As everyone puts away the pink ribbons for another year, I can’t help but reflect upon what this special month means to me. I know that many can’t wait for it to be over because of a personal view that is anything but positive. But, over the years I have actually become a fan of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it is not because of the fanfare and all of the wearing of the pink wherever one looks. But, let me explain how this came about.
So as you put Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the rear view mirror, I hope that it has meant more to you than the idea that it is only to raise money and wear pink.Barbara Jacoby
I have been very fortunate in my journey since being diagnosed with breast cancer. I felt very lost and alone and certainly not in any position to know what to do or where to turn for help. Fortunately, my husband understood that I truly loved to write and he felt that the best way to deal with what I was feeling was to write about it. So he made me a promise that if I wrote, he would find a way to share my writings and the Let Life Happen blog site was born. But, it wasn’t until I received an email from a young girl who contacted me because her grandmother had breast cancer that things changed. She didn’t know where to turn or to whom to talk since her family members were all focused on dealing with her grandmother so suddenly there was a whole new purpose for what I might be able to give to others who were dealing with breast cancer in any way.
It wasn’t long until I then realized that there were so many sites/organizations, etc. out there that were created to help and support those in the cancer community and each one had grown out of a perceived need that was not currently being met. But, most people didn’t know about them and even more importantly, how they were being financed. What better way than to used this special month each year to make others aware of all of the resources available to them and to help these organizations to raise funds in order to continue their work!!! And as it turns out, for many of these organizations, this month is when they receive all of the money that they will receive for the entire year so that they know what they can and cannot do until the next BCA Month.
But, there is another huge awareness that has come my way that I realized needed to be shared, not only during October but all year long and that is what is being done with regard to research and clinical trials and resources, etc. on every level. This has afforded me the opportunity to get to know so many wonderful people behind the organizations and companies that are working for all of us. Just think of all of the doctors and hospitals and nonprofits and pharmaceutical companies and universities, etc. that are providing help and assistance and support and treatments and testing for breast cancer. And the most amazing aspect to me is that every single person that I have met on any level within all of these groups is that they chose to help breast cancer patients as their life’s work. Think about the researcher who spends an entire career working on a new cancer treatment only to learn that the treatment may not ever be approved. No one enters this aspect of work unless there is a very special driving force behind them that has a very personal cancer connection.
So as you put Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the rear view mirror, I hope that it has meant more to you than the idea that it is only to raise money and wear pink. I hope that you may have had a glimpse at the very least of all of those whose work is driven by breast cancer as I truly believe that no one gets involved in this “business” who has not been greatly touched by this disease touching the life or lives of those around them so significantly that they found it imperative to make a difference for those affected. And I know that getting to know them and learning their stories will provide all of us with inspiration and gratitude for what they have done and are doing to make this world a better place for all of us in ways that we would never have imagined. Now that is the message of Breast Cancer Awareness Month that I would like for everyone hear!
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.