Saturday, October 18, 2014
Hope (Breast Cancer Awareness FREEBIE)
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month! Although I think breast cancer, like all cancers and other dread diseases that impact our loved ones, is something we need to be aware of all the time, I really appreciate that there is a special effort made, too, during this month each year.
Many of you know that this disease hit my family hard this last year. My cousin Brandi was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer last Fall, and passed away in January. Her sister, Wendy, was tested for the gene that sometimes causes breast and ovarian cancers, was found to have it, and had to have a double mastectomy and hysterectomy. Right on the heels of this, my sister, Betty, was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer (a particularly nasty, aggressive form of it). Betty just completed her last stage of treatment this week -- HOORAY! -- and has finally begun the post-cancer healing process. We are so thrilled that Wendy was able to take measures to prevent the disease, and that Betty can now be called a survivor, but it really hits home for my family that we need to reach out to others and help raise awareness about this disease!
As a dear friend and long-time survivor told me when my sister was diagnosed, breast cancer is not the "death" sentence it used to be. But as I've learned through my cousins' and sister's experiences, it is crucial to catch it early. So although this is a sensitive subject for many, I beg you to do those monthly self-checks, and to get regular mammograms! Moreover, I ask to you reach out to those who are battling or recovering from this disease. The ups and downs of having and being treated for a potentially fatal disease are tremendous! I can't even begin to tell you what this struggle was like for my cousins and sister, and I am just an outside observer, if a very emotionally invested one. But there were so many little things along the way that made it more bearable for each of them. Every time someone reached out to them with love and care, it lifted their spirits and their hope and their strength with which to fight. No gesture of care is too small to make a difference!
OK, I've said my piece, and won't keep harping at you on this. But I have one last bit to share, and that is that if you feel inclined to make cards and other projects to reach out Breast Cancer patients and survivors, or to honor those who have fallen to this disease, we have a couple of different sets available to you for FREE in our shop. "Think Pink Oscar" and "Hopeful Heart" have been available for some time, and we've now added "Passionately Pink" as well. You can find them all in the "Try Before You Buy" section of the shop.
If you need a little extra inspiration to make something, you can find all sorts of inspirational challenges this month in the "Hope You Can Cling To" forum at Splitcoaststampers.com. Each challenge also includes directions for how to mail your cards to patients at UT MD Anderson cancer treatment center, in case you want to reach out beyond those affected in your immediate life.
Last but not least, the beautiful card at the top of today's post was made by designer KT Fit Kitty. She combined elements from the "Think Pink" and "Passionately Pink" sets to create this wonderful card of hope. Thank you, Kitty! :-)