Breast Cancer Awareness Month & Cremation Jewelry Sale
by Polly Giantonio
Breast cancer affects millions of people worldwide. Each story is unique. Each journey begins with the discovery, followed by “Diagnosis Day,” and continues with the choice of treatment that might include “Surgery Day,” to recovery, wellness and survivor-ship.
The bottom line is that we cannot always explain why Sally gets breast cancer and Barbara doesn’t. That’s unsettling – especially when Sally begins to think she did something or didn’t do something to cause it.
It’s more common today than ever to learn of a niece in her 30’s recently diagnosed with breast cancer. We read about the “young adult cancer survivor” instead of our grandmother who is 80 and diagnosed. Why?
If you’re reading this, chances are high that breast cancer has affected you or someone close to you. Below are statistics cited from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation website.
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide
- There are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. including women still being treated and those who have completed treatment
- 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2015
- 40,290 women will die of breast cancer
- 440 men will die of breast cancer
- The National Cancer Institute and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the number of cancer survivors in the U.S. reached an all-time high of nearly 12 million in 2007.
OneWorld Memorials looks for ways to support efforts in response to such life-altering circumstances. In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, $5 from every sale will be donated to cancer research. The non-profit we selected to support is the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, a highly regarded research organization that spends an incredible 91 cents on every dollar for research and awareness programs. Additionally, all cremation jewelry on our website will be discounted 10% as a way to help spread awareness.
Our Ribbon of Remembrance Cremation Pendant in silver particularly memorializes a loved one lost to breast cancer. Our Bronze Heart Memorial Necklace also symbolizes love for someone deceased. Each piece has a compartment to hold a small amount of cremation ashes.
Living with and through cancer often mirrors one’s relationship with mortality. I remember my mother sharing with me after her morning radiation treatment, “I wake up each day now thinking about death and wondering how long I have.”
The impact of cancer infuses daily living with significant considerations such as:
- impaired functions
- emotional conflicts, and
- perhaps the less immediate challenges around psychosocial issues of sexual identity, family relationships and life, self-esteem and finances.
Sharing the journey through cancer is a prime focus of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Important resources are shared and explored. Ongoing support from others can provide a foundation for aspects of healing that can be continually accessed and expanded.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month begins October 1. There are those who will not wear pink in October. There’s a perception by some that the “awareness” has become too media-fied and has lost some folks – important people. Survivors. In a poignant blog, Kathi Kolb honestly identifies herself as one of the silent majority of breast-cancer survivors. “We represent the reality of breast cancer.” She says:
We are not the “A list” people. You know, the people who take up skydiving after treatment, and go on book tours to advertise the inspirational tomes they’ve written about how skydiving gave them back their lives after breast cancer. Frankly, the rest of us are way too exhausted for any of that, nor can we afford the skydiving lessons or the cross-continental plane fares. We don’t feel like warriors or heroes, and we’re ‘survivors’ only in the sense that, so far, we’re still breathing. We don’t walk around decked out in pink ribbon jewelry or pink sweat suits so that we’re easily identifiable. Some of us blog, when we have the energy. But, in the land of happy, pretty-in-pink breast cancer awareness, we’re not represented. We’re the silent majority, as it were. We’re on the “other” list. And trust me — it’s a much longer list.
Read her blogs at AccidentalAmazon.
Regardless of point-of-view, each person seeks health and happiness – real happiness, like joy and contentment. Sometimes life presents an unimaginable challenge, a battle. How an individual chooses to face and engage in the battle creates the personal journey.
Polly Giantonio has developed and co-facilitated workshops and classes on creativity and poetry. She has taught students of all ages, and mentored in a volunteered capacity. Her greatest daily wish is to be kind and to experience life as a gift. Her poems have appeared in various journals including The Wisconsin Review, The Café Review, and the Aurorean.