Oc­to­ber is breast can­cer aware­ness month

The Taos News - - FAVOR Y CONTRA - By Jodi McGin­nis Porter main.ac­sev­ents.org/site/ TR/Mak­ingStridesA­gain­stBreast­Cancer/MSABCCY18SOR?px=41103413&pg=per­sonal&fr_id=89800 Jodi McGin­nis Porter is a na­tive of Taos, was di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer in 2014 and un­der­went a bi­lat­eral mas­tec­tomy

Ev­ery Oc­to­ber I’m re­minded that I am a breast can­cer sur­vivor.

I for­get some­times although it has changed me and other sur­vivors I know phys­i­cally, men­tally and emo­tion­ally for­ever.

That’s why, even though I want to put it all be­hind me, I can’t. Too many peo­ple are still im­pacted by breast can­cer.

I teamed with Avon and the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety to be a force for good Oct. 6 in the Santa Fe Mak­ing Strides Walk. As team leader, for Rock­ers 4 Knock­ers, a funny name about a se­ri­ous cause, I am com­mit­ted to rais­ing aware­ness and funds to help the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety save lives from breast can­cer.

The theme, “YOUNITED – what unites us, ig­nites us,” re­minds us that to­gether we can do more. We need to raise aware­ness for early de­tec­tion and to raise money for more re­search and sup­port for those bat­tling the dis­ease who need bet­ter treat­ment op­tions be­sides poi­son, cut and burn.

The Santa Fe Mak­ing Strides Walk was more than an event where thou­sands of lo­cal peo­ple come to­gether wear­ing pink and walk­ing 5 miles. It’s about bat­tling an atro­cious dis­ease in 2018:

• It is es­ti­mated that

40,920 women in the U.S. will die from breast can­cer.

• About 266,120 new cases of in­va­sive breast can­cer will be di­ag­nosed in women.

• About 63,960 new cases of car­ci­noma in situ (CIS) will be di­ag­nosed (CIS is non-in­va­sive and is the ear­li­est form of breast can­cer).

At the event, some walk­ers will honor those who have lost the bat­tle and proudly carry the name of a loved one who’s per­ma­nently im­printed on their heart. Some­times it’s their mom, sis­ter, cousin or dear­est friend.

Oth­ers will walk for a sur­vivor and to en­cour­age women to get checked be­cause early de­tec­tion saves lives. They wear funny shirts with slo­gans like, “A feel a day keeps the doc­tor away.”

For sur­vivors like me, it’s a pub­lic cel­e­bra­tion. We made it. We beat the ‘Big C,’ and it took nearly ev­ery­thing we had to do it, too!

Breast can­cer hurts like hell and it’s not for sissies. It takes grit and brav­ery be­cause it’s fright­en­ing a dis­ease. Much scarier than any­thing J.K. Rowl­ing could ever con­jure.

To all my sib­ling sur­vivors, con­grat­u­la­tions! You’re still here! You sur­vived. Your team wins the house cup. Dum­ble­dore awards the Breast Can­cer Sur­vivor House, 60 points “…for pure nerve and out­stand­ing courage.”

Make it count. Be a risk-taker and make up for lost time do­ing all the things you meant to do in life.

Sur­vivor­ship for me meant chang­ing my life and re­align­ing my pri­or­i­ties, leav­ing a se­cure, good-pay­ing job and tak­ing the time to heal phys­i­cally, men­tally and fully re­cover from the dis­ease. I started a new job that al­lows for work-life bal­ance. I took lessons in fla­menco and im­prov and I whole­heart­edly risked mak­ing a fool out of my­self. I even at­tended my 40-year class reunion and dared my­self to bravely wear a low-cut dress that par­tially re­vealed the skill of a plas­tic sur­geon who re­built what breast can­cer stole.

I gen­uinely be­lieve in this cause be­cause breast can­cer takes more than a women’s bo­da­cious boobs. It can kill you if it’s not caught early.

The more peo­ple who sup­port this cause, the big­ger our im­pact will be in help­ing to save lives from breast can­cer.

Your do­na­tion is 100 per­cent tax de­ductible. It could help some­one who is cur­rently deal­ing with a breast can­cer di­ag­no­sis, those who might face a fu­ture di­ag­no­sis, and those who can avoid a di­ag­no­sis al­to­gether thanks to ed­u­ca­tion and pre­ven­tion.

Thank you in ad­vance for your sup­port. When we come to­gether, we truly put the power of pink into ac­tion!

Jodi McGin­nis Porter Breast can­cer sur­vivor Link to web­site:

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