Pink Ribbon

pink ribbonMy best friend Meghan’s sister was just diagnosed with breast cancer.  I thought she was calling me about the God-awful shootings in Connecticut, but it was about her sister.  Her sister has two kids.  At Meghan’s wedding a few years ago Rylee was 18 months old, and her sister’s son gave Rylee her first kiss.

Oh my God. 

What can you say beyond, “I’m so sorry, how can I help?”

Since I can’t do anything, I thought I might raise some awareness.    If someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer and you don’t know what to say, click here:  What to Say.  (Susan G. Komen for the Cure).

Prevention:  To find cancer as soon as possible, do self breast exams and get mammograms and pap smears.  Here is a list of cancer screenings from the National Cancer InstitutePrevention.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, here are some questions to ask your doctor from the American Cancer Society website:

  • Would you please write down the exact type of cancer I have?
  • How does this affect my treatment options and outlook?
  • May I have a copy of my pathology report?
  • Has the cancer spread to my lymph nodes or other organs?
  • What is the stage of the cancer? What does that mean in my case?
  • Are there other tests that need to be done before we can decide on treatment?
  • What treatment choices do I have? What do you recommend? Why?
  • Should I think about genetic testing?
  • Should I look into taking part in a clinical trial?
  • What are the risks or side effects of different treatments?
  • What can I do to get ready for treatment?
  • How well can I expect breast reconstruction surgery to work if I need or want it?
  • What are the pros and cons of having it done right away or waiting until later?
  • What will my breasts look and feel like after treatment?
  • Will I have normal feeling in my breasts after treatment?
  • Will I lose my hair? If so, what can I do about it?
  • What are the chances of the cancer coming back with the treatment you suggest? What would we do if that happens?
  • Should I follow a special diet or make other lifestyle changes?
  • Will I go through menopause as a result of treatment?
  • Will I be able to have children after treatment?
  • What are my chances of survival, based on my cancer as you see it?
  • What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?

Be sure to write down any questions you have that are not on this list. For instance, you might want to ask about recovery times so that you can plan your work schedule. Or you may want to ask about second opinions. Taking another person and/or a tape recorder with you to doctor visits can be helpful. Keeping copies of your medical records, pathology reports, and radiology reports may be useful in case you wish to get a second opinion later.  Add your own questions below”  – American Cancer Society

My prayers are with you and I hope you make a full recovery.

Lisa (c) 2012 Lisa Traugott. All rights reserved. No portion of this blog, including any text, photographs, and artwork, may be reproduced or copied without written permission.

4 responses to “Pink Ribbon

  1. Thank you! I will share this with my sister, I know she will appreciate it. You are the best more supportive friend, don’t know what I would do without you!!

  2. Oh darlin… I am a survivor and i am on medication and treatment for it. Breast cancer is not a death sentence it one was…. She can fight, make smart choices. You’re recommendations are amazing! The best thing to do is offer help. Hugs, loves and prayers to you’re friends family.

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