What do I say to someone diagnosed with cancer?

It’s breast cancer awareness month and this means you can buy anything pink. In fact, I challenge you to find something not pink during this month.

Unfortunately, though, what you can’t buy with those pink items is an education about breast cancer (or any cancer) including, prevention.

And while I’m so happy we can talk about breast cancer considering there was a time when women suffered in silence, I do think we need to do more than “pinkwash.” I think education should be the focus.

So today, let’s start with three things you can say to the newly diagnosed should you find yourself at a loss for words.

3 Simple Phrases

 

“I’m sorry”

The reality is this; there are no words of wisdom at a time like cancer. The word “cancer” alone can clear a room or a social calendar. It can render you speechless.

Saying these these seemingly little words can convey you’re concern and care without saying things that could offend. You can always go back later and say more heartwarming words once you’ve collected your thoughts.

“What can I do?”

I think these words speak volumes especially for the newly diagnosed. I remember walking out of the breast clinic the day I got my diagnosis and thinking, what comes next?

Chemotherapy is big, ugly and scary and each person has their own reaction to it. So just knowing you can count on someone to do anything for you is comforting.

“I’m gonna love you through it”

These are words plucked right out of Martina McBride’s song entitled “I’m gonna love you through it.” But they are perfect! However you say it, the best thing you can say is that you are going to be right there with them. There’s no greater gift.

 

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Useful Gift Ideas for the Breast Cancer Fighter

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Skin Cancer Awareness

Hello everyone. It’s Saturday June 2, 2018—I hope this finds you somewhere breathing in peace and happiness.

If you’ve been following me then you know I’m working on consistent writing, and posting. This week, my post is coming to you a day later than I planned. But as they say, better late than never. And I’m okay with that.

It’s hard to believe that we’re already in the month of June. Before June slips into July, I wanna take a little time to talk with you about skin cancer.

In case you didn’t know, May was skin cancer awareness month. But since cancer doesn’t need an occasion to strike I think anytime is a good time to talk prevention.

As a breast cancer survivor I know how scary and painful cancer is. So the way I see it, the only option we have is prevention.

Prevention is your best defense!

I know there are some of you who may be thinking “Sunscreen is an extra step I don’t need” OR “A tan makes me look and feel healthy and sexy.”

I get it! It’s bathing suit season. We all want to look and feel our best. I also know that a tan can improve our appearance in the same way that foundation does. A tan is a cover up that goes a long way.

But, a tan does not equal healthy.  Let’s say that again, together; A tan does not equal healthy. Here’s what the FDA had to say about tanning:

There is no such thing as a safe tan. The increase in skin pigment, called melanin, which causes the tan color change in your skin is a sign of damage.

Evidence suggests that tanning greatly increases your risk of developing skin cancer. And, contrary to popular belief, getting a tan will not protect your skin from sunburn or other skin damage.

Additionally, premature aging is a long-term side effect of UV exposure, meaning early signs of aging may not show up on your skin until many years after you’ve had a sunburn or suntan. Avoiding UV exposure is essential to maintaining healthy skin.

Did you know?

Cataracts are one form of eye damage that research has shown may increase with UV exposure. Cataracts can cause clouding of the natural lens of the eye meaning decreased vision and possible blindness..

Other types of eye damage include cancer around the eyes, Macular Degeneration and irregular tissue growth that can block vision (Pterygium).

So what’s a girl supposed to do?

Fake it. Use self tanner. There are so many on the market now that it doesn’t make sense to lay out and wait for the color to come. You can even find organic and all natural tanners. Or, you could go to a professional sprayer if you’d prefer.

Consider UV clothing and hats. I predict UV clothing will be the next big thing. I’m waiting for Target to partner with some cool brand. If it happens I’ll let you know.

SPF and shade. Use SPF everywhere! Slather this baby on from head-to-toe. Even under your clothes and don’t forget the back of your neck. I recommend using a separate one daily for your face, as well. Here’s a few of my favorite options. One is chemical free, one is not.

For over the counter options Good Housekeeping compiled a great list here. 

Do you have a favorite SPF product?

Myths About Breast Cancer

MYTH 1: You have to have a family history of breast cancer to be at risk

The truth is, most women with breast cancer don’t have a family history of the disease.  Only about 13 percent of women diagnosed have a first-degree female relative (mother, sister or daughter) with breast cancer. Having said this…

A woman who has a first-degree female relative with breast cancer has almost twice the risk of a woman without this family history. If she has more than 1 first-degree female relative with a history of breast cancer, her risk is about 3-4 times higher.

Regardless of your beliefs or fears, please do your breast exams and get your mammograms.

If you’d like to learn more about breast cancer and your risks you can go to the Susan G. Komen.

Please share.