I have a confession: I don't like the color pink. I'm not sure how it got associated with breast cancer, but after all these years of writing, speaking, traveling, raising money, walking for the cause, and attending survivor events, I have come to dread the month of pink. But if it can save one life, then it's all worth it.
One of my author friends was recently diagnosed with breast cancer during the month of pink and she's even pictured in one of these photos. We've shared book signings together and speaking events, but the last thing I ever wanted to have in common with her is breast cancer.
Why is it that we think it can never happen to us? The reality is it happens to one in eight of us at some point in our lives. Unfortunately, I've had to deal with it twice -- once in the States and once in Ecuador. The first time I told everyone. The second time, I kept it a "secret" for almost a year except for close friends and family. Although both times the prognosis was good, it wasn't because of modern technology. Mammograms failed me every time. The reality is that forty percent of women have dense breasts, which makes breast cancer difficult to detect on mammogram. That's almost half of all women. So every year, I spread the message: Know your own body and advocate for yourself. If you have a clean mammogram, but you feel something isn't right -- speak up. Go to as many doctors as you can who will listen to you and request a breast MRI. It just might save your life.
The month of pink is not my favorite month, but being a survivor of 27 years makes me grateful. God has allowed me the privilege of seeing our boys grow up, graduate from college, get married, and have children of their own. In almost three decades I've seen amazing advancements, especially with triple negative and Her2 positive breast cancer. And maybe one day, we won't need the month of pink because breast cancer will be eradicated. That is my hope and prayer!