Hope in a Pink Ribbon

breast cancer

Every year when the calendar turns to October we begin to see pink ribbons everywhere. They are there because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But some of us don’t need ribbons and October to remind us of breast cancer.

I was barely married when my mom found a lump on her breast. Ten years later she is cancer free. My aunt, her sister found a lump a few years later. Today she is cancer free as well. My friends Sara and Abby-Jill didn’t survive their bouts with cancer. I have been touched by breast cancer four times too many.

Because of my family history I have to be vigilant about breast cancer. It is not a disease I can afford to ignore. Although our family has had genetic testing and doesn’t carry the BRACA gene, clearly there is something going on with the females in my family. My maternal grandmother died of ovarian cancer which is also linked to breast cancer. As gene pools go, let’s be honest. This isn’t the one you want.

I was a mom to two when I found a small lump while in the shower. I froze and my girls’ future passed before me. It was impossible not to go to a dark place. I listened as the doctor told me it didn’t look like cancer on the mammogram. I remembered they had told my mom the same thing. I listened as the surgeon prepped me and told me that it didn’t present like cancer. I remembered they had told my mom the same thing. When I groggily woke up after surgery I was told it wasn’t cancer. I felt like for the first time in month, I breathed again.

I am not a person to be consumed by fear and anxiety so I can truthfully tell you that I don’t live in fear of cancer. And this year when my mom had another irregular mammogram I tried my best not to be fearful. When she got her mammogram back the second time there was a cross near the spot where she had cancer the first time. And no sign of abnormalities.

So despite my history and a scare, I won’t live in fear for myself. And I won’t live in fear for my daughters who also are genetically predisposed to this awful disease. But I will live in hope. Hope of healing for my family. And hope that a cure will be found in my lifetime. And that this disease will be no more.

I am thrilled to partner with P&G, Hearst and The Motherhood for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. They are committed to fighting this disease in several ways this month.

  • Save while you give. On Sunday, October 2, and Sunday, October 16, a GIVE Hope brandSAVER will be distributed in newspapers across the country, with discounts for P&G products, including Olay, Pantene, Crest and many more. For each GIVE Hope brandSAVER coupon redeemed, P&G will donate two cents to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) – allowing people to give back, while saving money.
  • Share with friends. “Like” P&G Beauty on Facebook.  For every “like” at  P&G will donate 10 cents to NBCF to further support their mission of saving lives through early detection. The P&G Beauty Facebook page will also feature stories from female employees who have been impacted by this disease.
  • Buy, give and get. During the month of October, consumers will receive a $10 rebate and will also trigger a $10 donation to NBCF with the purchase of $50 worth of P&G Beauty products, including Venus, Olay, Secret, CoverGirl, Nice ‘n Easy, Pantene, Safeguard and Ivory.

P&G has also provided me with a P&G gift basket for one of my readers. It is a great gift basket full off all sorts of P&G beauty products. To win you simply need to leave a comment about how breast cancer has affected you.  And let’s hope this is the last decade we need a month dedicated to the awareness of breast cancer.

Giveaway open to US residents only. A winner will be drawn at random on Monday, October 10th and the winner will be notified by email.

I was provided with a gift basket and compensation from P&G, Hearst and The Motherhood. This is obviously a cause I feel passionate about and the stories are all my own.


  1. My grandmother passed away from breast cancer. We are extra vigilant in our family as well!
    Amy recently posted…ThankfulMy Profile

  2. My mom died from breast cancer. So did her sister and her mother. Another sister fought and won. Two of my sisters and a cousin have been tested for the BRACA gene and all three are positive. I have an appointment for tomorrow. I am not normally an anxious person but when I think of losing one of my sisters or of my kids growing up without me panic, tries to take over. this disease has already taken too much from my family. I would LOVE this to be the last decade we have a month dedicated to breast cancer awareness.

  3. Jen Heptinstall says:

    I actually have not had any one I know with breast cancer. These days it is almost rare to say that but I am very thankful to be able to say it.

  4. Christie says:

    Both my grandmothers were diagnosed within 6 months of each other. I remember 2002 as the year of the boobies—or lack thereof!

  5. Jill,
    What a beautiful, moving post. Thank you so much for sharing your story and reminding us all how very important this month is. I have lost friends and family to breast cancer too and am sending love and hugs. xoxo

    • One of the thing that is impacting me the most with this post is reading the comments of so many who are so personally affected by this disease. It is a little shocking.

  6. My Katie, who died this year, died from breast cancer that came back in her liver. We beat it once, but not the second time. She was 34 when she died and had been fighting since she was 26. EVERYONE needs to do monthly checks. EVERYONE!
    Kathy @ House of Hills recently posted…Menu Plan Monday : 09 19 11My Profile

    • Kathy that is just so horribly awful that someone that young would lose their life to his disease. I know how much she meant to you. Thank you for continuing to honor her memory.

  7. Emily says:

    It’s great that P&G is giving back some of their profits for such a good cause!!
    For other pink ribbon products and campaigns, It’s important to evaluate where the money is actually going and how much is just a marketing ploy. I cam across thinkbeforeyoupink.org a few years ago- lots of good resources on investigating and making sure your donation will benefit research and prevention efforts!

  8. My mother in law and aunt in law have both dealt with and survived breast cancer. My aunt lost both her breasts though.
    LaVonne recently posted…The Lion King PuzzleMy Profile

  9. My sister had breast cancer, as well as two cousins. They, and I, are BRCA positive. Thankfully, they are all cancer-free now, after long years of chemo, radiation, and surgery.

    • Glad everyone is cancer free. I am curious how knowing you are BRCA positive has impacted you.

      • I am more vigilant with checks. I get an MRI or mammogram every six months. I had a hysterectomy when I found out to take away my chance for ovarian cancer. I also keep open the option that I may want to go ahead and get a mastectomy one day to be more proactive.

        I try not to dwell on it too much. I’m more worried that my kids have inherited it from me. They’re too young right now to get tested. But, I will when they’re older so they’ll know what they need to do.

  10. Carmen Erickson says:

    My grandmother has had breast cancer. By the grace of God she is a survivor. Still alive and kickin’ at 90 years old! :) As a pastor’s wife I have walked along side several members of our church who battled the disease. Some getting a promotion to heaven, others coming through the treatment and continuing their lives here on earth.

  11. This is very close to my heart right now as a very close friend just found out yesterday that she has breast cancer at the age of 30. I’ve known two other women have had it one of them won and the other lost her battle, however they were older and for some reason that seems easier to me. Someone my age (exactly we share a birthday) is just too young to fight this battle!

  12. I can’t think of any breast cancer in our family, but we have had many other cancers between hubby’s family and mine. The most recent was a cousin diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma a few weeks ago. It’s so important to stay diligent of ANY changes on our bodies!
    Pam recently posted…Recipe Roundtable :: Bean & Barley SaladMy Profile

  13. My grandmother died of breast cancer. The kind of cancer that actually takes over your whole body.

    I didn’t see her much b/c she lived in Israel. So, we visited her right before she died…knowing we were visiting b/c she was about to die. It was horrible. Horrible to see her so not-herself.

    All I can do is pray. Because I’m like you, I can’t live in fear. God is bigger than cancer!

    And can I link to a post about my grandmother? It’s not tacky when we’re friends, right? (Plus, it’s the comments that make it!(
    oh amanda {impress your kids} recently posted…Asa’s Toy Story *3* Party: Top Ten {Tuesday}My Profile

  14. Lori S says:

    Breast cancer has not affected me personally but I have walked in the Susan G komen walks and it is very touching to see and hear the stories.


  15. Andrea Rosen says:

    I am very, very lucky that breast cancer has not affected me or anyone I know- that I know of. My family has been touched by other types of cancer though.

  16. Georgia says:

    Breast cancer has plagued my family too. It got my Aunt and my Grandmother. Both live but both have had Mastectomy’s.

    gmissycat at yahoo dot com

  17. My aunt passed away from breast cancer and my mom had a breast cancer scare but fortunately turned out ok. Its important to get screened, do checks, and i really believe also in living a happy life and making it as stress free as possible so that we can all live our very best.

  18. I had a great aunt who was a breast cancer survivor and it’s in my family along with a whole slew of others like endometrial, ovarian & cervical. I really am with you about this being the last decade. I hope for all cancers really. I’ve lost too many people to it.
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  19. My oldest sister is a 15 yr Breast Cancer Survivor!
    angela recently posted…Along Wooded PathsMy Profile

  20. Emily says:

    Breast cancer has not affected me, thank God, but my Grandmother just died from Lymphoma.

  21. My Granny was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years back and went through all the rigorous treatment needed to kill it! Well she did beat it and is doing great today, keeping up with her appointments and taking the necessary medication.
    Amber Maddux recently posted…My mailbox brings me happinessMy Profile

  22. Monique says:

    A good friend of mine was diagnosed 2 years ago with breast cancer & is now a survivor!! She had a great attitude throughout her treatment & has made me look @ life in a whole new light :)

  23. I have personally had to have an ultrasound done (a mammogram wasn’t covered because of my age) and was told my lumps were nothing to worry about. other than that, I don’t know of anyone having breast cancer. My situation was scary enough I guess!
    Angie recently posted…Del Monte® Fruit Naturals®: Coupon coming from VocalpointMy Profile

  24. My aunt battled and overcame breast cancer.
    I’ve taken care of many patients who have lost the breast to cancer and have and incredibly painful and massive reconstructive surgeries. The pain these women have to face to get back a feeling of normalcy is just terrible.

  25. Robin Fitzgerald says:

    I lost my best friend to breast cancer. She was only 39. Most women hate turning 40…I tell them it beats the alternative.

  26. Marlena U. says:

    My best friend’s mother passed away from breast cancer. It was a very sad situation but made our friendship so much stronger!