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I did 15 training miles on Saturday and 18 miles yesterday. Today is an off day for walking (only strength training to build up my knees) and then I'm going for an hour and a half long massage. Ooooooh, bliss. Later, I'll hit the county courthouse for early voting. \o/ Seriously: if there's any way you can vote early, do. It's going to be a MADHOUSE on election day. Just the primaries were insane here, and that was only one party voting!

But back to your boobs and how much I care about them. In a totally non-creepy way, of course. :) You did know that you should check your bewbs once a month, right? And not while on your period, but a week after? Just, while you're in the shower soaping up, give them a few swirls and squeezes. And you did know that if found early 98% of you will survive? The caveat, of course, is that you are checking. [ETA]: in case it's not clear: EARLY DETECTION means a 98% survival rate. I'm not in any way suggesting that if you routinely handle your breasts you'll live, and if you don't, you'll die. I would hope that was clear.

Are you like me and don't put yourself first when it comes to health care? Everyone else comes first, right? Kids, your partner, animals... But who is going to take care of them if you're not there to do it? Right. Check your boobs, talk to a doctor if you find something weird. Because if you leave it to chance, or dismiss anything odd, your chances of living - living - drop dramatically.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of DEATH in US women. (Lung cancer is first. STOP SMOKING.) It's the most common cancer for women, however. Did you know that insurance will pay for mammograms if you're 35 and older? And if you don't have health insurance, call your county's health department. Most of them in the US provide free mammograms. Did you know that? FREE. They'll usually give you a voucher that you take to a hospital near you, so you can get properly examined. So really, there's no excuse, is there? Also, the American Cancer Society has lists of providers for low income of low-coverage women. Call 1-800-ACS-2345 for a location in the US nearest you. An act was passed in the US that enables Medicare/Medicaid to help front the cost of breast cancer screening. The CDC chips in, as well. Call 1-800-CDC INFO or go online for local information.

Don't think your age protects you, or that no one in your family having breast cancer leaves you exempt. We're still not sure what causes breast cancer, definitively. Genetics, environment, both are factors. And Africa-Americans... you are - unfortunately - most likely to die from breast cancer that is NOT DETECTED EARLY. Are you seeing a trend? Grab yer bewbs, in other words, and check them out.

Guys, at my last 3-Day I met a girl that had to drop out of her Freshman year in college because she had breast cancer and needed chemo. 19 years old. No one in her family had ever had any form of cancer. My beloved s-mom's BFF died of breast cancer two years ago, and I brought her name with me to the 3-Day in 2006. She kept ignoring the lumps in her breasts. It's just so easy to find out, y'all, and I really REALLY want everyone to be healthy, no matter how tangentially we know each other.

That's why I walk over 70 miles every week to strengthen my body so that in one weekend, in under 18 hours, actually, I can walk through my city as a testament to women and men everywhere that I CARE. That I know how important it is for we women (and you guys out there, too!) to pull together and lift each other up, to remind each other to take care of ourselves. SO GO IN THE BATHROOM AND CHECK YOUR BOOBS FOR ME, HUH? (Hey, some of you, I'll do it for ya. *G*)

The Susan G. Komen 3-Day helps pay the medical costs of low-insurance/no-insurance women needing treatment. It donates a portion for research, but mostly the 3-Day is IMMEDIATE CARE. Every single penny goes to someone in need, nothing to administrative costs, NOTHING. If you can spare any amount of money, please consider making a donation to my team. Either one of us, it doesn't matter - the money ends up in the right hands. To those of you that have generously donated, I can't thank you enough. You need to know that you have quite possibly saved a woman's life. You've given her kids and/or loved ones more time with her. Thank you. I'd kiss you square on the mouth, if I could.

Please feel free to link to this post and share it with anyone that could benefit from the information and phone numbers given. <3


( 70 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
Oct. 20th, 2008 02:39 pm (UTC)
Hahahaha! I bet you have with that baby boy... It's amazing what happens to them during (and after) pregnancy, right? O_O

THANK YOU SUE! If there's one thing you can say about me: I love boobs. HAHAHAHA. <3 <3 <3
Oct. 20th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC)
I always mean to check mine, but I can never figure out what lumps are supposed to be there, or only cysts (had fun with those one time!) or... what.
Oct. 20th, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC)
If you're a caffeine drinker, you'll most likely have some lumps. The idea is to get familiar with what they feel like RIGHT NOW, and check regularly to see if that changes. If any lumps feel painful, if you notice discoloration or something that looks like a rash (or if you pinch the nipple anything comes out and you're not nursing) you need to see your doctor for a more thorough exam.

Mostly, just get familiar with your girls so you'll know if anything changes. :)
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Oct. 20th, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC)
I needed a refresher on how to do check my boobs and found this article quite helpful:


Thanks for caring!

Yay early voting. I just have to see what all we're voting on other than the Presidential race.
Oct. 20th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC)
More links are always helpful! (There's a SBE link in the main body of the post, too.)

I'm just waiting to get the go-ahead that my car's ready to be picked up from its check up and then I'm off to vote, too. I've been keeping up with my local elections, fortunately, there's not a lot for me to have to research this year. Whew.
Oct. 20th, 2008 03:50 pm (UTC)
I really admire your ability to run/walk 15-18 miles, wow. I bet that took so much work to build the endurance for that.

I was shown at the doctor's office during physicals how to do an exam, and when my primary does it, so far things have looked fine. But when I do it myself, I feel like it's for nothing because I have no idea what's supposed to be there and what's not.

I'm going to make a donation to your 3-day sometime before the end of today. I've been waiting for my check to come in and it finally did, so yay! Money!

I may link to your post in my next entry. Thanks for posting about this <3

P.S. I don't know if that icon is appropriate or inappropriate, but I know you have such a great sense of humor, so I went for it *g*
Oct. 20th, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC)
All walking, we're not allowed to run! :D It helps that I normally walk about 7 miles 6 times a week for my regular exercise, that's for sure!

If you can just be familiar with how your boobs feel when YOU do, it, trust me: if something new shows up, you'll feel it. Everyone's breasts are different (obv) so it's important that YOU know what YOURS feel like. Think of how many boobs pass through your doc's hands... *G*

And yes, please feel free to link away, and any donation you can make is greatly appreciated!! *HUGS YOU TIGHT*

HAHAHAHA. I love your icon!!
Oct. 20th, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC)
Hey Stony -
I'll donate $50 but I just want to send a check - I don't want to enter a system to do it. Can you email me at [ the ruthless1] at the good old gmail dot com so I can send my check. Thanks.
Oct. 20th, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC)
YOU ARE SUCH A SWEETHEART!! I'll email you right away!

<3 <3 <3
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Oct. 20th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the reminder.
I have a mammogram every year; here in BC there is a screening mammogram program that is free for all women. I just got my appointment reminder the other day, must go make it.
My Mom found a malignant lump in her breast when she was in her early '70's, by doing a breast self exam. She was lucky; a lumpectomy was successful, and she lived another 20 years, cancer free.
Oct. 20th, 2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
GOOD FOR YOU! I'm that's terrific that women in BC can get mammograms so easily. It's possible to do that here in the US, too, but a lot of women don't KNOW that!

What a wonderful story - I'm so happy about your mom! ANd what a great object lesson for this post, eh? <3
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 20th, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC)
Aww, ANNE!! *loves you even more, so there!*

I'm glad they're closing the schools for you - they should do that here. Most of the local voting sites are AT schools, and it's such a madhouse...
(Deleted comment)
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Oct. 20th, 2008 04:14 pm (UTC)
I hate to say it, but many big, respected studies have shown that women that do breast exams are not less likely to die of the big C than those that don't; they are just more likely to undergo unnecessary biopsies. :( If we love our boobs and our bodies we should exercise \o/, eat our five servings of fruits and veggies every day, and maintain a healthy weight. Oh, and having kids before you are thirty and breastfeeding doesn't hurt, but many people understandably don't want to go quite that far.

I love what you are doing BTW. :)
Oct. 20th, 2008 04:17 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm going to give you a stern face and say that women that give themselves BSEs are more likely to pay attention to their health and are more likely to SEE a doctor for a more comprehensive exam. Studies have shown this.

Can you diagnose yourself? Of course not. Should you take steps to be more in charge of your own health? Absolutely, and this includes self-examination, eating healthy foods, and exercise.

I'm grateful for the donation you made and for your support, but enough women don't care for themselves as it is - I don't want to encourage them to continue that mindset!
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Oct. 20th, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC)
The women on my father's side of the family were affected by breast cancer. His mother was the first to beat it. Breast cancer is my charity of choice and I have been checking my girls ever since I developed them. Thank you for encouraging others to do so and for participating in the walk/run for the cure!
Oct. 20th, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, what a good mom you are!! And I'm happy to provide reminders. I mentioned in a previous post that the last time I did the 3-Day, I reminded everyone to get in the habit of self-examination, and one person found a lump, went to her doctor, and within A WEEK had a double mastectomy. (She made it through with flying colors.)

It really helps for people to be aware of their bodies and to be pro-active with their help.

Thank you for your support!
Oct. 20th, 2008 05:01 pm (UTC)
So exciting that you're up to the 18-mile training! It's such a fantastic thing you're doing -- I'm wishing you non-blister-y feet, a spring in your step, and lots of energy as you near the end of the preparation for your walk.
Oct. 20th, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC)
Aww, you're such a good cheerleader! I loved getting text messages from you the last time, too. :D (Hahahaha, how'd you like that hint? HEE.)

Thank you thank you, and I hope I stay blister free, too!
Oct. 20th, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)
I'll have to wait to donate until friday. Payday then. :-P But hey, swedish money goes good to? Thank gawd for ze interwebs that changes it into dollars as well. (And yes, I have donated in Sweden to. ;-) )
Oct. 20th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC)
I really appreciate you considering donating, I really really do! (And honestly, your support is a huge help in and of itself!)

Oh, yay for the local funds you've donated, too! It's definitely a global issue, that's for sure. <3
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Oct. 20th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
I would so donate if my kid didn't need new glasses. :-/ But I am sooooooo excited for you, and this post is AWESOMESAUCE!

[The Todd] Awareness five! [/The Todd]
Oct. 20th, 2008 05:51 pm (UTC)
Cheering me on IS helping! It makes me feel positive about this so I can do it again NEXT year which means more money to the cause. :D

See how that works? HEEE!
Oct. 20th, 2008 07:23 pm (UTC)
I'll be making my donation Wednesday when a much awaited check comes in. And by the way Susan G. Koman also has this great shower hang tag to put in your bathroom as a constant reminder to remember to check, along with instructions. Every woman should have one. And I think they are still free. Check their site.

And while you are at it, use National Breast Cancer month to go in and get fitted for a correct fitting bra. So many women just do not know how to buy a bra. Nordstroms and many other department stores have free fittings. You would be surprised at what a correct fitting bra does for your self esteem - especially for us over 40 types. Make it a Breast Cancer Month treat for yourself annually. Get a great fitting bra and walk out feeling like a goddess.
Oct. 20th, 2008 08:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for the donation. (I'll say it again after Wednesday, I'm just super happy you're considering making one!)

Oh man, ain't it the truth about good fitting bras? I'm a big fan of Nordstrom's lingerie department. They all have a knowledgeable staff that work quickly and efficiently.
Oct. 20th, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC)
You're still obsessed with my chest though, right?
Oct. 20th, 2008 08:50 pm (UTC)
Pfft, like there could be any doubt!!!

*leers* You know what this thread needs? BOOBIES. But all I have are sugar-coated lips...
Oct. 20th, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
I applaud you roundly for this post! *clap clappity clap*
Oct. 20th, 2008 08:50 pm (UTC)
*bows* I gave you an exam in NYC while you slept, incidentally.

...everything felt fine. Juuuuuuuust fine.
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Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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