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7/26/2007
Steal This Post Because Cancer Sucks
Edited to add stuff at the bottom.

You've probably heard about Why Mommy's IBC diagnosis by now. Well, she's asked us all to steal some of her posts to educate people about the particularly insidious form of breast cancer that she has. I had heard of IBC but knew very little about it when Why Mommy was diagnosed. Her diagnosis hit me hard. She's 34 years old, like me. She has two small boys, like me. She could be me. I could be her. Cancer can strike anyone. So read on and feel free to steal her post as well. I know she'd want you to:

We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of breast cancer?

I didn’t. I thought that breast cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my monthly breast self-exams, and found no lump, I’d be fine.

Oops. It turns out that you don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer. Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/GYN because my breast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked…funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn’t worried. I should have been. After a round of antibiotics didn’t clear up the inflammation, my doctor sent me to a breast specialist and did a skin punch biopsy. That test showed that I have inflammatory breast cancer, a very aggressive cancer that can be deadly.

Inflammatory breast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis because many doctors have never seen it before and consider it rare. “Rare” or not, there are over 100,000 women in the U.S. with this cancer right now; only half will survive five years. Please call your OB/GYN if you experience several of the following symptoms in your breast, or any unusual changes: redness, rapid increase in size of one breast, persistent itching of breast or nipple, thickening of breast tissue, stabbing pain, soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay – for a while), flattening or retracting of the nipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d’orange). Ask if your GYN is familiar with inflammatory breast cancer, and tell her that you’re concerned and want to come in to rule it out.

There is more than one kind of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is the most aggressive form of breast cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It’s not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our breasts undergo during the years when we’re pregnant and/or nursing our little ones. It’s important not to miss this one.

Inflammatory breast cancer is detected by women and their doctors who notice a change in one of their breasts. If you notice a change, call your doctor today. Tell her about it. Tell her that you have a friend with this disease, and it’s trying to kill her. Now you know what I wish I had known before six weeks ago.

You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer.


*************
I also have a guest post up at And the Pursuit of Happiness today. Ms. Sunshine, Sonia, asked me to share some random stuff about the Commonwealth of Virginia and I've happily complied. Feel free to stop by and say hello.

You all know by now that I'm heading off to BlogHer tonight. I'm bringing my laptop and I will try my hand at live blogging if at all possible. I just don't want to make any promises because technology accidents happen. And they always seem to happen to me.

But, as promised, here is what my magnets look like:


(Notice how I strategically placed letters over my double chin. I'm so crafty.)

See you next week!

**************
Edited to add:

My good friend, L, who wrote this
fabulous guest post for me last week, has finally bitten the bullet and started her own blog. Thanks for encouraging her to get started, folks. And go visit her while I'm gone:

Not Exactly A Princess

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18 Comments:

Blogger CPA Mom said...

super crafty of you! see you tomorrow at the airport! WHOOT!! You know I'm going to (annoy you) ask to use your laptop, right? Tehehehe

Blogger Christine said...

love the magnet! have fun, lady!

Blogger slouching mom said...

have a great time, LM!

Blogger Justice Jones said...

Great post on IBC. Have a great time!

Blogger Joy in chaos said...

Oh yay! Ask and you shall receive a magnet graphic! That's awesome!

Oh and good for you on the Whymommy post. I did that today too. You rock!

Blogger Jenn said...

Live blogging?

Oh, I heart, heart, heart you!!

I'll be waiting by my computer!

Blogger Julie Pippert said...

Love the magnets!

And I am doubly reminded to steal that post. It's on the agenda!

Remember: double your fun for me, do something you think I'd heartily enjoy hearing about and PHOTOS!!!!!

Oh yeah and right not all about me: You enjoy yourself!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just this week I got an e-mail with this story attached, so the word is getting out like crazy on IBC, which is good - knowledge is power.

Blogger 24crayons said...

It's really awesome that you're doing this post on IBC.

Have fun at BlogHer!

I certainly will keep myself aware as that sounds incredibly terrible!


LOVE THE MAGNETS! I am terribly, terribly, terribly jealous...but I do hope you have a FANTASTIC TIME!

I WANT DETAILS! :)

Anonymous Mishel said...

As a young mother who has had numerous individuals in my life diagnosed with breast cancer or some other type of cancer (mother, great-aunt, grandmother, friend, and various other people in my life) I too thought I only had to look for a lump, among other symptoms, but now reading this I will make sure to keep an eye out for these symptoms too. I even told my husband after reading this to pay attention too so if I don't notice anything and he does then he can let me know and we can get it checked out. Best wishes to your friend from my family to hers. I'll say an extra prayer for her tonight.

Blogger whymommy said...

Awesome. You are wonderful, Lawyer Mama! Enjoy the conference!

Anonymous WhyMommy said...

P.S. I love, love, love your magnets! Too cool!

Blogger David said...

I just checked out your post on Pursuit of Happiness. Nicely done.

Anonymous Emily said...

Hey, can you tell L that if she does not allow anonymous comments, those of us using other hosts cannot leave comments?

Thanks!

Blogger Redsy said...

Thanks for this reminder. I'm sorry we didn't meet at BlogHer.

:)
Rachael/ formerly CrankMama

Anonymous kiki said...

It was great to meet you this weekend. I have a cute photo of you, Neen and Jen that I'll send tomorrow.

Anonymous Jenny said...

Terrible...but important.

PS. It was so cool hanging out with you this weekend! I need another cocktail though.

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