October 07, 2010

Bigger Picture Moment : I'm doing this for Joycie

Seven years ago, I along with my family sat in the surgical waiting room while my cousin Tammi underwent her first mastectomy. I can remember sitting next her daughter Tamela, as she read the note that her mother had written her - a note that told her not to worry, that she was going to be okay. And I remember the haunted look in Tamela's eyes - because in spite of her mother's assurances, she was not certain that Tammi would win the battle. Truth be told, none of us we certain -- we were all terrified.

That image - the stark terror etched in Tamela's eyes has never been far from my mind. Now, as a new mother, I find myself hoping/praying/ that my daughter - my precious Joycie - will never have to experience that kind of fear. But hoping/praying is not enough. I have to take steps to
lower my risk of breast cancer . I need to perform monthly self breast exams to ensure that I know my breats, that I would be able to recognize any change in them, not just a lump .

But I will not stop with just me. There are countless other women in my daughter's life that need to know - her Grandmothers, her Aunts, her cousins, and even perhaps her someday. And beyond Joycie's tiny world there are millions of others who need to be made aware.

Because if we are know, then we can fight, and if we can fight then we can win. And if we win, no more daugther's will sitting in waiting rooms with terror in their eyes and fear in their hearts.

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