Photo Credit: Wickedlocal.com

Photo Credit: Wickedlocal.com

 

October is Brest Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer survivors worldwide encourage family and friends to take part in events celebrating their survival.

Studies show that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. When we’re young, we often take our health for granted and don’t think about getting a negative health diagnosis. Women living beyond breast cancer are using this time to share stories of their journey to others going through treatment.

Kesho Watson lives beyond breast cancer by moving on and inspiring  her sons, ages 20 and 14, to take care of their bodies. “Adults are creatures of their childhood,” said Watson, a 6-year-survivor. If you allow yourself to eat anything when you’re young, it can be hard to break the habit,” she said.

Practice prevention

The example Watson is leaving for the next generation is to have a healthy lifestyle.
Eat healthy food, like fresh fruits, whole grains and fresh cooked vegetables. Studies
show that a woman’s risk of breast cancer approximately often doubles if she has a
first-degree relative, such as a mother, sister, or daughter who’s been diagnosed with
breast cancer. Watson’s paternal grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer and
has learned how to eat in moderation and be conscious of her diet.

Always be in a learning mode

During her treatment, Watson said that she constantly sought accurate information on
her illness. A cancer patient should arm themselves with information about breast
cancer research, treatment, prevention and cure. Information should also be gathered
on the drugs such as side effects, and any risks. Watson, who went through surgery and chemotherapy found the resources through Lankenau Hospital where she was treated and her social worker. Without information we lack the ability to empower ourselves.

Remember that you’re not alone

Going through treatment can be a struggle if you try to manage it on your own.
Watson hit a wall when she felt too drained to go grocery shopping. She also had
problems with her medication and she experienced temporary memory loses. Her life
saver was resources through The Breathing Room, a non-profit charity organization
whose mission is to provide care and support to local families affected by cancer.

Ever year around Thanksgiving, The Breathing Room provides a complete
Thanksgiving dinner for recipient families. Holidays can be stressful. Through
donors, the foundation provides Thanksgiving dinner as well as other services
to give a little bit of breathing room for families and let them enjoy the holiday.

In 2009, Watson’s family received a Thanksgiving dinner. Prior to Thanksgiving,
her youngest son, then 8, was given a one week camp scholarship at a basketball
clinic at LaSalle College. Watson said that she always saw to it that her sons went
to camp every summer, but without help from The Breathing Room, she wouldn’t
of been able to afford send her son to a specialized camp.

A child can help a cancer patient in many ways. They can:

Help with Chores at Home

  • Make Cards and Pictures
  • Start a fund raising drive at school
  • Participate in a Cancer Walk
  • Pray

Organizations that need your support:

The Breathing Room: http://breathingroomfoundation.org/wordpress/volunteer/

My Mommy Has Breast Cancer: http://www.mommyhasbreastcancer.org/index.html

Child Cancer: http://www.childcancer.org.nz/How-you-can-help/Volunteer.aspx

St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital: http://www.stjude.org/waystohelp

One Mission: http://www.onemission.org/giVolunteer.html

 

Did you find this information helpful? What organizations helped you manage stress? Please let me know in the comments section below.

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