Last Updated on March 23, 2018

The month of October normally marks breast cancer awareness month. I have supported many friends that walked the sixty mile route to support funding research to cure breast cancer. I have a vested interest in finding a cure because my beloved sister-in-law died within nine months of her diagnosis of breast cancer.

To our children, “Aunt Elaina” was a 53-year-old woman full of fun and life. They always knew that any conversation with her would be lively and full of surprises. She was infectious! When the call came about the diagnosis, Elaina remained optimistic and joyful. It spoke volumes of strength to our oldest daughter.

As the months of chemotherapy and radiation took their toll on her body, her cadre of girlfriends exuded real sisterhood. They cleaned and kept up household chores, washed her when accidents spilled from her body, ran errands, and joined her for those long hospital infusion sessions. They were life to her as life drained from her body. She died surrounded by her sisterhood.

Recently, I received an email from my oldest daughter. Heather joined hundreds of “pink sisters” in a “Race for the Cure,” finished the course, and then posted a remembrance to her aunt. I cried! She walked with the young and old, survivors, new warriors fighting for life, mothers, grandmothers, all races and status in life. Their message was more about women helping women know about the disease and how to become aware of early detection, and support. The sisters in pink displayed the uniqueness women possess.

Here’s the message for every woman … be a Pink Sister, and remind one another about monthly breast self-exams and yearly mammograms. Check in on them. Do a little “lite” nagging for her to set and keep regular doctor’s appointments.

As a woman, wife, mother, and grandmother of four granddaughters, I must lead with good health practices. And so must you!

Further Reading:

:: The Gift of Radiation
:: Intimacy After Mastectomy
:: Mom, Be Intentional About Your Health


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  1. Karen,
    Thanks for this! My stepmom was diagnosed with breast cancer in Feburary of this year. Things started off looking really bad but we got good news with her mastectomy, the cancer had NOT spread to her lymph nodes!! I just want to encourage women to get their yearly mammograms done, my stepmom wasn’t doing hers and she found the lump on her own. She was told that by the time you can feel the lump the cancer may have already been there for a year or more. If you don’t have insurance, check with your local hospitals to see if they have a program or know of a program for non-insured or low income women to get breast cancer screenings. Here in my area they have a local charity that does just that and I made sure to support them! To second what Karen is saying, do it for your family!

  2. My sister is suffering through treatments now. She doesn’t have anyone helping her or ‘friending” her. It has been a terrible battle for the family since we are all so far away from her. You have convicted me to pray more, love more and try to be a better sister to her. Thank you for your words.

  3. Sniffle! That is uplifting and heart breaking at the same time. Although I didn’t have breast cancer, when I got deathly ill after my cancer surgery, I cannot express how much the outpouring of love from my friends and family meant.