It is the month of October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Today’s blog is dedicated to the women warriors who have battled breast cancer.
I have met many of these women over the years, so I know how prevalent breast cancer is, particularly with older women. Statistically, about 182,000 women get breast cancer each year, about 46,000 of whom die from the disease–about 1/4th of women.
The photo is of Theresa, a survivor going on her second year. She is a very special lady; and I salute her!
Only about 5 percent of breast cancers occur in women under age 40.
About 25 percent occur in women under age 50. About 1 in 40 women die from breast cancer before age 75.
Here are some links for information, or to make a donation. Make sure you check out the Army of Women. org. This is a site where you can sign up to be a study participant (depending on the area the study is in).http://www.cancer.org/
I enclose a poem from my book Water Running Downhill, which is a tribute to women with breast cancer.
What is a breast?
It is, by design, in its simplest form
A source of nourishment
A literal ‘fountain of youth’
A breast is an ornament
Of the flesh, ascetically varied
Rounded, pillowed, or arched-
An achingly, beautiful sculpture of nature
A breast is a haven
For comforting small humans
Or sheltering family or friends
With arms and bodies enfolded tightly, as in prayer
A breast can also give or receive
Pleasure, with our partners
As active participants
In the mating dance of life
A breast is the epitome, of the heart
Of womankind- with our breasts
We nurture, comfort, and love
That is why we hold them so dear
Through breast cancer, women may
Lose these deeply personal pieces
Of their flesh, that share so much
And give succor to life
But, we must remember that
Women are the origin of strength
In this world, and with or
Without breasts, we are the same!
We will still nurture,
We will still comfort,
And we will still love!
We will do this, by design
By Joan Ellen Gage
(Dedicated to Tina and to all of her sisters)