At 6:03 this morning, I got a text from one of my older brothers. "Call me." That cold hand clenching your heart when you know something is very wrong, but not what, is just about the worst feeling in the world, isn't it? I called. "Hey, how you doing?" I asked. Not so well, as it turns out. His wife--my sister-in-law, his life partner for 30 years, the mother of their three children--has advanced breast cancer. Apparently she's had it for a while. So far there is no prognosis, not even a treatment plan. I cannot talk to my niece (she of the cupcake wedding) today because they aren't planning to tell her until they know more, and I'm not sure I would hide it well.
Ladies. Mothers. Grandmothers. Aunts. My sisters. Please, please, please do those monthly self exams. Get the mammograms. Go to the doctor right away even if you think it's just a cyst. Please. I know it's scary, and I know you are busy. But breast cancer is treatable, SO treatable. And you are SO important.