Why this matters to me
I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer on September 30, 2015.
I was 45 years old, with two sons, 11 and 15 years old.
I want to spell out, that I was not at high risk for developing breast cancer.
I exercised 5-7 days a week, ate a well-balanced diet, no red meat... in fact before kids, I had been a vegetarian for over 15 years. I had nursed both my kids for a year each... I don't carry the BRCA gene, I thought I was a healthy woman.
According to the checklist of how to avoid getting breast cancer,
I did what I was supposed to do.
I shouldn't have cancer.
But I know, that is not the way cancer works.
It was a waiting game, waiting for results, waiting to find out the stage of my cancer, waiting to find out the aggressiveness of my cancer, waiting to see if it had spread, waiting to find out what treatment was needed...
WAITING WAITING WAITING
The waiting was almost as bad as the diagnosis...
My cancer was Stage one, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.
It's interesting, once something enters your life, your radar for it really amps up... unfortunately, breast cancer was the blip on my radar. Cancer in general.
On this journey, I met, and became aware of countless numbers of women that were diagnosed with Breast Cancer. A recurrent piece of information I read, was that women in their 40s were considered young to be diagnosed. But it seemed to me, that every time I turned around, there was another "young" woman that was a survivor or was newly diagnosed.
I started to wonder, why are so many women being diagnosed?
When I was diagnosed, I was given a huge amount of literature about Breast Cancer. The literature told me to eat well, exercise, reduce red meat, reduce alcohol, and for my particular cancer I’d be given a pill to block the estrogen that is feeding my cancer.
Fix, or hope to fix, it with a pill.
NOWHERE in all of the literature, nor informational packets, was I informed about the possible connection between chemicals, and breast cancer.
NOWHERE did it say that the daily products I used, sometimes many times throughout the day, contained hormone disrupting chemicals.
After stumbling on the connection between chemicals and cancer, and noticing more and more people that have been diagnosed with cancer...
I couldn't turn away.
I focused on Breast Cancer for obvious reasons,
but the links between chemicals and other illnesses are there too.