Breast Cancer Awareness is more than just a month

Sydney Miller, Media & Online Chief

Breast Cancer Awareness Month should continue to be about normalizing women’s health, and how women should not be ashamed or embarrassed to seek help if they think something is wrong with their bodies.

On average, one in every eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives.
My mom being one of them.
This year, Breast Cancer Awareness Month means more to me than ever before.
In June, my mother went to the doctor for a routine ultrasound after she was concerned about a mass she had discovered. The doctors knew something was wrong, so they ended up doing a biopsy. Her results came back about five days later, and she was diagnosed with a moderately aggressive breast cancer.
Within a month, she went into surgery to remove the cancerous mass. After having a lumpectomy, we found out that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes — something we wished wouldn’t have happened.
This meant that my mom would have to go through chemotherapy treatments.
Her first chemo treatment was in July of this year, merely weeks after her surgery. She still has weeks left of chemo treatments and still has to go through six weeks of radiation, five treatments per week.
These treatments have not been easy for my mom; during her stronger treatments of chemo, she would come home feeling nauseous and fatigued. Recently, during a different form of chemo treatment, she has become more tired after each one.
There is no glorifying anything having to do with cancer, especially chemo treatments. People have to lose their hair, and they have to live with a compromised immune system. This is especially hard during a global pandemic.
My mom still has a lot to get through, but, hopefully, things will get easier as time progresses.
Since there has been work in our society to normalize women’s health, my mom felt more comfortable going to the doctor and finding out what was wrong.
She joined a Facebook group full of women going through similar situations, and they have been nothing but welcoming and supportive of her. This has been a great thing for her, having a community of people who are understanding of what she has been going through and for them to answer any questions she might have about how a certain treatment has affected other women.
Since there has been work to normalize women’s health, it benefits women, like my mom, who previously have never personally gone through cancer treatments. It opens the door for women to be better connected and form a community. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we can open the door to more conversations about women’s health and help better connect women through our femininity.