Did I get your attention with the word boobies? Good. We all need a reminder once and awhile. One thing that happens to all of us when we are busy is we forget to do things like… go to your daughter’s open house (yep I missed this one), pay the AMEX bill (yep this too), tell your husband the IRS agents visit was rescheduled (guilty) and other things that can be life changing like feeling your boobies.
I had planned to write about Breast Cancer for so many reasons. September always reminds me of pink ribbons, lost friends and the strong support of the sisterhood. And as I sat down to write this story I realized something. I could not remember the last time I felt my boobies! How did that happen? How could I have forgotten this little act of self love and I mean that in the most non-sexual way people although there is nothing wrong with having your partner help feel you boobies. In fact I think the more hands the better, I digress. We’re talking about early detection that may save your life and don’t try to convince yourself that it can not happen to you. All sorts of people are diagnosed with breast cancer. It has no bias and shows no leniency for the young, healthy and fit.
For example the founder of feelyourboobies.com Leigh Hurst was a runner and a triathlete with no history of breast cancer in her family yet she was diagnosed with stage 1. Through her own personal battle again breast cancer she launched a campaign reminding young women the importance of “feeling your boobies”.
“As a young survivor myself, ‘feeling my boobies’ is the whole reason I was diagnosed at age 33. In addition, we are a non-profit with 100% of our profits go back into our campaign to help us continue sending the “feel your boobies” reminder to young women.” – Leigh
Another women I knew was also at the top of her game and incredibly healthy was Ronne.
cue: grabbing a box of Kleenex because this part…. well it’s super hard for me to write about.
You remember last month when I wrote that post about finding out I was pregnant with my now 4 yr old and all the wonderful support I had through the sisterhood on the Ovusoft forums? Within that group was a very special woman and her name was Ronne Landi Shomo. Deep breath. Ronne passed away when she was only 39 years old. Her daughter wasn’t even 2 yet. Towards the end of Ronne’s pregnancy she noticed that one breast was considerably larger than the other. Ultrasounds revealed a small tumor but the doctors assured her that this was common as her breasts were preparing to lactate. They aspirated the tumor and told her there were no cancer cells present. She gave birth to her daughter in December of 2003 and the tumor had grown considerably since her last biopsy. A few tests later would reveal that is was actually malignant. I can remember the day she told our little close knit group. Of course we were all stunned, shocked, saddened and speechless. Of all people to get breast cancer this was surreal. Ronne was the healthiest woman I knew. She ate virtually no refined food, hardly any carbs or sugar and had guns the size of a professional body builder.
And she was so smart, so funny and always told you exactly the way things were, no candy coating. I would call her up frequently just to get her take on my life, she knew about my painful yearning to have another baby and the struggle to be a full time working mom. She would never allow me to wallow in self pity, showing weakness was not her thing.
I miss her all the time.
Every butterfly and hummingbird that crosses my path makes me wonder if she’s still here.
Ronne was the first person I knew who had a blog it was called the butterfly: metamorph the journey back. Inspired by her desire to share and connect with people Ronne wrote about being in the company of woman, lessons in cancer and my favorite topic she called time suckers (know any?). In fact it was Ronne who encouraged me to start my first blog the preggo modchik. I don’t think she was able to read it as often as she could because as my pregnancy progressed so did her cancer. By this time it had spread to her lungs, spine and eventually her brain. A few days before Ronne left us I was given a precious gift. I was granted time to spend with her alone in her hospice room. If you have ever spent time with a person who is approaching that moment where death is only days or hours away then you know what I mean by using the word to describe this time as a gift. The words are hard to find to describe what its like to hold someones hand who looks at you and says I am not ready. In the reflections of her eyes I could see my own mortality that there was a beginning a middle and now definitely an end. What I did in the middle was my choice. I could spend it with time suckers or surround myself with people that mattered people like Ronne. The only thing that gave her comfort that day was placing her hands on my slightly swollen belly. I was two weeks away from having my amniocentesis but she told me she didn’t care she knew I was having a girl. Two weeks later I found out she was right but now it was too late to tell her.
Ever since her diagnosis I vowed to do something each year to honor Ronne. It started with joining Susan G Komen’s Race For The Cure. I walk the race each year for her and for the family she was forced to leave behind. It is amazing to be surrounded by so many women, families and survivors! Its always a heart wrenching experience but it lifts me up just knowing that we are doing something to help prevent another women from losing their battle to breast cancer.
If you want to join in walk in your area or join me this Sunday you have one last chance to register if you do it by 4pm today click here. If you don’t want to get up early may I suggest Sleeping in for The Cure? Yep you can do that or heck I’ll walk for you just make a donation on my Race page here.
I want everyone to do me a favor and share this story with one person. Come back and tell me about it to be entered to win a Feel Your Boobies t-shirt! Winner can choose their size.*
EDITED TO ANNOUNCE WINNER! – Congrats Adrian! see my comment below yours for your options!
Whatever you do just please promise me that you will do ONE thing.
(and beware of time suckers)
*self hosted giveaway
Feel Your Boobies quote/image used with permission. All rights reserved.