Friday, January 13, 2017

Know Thyself, and know thy Girls, whether they're lemons or melons

As Breast Cancer awareness and prevention month approaches, I've been inundated by requests to do one of those coy little games to raise awareness without actually saying anything.

Dammit, NO! Breast cancer is not a game. I lost my mother to it, and far too many other fabulous people, both women and men. 

So, instead, being the sort of nurse who always liked to teach, and who found that visuals were far more effective than I could be with my words, I've posted above The 12 signs of breast cancer, revealed. It's an amazing teaching tool developed a few years back by Corrine Ellsworth Beaumont (whose webpage appears to be down, but luckily the image was captured many times over on the internet).  It's easy to comprehend, and has been translated into loads of languages. 

12 signs of breast cancer, revealed
B. Pinching
C. Erosion
D. Red & Hot
E. New fluid
F. Dimpling
G. Puckering
H. Growing vein
I. Nipple retraction
J. Asymmetry
K. Orange skin
L.Invisible lump
With this, self-examine, and true awareness, we can make inroads on early detection of breast cancer. Outcomes are linked to how early the disease is found. 
This chart wasn't available when my mother was alive. Her first mass wasn't visible to the naked eye. When it recurred, she didn't know lemons, and dismissed the changes in her breast to all sorts of harmless things. It was only one of those happenstance embarrassments, (walking in on my mother while she was in deshabille) that allowed me to see her breast, notice the signs, and get her to treatment as soon as possible. 
Do yourself, and those who love you a favor: use all that you were given when you entered this life: your eyes, your hands, your brain, and more. Be aware; take care.
This post is dedicated to Ruthe Nadel, who made lemonade from lemons her whole life, but didn't know other uses for them to save that life. I wish she had. Miss you, Mama.
Ruthe, after her first radiation treatment. "Look at me! I'm  radiant!"



  1. Thank you. This is clear and easy to understand. I'm sorry for the loss of your mother. She was a very special lady, and you are, too.