four generations Breast Cancer Awareness

Hope….

Hope that my mother and grandmother’s breast cancers never come back…
Hope that someday, somehwhere, somehow that someone finds a preventative cure…
Hope that should I be next in line that I have the courage and the strength to fight
             -Like my Mother
            -Like my Grandmother
            -Like my Friends  
Hope that my daughter never has to fight the fight whether by luck or by science…
             -and if she does, Hope that I have passed along to her the inspiration, courage and strength that my mother and grandmother gave to me.

How Breast Cancer Has Touched My Life

I can’t ever remember not knowing about breast cancer. My grandmother fought it when I was a child, my mother just finished treatment a year ago. My Aunt Jeannie fought hard against breast cancer but she ultimately lost the battle. It’s in our family and I worry for my daughter’s sake that it isn’t going away any time soon. I wrote this just five months ago, 

As many of you know, I’ve talked a lot in the last year about Breast Cancer. I’ll never forget the day out on my parents’ back deck when my Mom said, “I need to talk to you.” My heart skipped, my eyes watered and I just knew what she was going to say. “They found something on my mammogram. But, its probably nothing.” And I knew it was far from nothing, it was breast cancer. I didn’t need the results of a biopsy. I was already convinced. Sadly, I was right. My mom had breast cancer. Like her mom who has been a survivor for years and her aunt who sadly wasn’t as lucky.

She had the biopsy, then the lumpectomy and the weeks of radiation treatments. And, today, about a year later, she is cancer free! Throughout all of this, she was uninsured. In fact, she was diagnosed within weeks of my dad being laid off from his job of over 30 years when the company closed completely unexpectedly. Last year was a rough year for both of them and it broke my heart. But, because of fundraisers like this one not having insurance never meant that mom couldn’t have treatment to become and remain cancer free!

I won’t bring up Obama Care (oops, I just did) but true story- my Dad, a welder for over 30 years at the same company lost his job due to the comany’s bankruptcy. It wasn’t ever expected, the company was a pillar of the community and then it was gone. Less than a week later, my mother finally gave in to her doctor’s request that she have her routine mammogram because she was already high-risk. She decided to go ahead and get the mammogram because her insurance would be ending that month as she was insured through my Dad. Talk about timing- and not so great luck…

BreastCancerStories.org

I’d like to mention one group that was paramount in my mom’s treatment. Through Medicaid she was able to receive her actualy treatments. However, she was forced to travel thousands of miles over the course of her radiation treatments- all associated costs were out-of-pocket with my Dad just recently unemployed. BreastCancerStories.org a NH nonprofit from the Seacoast area, provided my Mother with enough gas cards to cover almost all of her treatment related travel. Without their help we shudder to think of what it would have been like financially for them at that time in addition to the emotional and physical tolls breast cancer was taking on my Mom. 

Breast Cancer Awareness Tattoo

In light of the nasty bitch that breast cancer really is I wanted to write this today to help spread awareness and direct you to some resources for donating, raising awareness and learning more about breast cancer. Last week, I used body art as a way to remind myself daily of the Hope in my heart. I also wrote the poem above about Hope. The new tattoo is pictured in the collage above as well, in the top right. Yup, I’m a tattooed mama! Actually, this is probably one of my smallest tattoos but tops the list of favorites!! Oh, and by the way- my mom got herself this breast cancer awareness tattoo:

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This October, ButeauFull Chaos is proud to participate in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point during her life. After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common kind of cancer in women. The good news is that many women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early.

  • If you are age 40 to 49, talk with your doctor about when to start getting mammograms and how often to get them.
  • Women ages 50 to 74 need mammograms every 2 years. You may choose to start getting mammograms earlier or to get them more often. 
  • Talk to a doctor about your risk for breast cancer, especially if a close family member has had breast or ovarian cancer. Your doctor can help you decide when and how often to get mammograms.

National Breast Cancer Resources

American Cancer SocietyAmerican Cancer Society (ACS) is the nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem … more »www.cancer.org
American College of Obstetricians and GynecologistsAmerican College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), founded in 1951, is the nation’s leading group of professionals providing health care for women. … more »www.acog.org
American College of RadiologyAmerican College of Radiology (ACR) is a major national medical specialty association comprised of radiologists, radiation oncologists, and medical physicists. The College has grown from a group of 20 physicians meeting for the first time in 1923 to a 32,000 member service organization. … 
more » www.acr.org
The American Society of Clinical OncologyThe American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world’s leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. With more than 30,000 members, ASCO is committed to improving cancer care through scientific meetings, educational programs and peer-reviewed journals. … more » www.asco.org
The American Medical Women's AssociationThe American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) is an organization of women physicians, medical students, and other persons dedicated to serving as the unique voice for women’s health and the advancement of women in medicine. … 
more » www.amwa-doc.org
AstraZeneca HealthCare FoundationAstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, established in 1993, is a Delaware not-for-profit corporation and a 501(c)(3) entity organized for charitable purposes, including to promote public awareness of health care issues, to promote public education of medical knowledge, and to support or contribute to charitable and qualified exempt organizations consistent with its charitable purpose. … 
more » www.astrazeneca-us.com/foundation
Cancer CareCancerCare helps individuals and families better cope with and manage the emotional and practical challenges arising from cancer. Our services — for patients, survivors, loved ones, caregivers, and the bereaved — include counseling and support groups, educational publications and workshops, and financial assistance…. more » www.cancercare.org
Men Against Breast CancerMen Against Breast Cancer (MABC), founded in 1999, is the first national non-profit to provide national support services to educate and empower men to be effective care givers, help men cope with the impact of a loved one’s breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, and target and mobilize men to be active participants in the fight to eradicate breast cancer as a life threatening disease. … 
more »www.menagainstbreastcancer.org
 
National Medical AssociationNational Medical Association (NMA), established in 1895, is the largest and oldest professional, educational and scientific organization representing the interests of African American physicians and their patients. … 
more »www.nmanet.org
The Oncology Nursing SocietyThe Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) is a professional organization of more than 35,000 registered nurses and other health care professionals committed to excellence in oncology nursing and to leading the transformation of cancer care by initiating and actively supporting educational, … more » www.ons.org
Prevent Cancer Foundation Prevent Cancer Foundation is a national nonprofit health organization whose mission is the prevention of cancer through scientific research and education. … more » www.preventcancer.org
Susan G. Komen for the Cure®Susan G. Komen for the Cure® is a global leader of the breast cancer movement, having invested more than $1.9 billion since inception in 1982. … 
more » www.komen.org

Additional Resources

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid ServicesCenters for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CMS runs the Medicare program, Medicaid program, and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) … more »www.cms.gov
National Cancer InstituteNational Cancer Institute (NCI), based in Bethesda, MD, is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Federal government’s lead agency for cancer research and education. … more » www.cancer.gov

Are You on Twitter?

Here are som Sample tweets to send:

  • Show you care. Send an e-card with breast cancer prevention and screening info to a loved one: http://1.usa.gov/XQUnj7
  • Q. What is a mammogram? A. A mammogram is an x ray of the breast to check for breast cancer. Find out more: http://1.usa.gov/13uheVg
  • Nervous about getting a mammogram? Watch this short video about mammograms and what to expect: http://1.usa.gov/fKtUB
  • If breast or ovarian cancer runs in your family, talk with your doctor. More: http://1.usa.gov/XuC3NE
  • Did you know? Breast cancer can occur in men. Over 2,000 men are diagnosed each year. More: http://1.usa.gov/HSlf4
  • Worried about cost? Mammograms are covered for women over age 40 under the health care reform law. More: http://1.usa.gov/159zd67

 National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

4 thoughts on “Hope and the Tattooed Mama #BreastCancerAwareness #PinkOctober”
  1. My goodness, your family has gone through so much. Such brave women you are!

    I’ve had cancer in the family, but never in the immediate family- I just cannot fathom how difficult it must be both emotionally and financially.

    It’s really nice to know that there are organizations out there, like BreastCancerStories.org who are there to help.

  2. This is a beautiful post! (And not just because I love your tattoo!! It’s gorgeous! I have a tattoo as well..tattoo’d mamas, unite!)

    Thank you for sharing your story and encouraging others to continue to remain vigilant. I get my regular tests run — it doesn’t run in our family, but you just never know. (I did lose both parents to cancer, but unrelated types.)

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