First, go here.
Now, let me give you a history lesson. My Mom died of breast cancer at the age of 45. When she was 39, she found a lump. She didn't tell anyone. For months, she lived in a solitary world of silence. I imagine there were reasons. Fear. Avoidance. Denial. No health insurance. No experience with obtaining health care. A husband that was deployed for the first Iraqi war. Two kids to care for. Months later, she finally got some help, in the form of a radical masectomy and several rounds of chemotherapy. And for a while, everything was OK. She couldn't raise her arm above her shoulder and there were lots of chuckles about her fake breast being much perkier than her remaining real one, but it seemed like she had beaten cancer.
But then it came back. And this time it was faster, stronger, more invasive. The cancer quickly spread to her lungs and then to her bones. The bones in her neck eventually were eaten away by the disease. She couldn't hold her head up. She couldn't breathe. She suffocated to death.
Through it all, she never once complained. She endured painful surgeries, horrific chemotherapy, and circumstances that no one should ever imagine, let alone face. But she remained silent. She continued on as if there was nothing unusual going on. She accepted her situation. She didn't fight. Never once did she say, "I can beat this." She waited to die.
If you don't regularily do breast exams, start. If anything--ANYTHING--seems odd, go to your doctor. Don't make excuses. Don't procrasinate. Don't wait to see if it will go away. Just go to the doctor.
WhyMommy--FIGHT. Kick its ass. I'm behind you. We're all behind you.
Alexis has really mastered this whole sign language thing. Our daycare, unfortunately, doesn't have any ASL certified teachers. So day in and day out, Alexis tells them all kinds of useful information and they completely miss it. Some teachers make it a point to ask me to try to interpret because they really want to understand, but it wasn't until recently that we really made any headway. And it was all because I demand a little manners around here.
About a month ago, I started to require Alexis to say "please" and "thank you." She can be as bossy and mean as she wants to be, just as long as she's polite at the same time. So I taught all the teachers at daycare "please" and "thank you" and told them to start some enforcement. They obliged, and while they were at it, they taught ALL the kids to sign "please" and "thank you". So now they have 20 toddlers that have more manners than most adults. This afternoon, when I picked up Alexis, about six of them showed me "thank you" all together. And Daddy says I can't make everybody do things my way.
I'm pretty sure the baby sleep police would have a heart attack over this, but Alexis sleeps with stuffed animals every night. There are three that live in her crib. As of late, glow-bear has been the star of the show.