Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While breast cancer rates are on the decline, it is still the most common cancer among women in the United States. Early detection is key to successful treatment, so it’s important for women of all ages to be familiar with the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.
After overcoming her own health challenges, Karen Sammer became a certified health coach and a WomenHeart Champion Community Educator. She works with people who are struggling with weight management,
sugar addiction, lack of energy, stress and those who want to adopt a healthier lifestyle but don’t know where to start. www.yourpoweryourhealth.com
Did you ever feel like you‘re barely keeping your head above water and no matter how hard you try, you keep falling farther behind? That was me in 2009 just before I found out I had breast cancer.
Cancer will stop you in your tracks. It made me evaluate my life like never before. I had to get off the hamster wheel.
I knew if I wanted to overcome this illness and reduce my risk of recurrence, I had to do something radical. So, I did.
I took control of my health. I lost 135 pounds. I stopped eating food I knew was unhealthy and I practiced self-care like it was my job…because it was.
I had to use the new knowledge I gained so I trained to be a health coach. I now get to help people who have conditions or are at risk for developing conditions we can manage through lifestyle and nutrition changes.
I feel better than I did 30 years ago, and I get to help my clients do the same. And even better…I think I’ve reduced my risk of recurrence with the choices I made and continue to make every day.
Connie is a bestselling author, entrepreneur, and online marketing strategist. She works with newer entrepreneurs on six continents to help them create a business around a lifestyle they love and deserve. Connect with Connie at https://ConnieRagenGreen.com.
The Letter That Had to Be Written... October 8th, 2001
Dear Dr. Weingrad,
I’m not sure if you remember me, but you were my oncologist in October of 1992. Thank you for saving my life. I wasn’t very nice to you at that time because I was angry about the cancer. I apologize and hope you will forgive me.
I want to tell you what I've done with my life since then and to express my gratitude for being alive. I understand now that my life has great value and is a gift not to be squandered. I thank God every day for each breath I take. I’m devoting my life to service to others in a variety of ways.
I went back to my job as a classroom teacher. I’m also a Big Sister to a girl with special needs and last year I was a foster parent to a boy who had been abused. I’ve become an advocate for men and women who are in a situation I know all too well with a diagnosis of cancer. I believe my words have great meaning to them and give them the courage to navigate their journey.
While watching television after the 9/11 attacks a few weeks ago your face came into my mind. With everything that has happened and our futures feeling so uncertain, I wanted to make sure you knew how grateful I am to you, now and forever.
Connie Ragen Green
Has been married to her husband for 20 years and they have a 12 year old son. Courtney worked as a clinical therapist in a variety of settings and enjoys helping others of all ages, races, genders, and backgrounds achieve their desired mental health goals.
At 35 after finding a lump in my breast I was diagnosed with cancer. My sister was simultaneously diagnosed with her second breast cancer. Due to my father passing away in 2007 from cancer, we completed genetic testing. We discovered we had a rare genetic syndrome called Li-Fraumeni Syndrome or LFS. This mutation causes, higher risk of developing cancer over our lifetimes.
I underwent a double mastectomy followed by chemotherapy. I then lived in Houston to complete 6 weeks of radiation at MD Anderson. Unfortunately, my sister passed away in 2017 after fighting multiple cancers and months in and out of the hospital.
Every six months, I head to MD Anderson in Houston to have an MRI. Last January after a routine full body MRI, my medical team informed me of a mass found on my rib cage, so I prepared for thoracic surgery in April 2017. I am excited to say that I did not have another cancer and needed a new implant instead. Medically I was fine, but it has taken me months to decrease my hyper vigilance and decrease my anxiety. I practice yoga, mindfulness, and make sure I always am plugged in with a therapist.
A Reflective Summary
by Trauma Recovery Expert Karen Robinson
I hope you have enjoyed and feel encouraged by my guest bloggers on their perspectives or experiences with breast cancer awareness. I love the diverse stories and the different paths to healing.Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a time to reflect on the progress that has been made in the fight against breast cancer and to remember those who have lost their lives to the disease. It is also a time to celebrate the survivors and to continue to raise awareness about the importance of early detection and treatment.
I would like to take a moment to pay tribute to two special women to me. One is my friend Jan. She is a survivor and a dear friend. We worked together as emergency therapists for a few years and during that time, I became a privileged witness of her recovery story. She is a badass woman I deeply respect and admire. Another dear woman is my mother-in-law Dollie(Tribute to Dollie Caruthers). She extended her life by many years through her faith, changing her food and lifestyle, trying both Western and Eastern medical practices, and because of the love she held for her children and grandchildren. She blessed my life and many ways.
Breast cancer doesn’t discriminate, and we need a community for recovery and deep healing. How can you take action in blessing women impacted now and to prevent women from future impact? Donate to your choice of breast cancer foundations for further research and treatment options.
Another way to make a difference is to gift a scholarship to a friend or family member in one of Dr. Amba’s program. Please contact her directly for this opportunity. https://www.sitwellness.com