Im sending off my bras for the "supportive arts" challenge for Cloth Paper Scissors. I was selected as one of the finalists! Im very excited at the possibilities that they may be printed.
But more than that, participating in the challenge gave me some time to reflect. Breast cancer awareness is all around us, but some times I feel like we are so inundated with it, we may not really stop to ponder what this may mean to someone. pink lids on my yogurt, pink ribbons on all my socks, and adds in many magazines. Spending time on this art project gave me time to really reflect on how my life has been altered by Breast Cancer. Both my grandmothers passed from breast cancer. My paternal grandmother died at age 42 from a very aggressive form and my maternal grandmother passed at 70.
As a hospice nurse, I have seen far to many young women, in the prime of there life, die a very painful death. The last Hospice patient I had with breast cancer was a 23 year old woman with a 2 and 5 year old.
I could go on and on about the horrible, sad stories I have personally witnessed, but that's not what I what to focus on. I want to remind all you chickadees to get your mammograms! If you have any history of breast cancer in your family, begin getting annual mammograms much earlier. The American Cancer Society is no longer recommending doing self breast exams. The now say that self breast exams are not effective and give women a false sense of security.
As a Nurse, I continue to teach self breast exams. It may not be effective in detecting lumps, but what it does do, is make you more familiar with how your breast feel and makes it more likely that you will notice small changes like change in size, shape or density. So while you may not detect a lump, you may notice small changes that alert you to something bigger.My grandmother did discover her cancer with a self breast exam. She had her annual mammogram with clear results and 3 months later she found a large lump while preforming a self breast exam. So start feeling your self up girlies!!! You can find more info on early detection here.