultrasound.

It is rather more than unfortunate that it took months of calls, blogging, radio interviews, petitioning, etc to get her that far. Thankfully; after all that anguish it all turned out well enough: she hasn't got the BIG C.

To my knowledge we, in the Midlands of Ireland still do not have any breast care facilities available to us locally; making it necessary to travel long distances to attend already over subscribed facilities in Dublin.

A huge round of applause is well over due for Sabrina Dent who activated in the form of the Two Tits And A Vote Campaign; we'll all have to hope that it achieved something for Irish breasts in general. Let's face it, most of us have them and these day's most of us know of at least one person whose breasts have been devastated by cancer...

My own story is quite simple. As a very much younger woman; working in an operating theatre with breast surgeons, I discovered a blue vein on my Right breast. Knowing that this can be one of the first signs of trouble; cancer's generally have an increased blood supply to their surrounding tissues, I performed a self examination.

To my horror I discovered a hard, pea sized lump and worried about it. One very sunny afternoon weeks and weeks later; lying under the sun on a grassy bank a friend of mine; who happened to be a clinical psychologist persuaded me to visit one of my surgical colleagues for a consultation.

For an educated woman, I sure was stupid! By allowing myself to be paralyzed by fear and the hope that it would resolve itself spontaneously; I had allowed the possibility of cancer to take hold of my mind and body. During the intervening weeks of silent anguish, my 'cancer' could and probably would have killed me.

Thankfully I was one of the lucky one's, and I thank God regularly for that! My lump turned out to be a cyst; nothing more than a harmless fluid filled bag of tissue which eventually disappeared once I fed my boys for a total of three years, between them. Upon my most recent examination all evidence of this little blue nasty seems to have disappeared; leaving me with a clean bill of health.

Meet a lady whose story couldn't be more different from Alison's or my own; that is Susan Reynolds who tells us her story in detail in her Boobs On Ice blog. Unlike so many of the women in this area; ie the Midlands Region of the Health Service Executive; Susan diagnosed and operated upon in a total of 9 days following her initial self examination. While the future remains bleak regardless; due to the type of cancer she has, her attitude and determination remain resolute.

Which ever way you look at it; it is a sobering thought. The only advice I would give to anyone unfortunate enough to have to face this situation is a) check the girls out on a regular basis and b) don't sit and wait, like I did because it won't go away all by itself unless you are exceptionally lucky.

For advice on self examination and breast cancer generally; there is a wealth of information available at the tip of your finger tips, don't let ignorance be the death of you and check 'em out!
OR ELSE...........

Polly Peirce
Purveyor of Fine Hand-made Irish Greeting Cards & Wedding Stationary


Jean said...

Thanks again for the link but thanks more importantly for picking up the Breast Cancer subject. I think these two girls are amazing!

Polly Peirce said...

I only wish I had the energy to follow their good example!