Who Do You Know?

 
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One of the things we pride ourselves on at EtterOps is being a champion of wellness, not only in our workplaces, but in our lives. So, to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I want to take a moment to speak about this devastating threat to our wellness.

Approximately one out of every eight women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. I have been fortunate in my health and in my family’s health, that I have not had any direct correlation with breast cancer.

However, in the last several years, I have had three friends who have had to face the disease and the decisions that come with it. Yes, three. All in their late 30s or early 40s. I didn’t expect cancer to be this pervasive of a topic at this point in my life.

Each of my friends has had a unique experience and an individual story. Each of them battled with all of the grace they could muster. And each of them is a survivor.

And what struck me more than anything was the strength these women put forth throughout their fight. I witnessed their ability to bravely focus on their own wellness, during that time in a woman’s life when everyone else seems to take priority over her own self-care. These women were forced to gain the acute awareness that their own oxygen mask HAD to come first. And although they each would eliminate cancer from their story if they could, they are continuing to focus on their own wellness in ways they weren’t before their diagnoses.

So, perhaps we can all learn something from these courageous fighters. Wellness is not just a buzz word. Wellness is tending to our own needs and ensuring that we do what matters most to us. At work, that’s maximizing the time we spend doing the work that energizes us. At home, that’s freeing up the time to tend to our physical and emotional needs and achieve a healthy balance.

There is one more statistic I’d like to note. The projected number of deaths caused by breast cancer in 2018 is just shy of 41,000. As awful as that is, there is good news.  The number of deaths has been steadily decreasing since 1989.

The general consensus is that not only has treatment advanced, but increased awareness and earlier detection through screenings have had a huge impact on the mortality rate. All the more reason for me to choose this topic and reiterate the importance of knowledge in the fight against breast cancer.

My friends are wonderful teachers. They’ve taught me to embrace my wellness and cherish my health. I know they do.

To review the statistics we’ve shared and learn more about this disease and its treatments, visit www.breastcancer.org.