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Thursday, October 7, 2010

"I like it on my keyboard."

Last night, I was browsing through Facebook and saw a couple of statuses from two of my female friends.  One "I like it on my bed." and another likes it "in the closet."

Apparently, this is another creative way of spreading the awareness of and support to the fight against breast cancer.  Even if I am not a woman, but I have a wife, sisters, women friends and relatives, so I am joining all in spreading this campaign. It can be recalled that last year, 2009, it was all about the color of underwear. So, "I like it on my keyboard."

My late mom also had a stage 2 breast cancer.  That is why this issue is very important to me.  After all, I was nursed with her breasts when I was a baby.  She passed away two years ago due to some undiagnosed disease (but could be related to breast cancer). Initially, my mother received the "bad news" with a heavy heart.  Assurance from us, her children, telling her that breast cancer can now be treated, helped her understand and recover fast.  Indeed, she survived it and was declared cancer free until her untimely and unexpected death.

Hearing the words "breast cancer" doesn't always mean an end. Rather a woman can take it as the beginning of learning how to fight, getting the facts, and finding hope.

Some important lessons can be drawn from my mom's experience:

  1. Knowing the real score.  It is important that the patient knows her condition.  It is her body and she has every right to every information on the illness she has.  Gone were those days when cancer was to be kept a secret.  It has to be out in the open so that one can openly wage a battle against it.
  2. Know thy enemy. One needs to confirm (and re-confirm, if needed, by getting a second opinion) if, indeed, one has the big C.  Laboratory tests and diagnosis, and prognosis are very important information in waging a battle against it.  One needs to know her nemesis, so that she can attack its weaknesses as well as allow her to prepare and strategize for the "battle".
  3. Gathering your ranks to support the patient, as well as in battling the disease.  Cancer is not easy--financially and physically speaking. The big C can drain both.  It can drain a patient morally and spiritually.  That is why, the family or even the entire clan (if possible) must be involved in giving moral support, offering prayers, and even financial support. Likewise one's circle of friends is equally important in every way.
In addition to the above lessons, every woman and man, must be fully aware of and learn about breast cancer.  For Filipino women, you can browse through the Philippine Foundation for BREAST Care, Inc. One can also learn more about breast cancer at Pink Ribbon Official Website.

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