Sunday, October 01, 2006

October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month


My name is Swampwitch.
aka: Kathy, Kath, Kats. . . and especially Mom, Gammy, and GaGa
I am a breast cancer SURVIVOR !
Most of the readers who come here, I do not know.
To those of you who post, I have come to know you only through your words and pictures.
In my very first story about Globbing: How Do I Start? I mentioned several reasons for having my own blog.
I had never seen a blog until August.
By the end of September, my objective was to know enough about blogging to be able to share a story . . . . . . a story of fear, hope, love, pain, smiles, tears, and survival.
Many bloggers stopped in and helped me along the way. You have taught me how to post a picture, to add a link, to use Flickr and PhotoBucket . . . you have actually been on the phone with me to help. My blog has taken on a new look because of a blogger friend. She has helped me add my pictures across the top and to the side, organized my stories, and added that pretty pink clock. I THANK ALL OF YOU ! You know who you are. Here is a ((hug)) for all of you.
Some of my posts beginning now will deal with breast cancer.
This is not a ploy to see how many comments I can receive.
It is a sincere effort to reach out to those who lives have been affected or are affected by this disease. You are welcome to ask questions about my experience. Sharing my story is therapeutic.

The statements I make will relate only to my particular case.
My advice to readers who are traveling that journey to survival is to make all your decisions with your doctors and with the support of your family.

When I was conducting in-service workshops for teachers, I made it a point to end each session with statistics, facts and information on how to do self exams. Most of the time I didn’t know the people in my audiences. During that short period of time, two of those teachers contacted me to tell me they had followed my instructions and made appointments for mammograms. Both of these ladies were diagnosed with malignant tumors. Years later, I still hear from those beautiful, healthy ladies.
If you know of someone who would like to spend about five minutes each day to read stories of fear, hope, love, pain, tears, smiles, and survival, send them here. Not every post will be about breast cancer. Some days there may only be a bouquet of flowers waiting here. Some posts will just be random, as that's what this blog is . . . random.
Education is the key to action. Education is power. Early detection is the key to survival. Mammograms are important. Monthly self-exams are important. If only one person is encouraged, uplifted, supported, and instructed, then it has been worth all the time, energy, and effort that goes into maintaining a blog.
"I suppose if I had to choose just one quality to have, that would be it: vitality."
---John F. Kennedy
If you are new to reading blogs, you can click on the underlined/color words which will link you to more information.
Note to my fellow Bloggers: I may not be on your doorstep everyday with a comment as I do have some obligations this month that will pull me away from my computer. I will stay in touch as often as I can. :)


Blogger Julie said...

Relay for Life this year, I am walking in your honor Kath! Just thought you should know. I hope to find someone to take my photo with your name on my tag. :) Won't I look cute with SWAMPWITCH on my tag. :)

10/01/2006 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger Swampwitch said...

My Dear Ladybug !! I usually try to wait to post after several comments, but not this time. I will comment immediately. When I started to blog (glob) I had no idea what to expect. Little did I know how many bloggers out there would come running to my rescue to help me learn. I pretty much laid it out in the open that I knew nothing. I had never even worked with two screens at the same time. Something one must be able to do in order to link. And now, just a few weeks later, not only have I found people who will help me, I have someone walking in Relay for Life in my honor...with Swampwitch around her neck. The Ladybug who added all my pictures to my blog, organized my stories, and hung that pretty pink clock for me. I can't wait to meet you next week. How about Bad Brad's? My treat.

10/01/2006 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger BarnGoddess said...

hey! if y'all go to Bad Brads, try the pulled pork AND the brisket (if you like those meats) they are soooo good at Brads. The cowboy beans are pretty darn tasty too.

Swampwitch, thank you for sharing your story. I am looking forward to hearing more about your journey. You are one special lady, I enjoy reading your thoughts, stories, and such!

10/01/2006 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

Barngoddess is exactly right: you are special! I've been extremely lucky in that I have enjoyed excellent health all of my life... so far. But what you are doing here is extremely important and Kudos to you for doing it. You aren't only special, you are brave. Many people wouldn't be able to vocalize this type of thing.

Bless you Swampwitch, and your blog is lookin' great! :)

10/01/2006 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger Karmyn R said...

Happy Anniversary (I came from Julie's sight)

I'm so happy to know you are a survivor! How frightening!!

My stepmother died from breast cancer 5 years ago. She and my dad had been married for 20 years. Her sister developed it one year later (and refused to tell her mother). Fortunately, she survived and is still cancer free 3 years later!!

My mom's sister is a breast cancer surivor too - and now my mom (Pamela) is doing the "Sister Study". Such a scary disease.

10/01/2006 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger C. said...

here's a big hug for you Swampwitch! I don't know what words are appropriate...congratulations seems a bit glib, but I'm happy and relieved for you that you pulled through!! My friend's mom had breast cancer and survived! I'm trying to grow my hair out long enough to donate it and probably in about 6 more months it should be ready! I wish I had known I could do that before because several times I've had long hair and chopped it all off! well, at least this time it will go towards some good!!

10/01/2006 08:46:00 PM  
Blogger M J said...

You thanked me on my blog, but I feel that I should thank you. Survival means hope, and without hope, days like today wouldn't happen. So thank you, for hope, and especially for kicking it's butt.

10/01/2006 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger Pamela said...

I'm back from a birthday party (6 hour drive)
.... and catching up.

I'm so thankful your here.

10/01/2006 10:22:00 PM  
Blogger Cindra said...

I expect nothing from you to visit. Thanks for being strong, open and alive. My girlfriend has a lump that grew 3 cm over 3 months...goes in for a biopsy on Friday...I fret internally, but outwardly am a cheerleader. Please put out the positive for her...

Dang, wish I could go to Bad Brads.

Love your blog, and moreso your energy!

10/01/2006 11:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

What a wonderful idea!

Love your your strength.

10/02/2006 05:15:00 AM  
Blogger Susan in va said...

Congratulations on being a survivor! I have a 38-year old friend who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in February. She had a double mastectomy in March and has undergone chemo and radiation. Just last week, another 38-year old friend of mine was diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer - he never had ANY symptoms until 10 days ago. Three days later, doctors removed 25% of his colon.

Both of my friends were thin, athletic and very healthy. No one should think that this can't happen to them!!!!! Thank you for sharing your story.

10/02/2006 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger Swampwitch said...

BarnGoddess: Thanks for the info about Bad Brad's. I'm glad you enjoy visting here. I hope to make this month informational as well as inspirational.

Gayle: Thanks for the compliments and Kudos to your excellent health.

KarmynR: Thanks for the happy anniversary wish. I am sorry to hear about your stepmother. I am happy to hear about the survivors in your family. And yes, it is a scary disease.

C: Thanks for the ((hug))and for donating your hair. That is such an important part of survival...lookin' good makes one feel better. Congrats to your friend's mom. It is not an easy path to walk.

MJ: Well,anyone who spends their entire day raising over $30,000 for breast cancer research deserves a thank you. Not to mention you had to use a porta-potty. At least it had a pink bow on it.

Pamela: Hope you had fun at Buttercup's party. I'm thankful, too.

Cindra Jo: Welcome. I will certainly put out the positive for her. Please keep me informed about her biopsy Friday. Thanks for the compliment.

Jenny: Thank you. I'm glad you think it's a good idea.

Susan: I hope your both your friends are recovering and good health returns. It is not an easy journey. You're welcome.

10/02/2006 09:09:00 AM  
Anonymous momto3cubs said...

Congratulations for being a survivor! Somehow I'm not surprised to find this out about you.

A dear friend of mine is a breast cancer survivor. It struck her at about age 36 (my current age, yikes). She had one breast removed, defeated the cancer, went on to have another baby that she breastfed, and then had reconstructive surgery done.

Now I hear that a coworker's daughter has breast cancer. And she's younger than me.

My mom is a colon cancer survivor.

I'm glad you are still here with us! I enjoy your blog :)

10/02/2006 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger Silly Hily said...

I always walk in honor of my Grandma (who is a 50 year survivor, as I've told you before) but this year, when I do Race for the Cure in Memphis at the end of the month, I would also like to walk in your honor. Julie beat me to it but how cool would it be to have a tag that says "Swampwitch" b/c that's totally what it would say, even though I learned some of your other names in the post.
And early detection IS the key! I hope all women who read you realize that.

I am SO glad you are here to share the wonderful month of October with us. Oh, and I LOVE the clock. Might have to get one of my own.

10/02/2006 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger brian said...

Afternoon SW,

Thanks for sharing your story. It is truly a wonderful and moving thing, this globworld of strangers who come together to help each other.

Ripples in a pond
stories shared
hope is given
love is gained.

10/02/2006 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Swampwitch said...

MomTo3Cubs: It always amazes me to hear so many stories of those who are affected by this disease. Good for your friend and your mom. I call those gals Sisters of Survival. Please keep in touch about your co-worker's daughter. I'm glad you like my glob.

SillyHily: Good for your Grandma.
She must be one strong woman and I salute her. It was hard to beat 50 years ago, still is, but we've come a long way since then. I would be honored for you to do Race for the Cure with SwampWitch as your "call sign." TN is a long way from OK, and how many Swampwitches could there be? clock pretty cool, huh?

Brian: Thank you for the beautiful poem. It's amazing what you can do with just a dozen words.

10/02/2006 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger G said...

Swampwitch: Just doing some quick catching up after our Holidays this past week. So glad I came here. I have tears in my eyes because I'm not sure how to articulate this, but your post just touched me. 1) Because my mom at 82 is a breast cancer and ovarian cancer survior and 2) becuase I am long overdue for my mammogram and checkup. and 3) because I am glad that I found your blog.

Do what you need to do and take care of yourself. We know where to find you. xox

10/03/2006 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger G said...

By the way, your glob looks stunning!!!

10/03/2006 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger earnest said...

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12/15/2006 12:56:00 AM  

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