Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Boo to You

Happy Halloween everyone!  I know I am one day late but I am just not ready for my favorite time of year to end!  This has been such an inspirational year for Stamp to Cope, Inc. and I that I took the time to embrace, with extra thanksgiving, my big 50 birthday, my 9 year survival anniversary, a joyous celebration at DisneyWorld, and all the lovely trick or treat costumes and activities.

During this week of celebrations and awareness events, I was reminded that all survivors have a journey to embrace and share. They are all special and full of impact. For many of us, we pray our travels can provide new knowledge and hope for those that may have to follow in our path. My contribution to awareness surrounds my diagnosis..Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC). I encourage you to share the information below with all of your loved ones.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer is a rare but very aggressive type of breast cancer in which the cancer cells block the lymph vessels in the skin of the breast.  IBC accounts for 1 to 5 percent of all breast cancer cases in the United States and is more likely to have spread to other areas of the body (metastasized) at the time of diagnosis than non-IBC cases.  IBC is known to occur in men, so any of you guys out there reading please take note.  Symptoms of IBC may include redness, swelling, and warmth in the breast, often without a distinct lump in the breast. Let me repeat this critical reality...WITHOUT A LUMP.  In other words, do not ignore the possibility of breast cancer just because there is no lump. With IBC, you MUST act fast. A common identifier is an area of the breast skin that has ridges or appears pitted and may have an orange tint, like the skin of an orange (called peau d'orange) which can be confused for a extremely fast growing rash. Other symptoms include heaviness, burning, aching, increase in breast size, tenderness, or a nipple that is inverted (facing inward). IBC is still relatively unknown so please share this information with EVERYONE on your social networking lists. 

So, as I wrap up the 2011 Breast Cancer Awareness month and all the wonderful events of October with what might seem a challenging message,  please remember that I am living proof (a miracle really) that there is love, hope, strength, and beauty along the IBC path as well.  My love, thanks, and sincere appreciation to all of you that give my life meaning!  Oh and one last thing..... The BEAST rules..I love Disney!

Blessings, Jeannette

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