Monday, October 1, 2012

HOW and Why

Hello Blogosphere, it's been a while...

I was away doing what people do, whether they've been diagnosed with breast cancer or they haven't.  The things people do before breast cancer brings it all to a screeching halt.  I was taking care of my family, working a little, traveling a little and all the time pretending it was the old days when I could live this sort of life.  One of summer days and small boys, beaches and car rides. When drippy ice cream cones were my biggest problem of the day.

Remember days like that?

I spent my summer stepping back from cancer, from this blog.  No appointments to dread, just summer followed by the usual back to school bustle.  I have to admit, it was nice.  I was burnt out from writing about cancer.  From reading of online friends dealing with recurrence, the never ending pink fight.  It's all very draining, and though I thought of expressing it here, I couldn't.

In the two years since this blog's inception, I've had no problem sharing my angst and it was often met with great compassion, understanding and encouragement from our online community, but these days complaining doesn't feel right.  At this very moment in time all is fine with me and I can't complain knowing that.

If I've learned anything from writing here and meeting other women with cancer is there are thousands living these days with metastatic breast cancer and they deserve their place in our blogosphere.  They need to be heard, their stories shared and made to feel they matter because after all, metastatic breast cancer is what kills and it can hit anyone, anytime and I don't ever, ever go a day without remembering that.

So, though I lived a normal summer, acting as if all was right in my world, I felt like an impostor in my own life.

A wife and mother living as if the dormant monster chained in the closet couldn't possibly break free, but it was a lie.  I still looked over my shoulder, wondering, waiting, remembering it touched me once and by its very nature wants to again.

Even with no evidence of disease I can't let it go, because breast cancer doesn't let us go.

No one knows how or why it returns or really why it even starts.  Research is the answer. More research is needed to understand, prevent or cure metastatic breast cancer and only through more research can the initial causes of this hideous, relentless disease be determined.

“We need to go beyond a cure. We need to stop people from ever getting breast cancer in the first place.”
— DR. SUSAN LOVE

Today, October 1, The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation is launching HOW, the Health of Women Study.  A worldwide, long-term online study open to women and men 18 years and older with or without breast cancer.  By compiling and studying answers to questions about one's health, family, job, and other topics, researchers will gain a better understanding of breast cancer and its possible causes.

By registering online at HOW you can help put awareness into action.  There is no cost or permanent obligation.  Once registered, you'll receive periodic questionnaires that you can fill out at your convenience.  If you'd rather not participate at any point, you can opt out of further communication.  There's no down side.  Your privacy is protected and your answers may contribute to the future prevention of breast cancer.

For the most part, breast cancer takes us by the hand and leads us down a path of its own choosing.  We stare it down with treatment and surgery hoping for many more years, but by participating in HOW, we're doing something more than waiting.

We're actively helping researchers figure out a way to stop breast cancer once and for all.

So no one need look over their shoulder ever again.

I hope you'll join me in HOW, Health of Women Study. 



14 comments:

  1. Great to have you back blogging again...you've been missed..and what a great way to celebrate your comeback.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Marie! I think the break has done some good.

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  2. Stacey I've missed you! I echo Marie's sentiments. Thanks for sharing HOW.

    Amen to everything you wrote.
    xo

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    Replies
    1. Hi Renn, I've missed you all, too! Writing again felt really good. Thanks for reading!

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  3. What a comeback! Yea! I've missed you!

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  4. Stacey, I'm so excited to see you back! Your voice has been missed. I'm glad you had a break, but I know exactly what you mean about not being able to "let go." Thanks for sharing about this study. You know how I feel about research.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Nancy! It was a good break. Feeling a bit more motivated these days.

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  5. Nice to see you again - thanks for the info about "HOW".

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  6. Stacey,

    It's so nice to have you back again. I've missed you, but I'm glad you took your well-deserved break just to enjoy life and be a mom. Just so you know, my website has a new home: www.bethgainer.com.

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  7. It's been a few weeks since I've blogged, and my blog this week has some similar threads as yours. It's getting more difficult to write about cancer, especially when friends now have mets. Glad to see you're a Susan Love fan! She's the best, and she's so very passionate about finding what causes breast cancer. If the best smile in the world and a bit of elfin mischievousness can find the answers, Susan's our girl.
    XOXOXO,
    Brenda

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  8. Dear Stacey,

    We believe you and your followers may be interested in Follea’s Breast Cancer Wig Giveaway on Facebook. Participants who share their inspirational story will have the chance to win a Gripper-2 wig, a beautiful Tres Chic wig or a super-soft bamboo sleep cap. To view the Follea video “A Woman's Spirit is Unbreakable: A Tribute for Breast Cancer Awareness Month”, visit
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhD75zYz92M.


    Here are the Follea Breast Cancer Wig Giveaway instructions, which can also be viewed at www.facebook.com/follea:

    1. There are two different ways that a woman with breast cancer can be submitted for a chance to win these prizes:

    • A woman with breast cancer can create and submit a short video about her journey with breast cancer, how it has affected her life, and how she is dealing with it.

    • A friend or family member of a woman with breast cancer can submit a video about how their loved one who has cancer inspires them.

    2. Submit video by Sunday, November 18, 2012 at 11:59 pm PST.

    3. All winners, including grand prize, second place and third place winners, will be determined based on the number of votes a contestant receives, in comparison to their competitors. Voting closes Friday, December 14, 2012, at 11:59 pm PST. :

    • The grand prize winner will receive her choice of either Follea’s Gripper-2 Sport or the Gripper-2 Cool, from Follea’s innovative and luxurious 2012 Gripper-2 Collection. The winner will select from one of five standard sizes and available standard color and length specifications.

    • five second place winners will receive one of Follea’s beautiful, short-style, premium European-hair Tres Chic MM6 wigs.

    • 50 third place winners will receive one of Follea’s super-soft bamboo sleep caps.

    4. Follea will announce the winners on December 17, 2012 at 12:00 pm PST.
    Also, every Friday through December 14, Follea will conduct a random drawing of all of the contestants’ names, giving all participants the chance to win one of Follea’s bamboo sleep caps every week.
    About Follea: The company’s 2012 collection includes wigs and hairpieces that are specially designed for women with little to no hair such as the Gripper collection, which is light, breathable and stays securely in place with affixed medical grade silicone tabs. Follea has ICARe representatives and ICARe salons around the world, so women can get hands-on help choosing just the right wig or extensions to suit their needs.
    Would you like to receive any additional information?
    Best regards,
    Lisa Elia
    Lisa Elia PR
    310-479-0216

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  9. Great post as well as great choice of choosing to live for other people. there are breast reconstruction long island available for our great warriors dealing with breast cancer.

    ReplyDelete