No one has the right…

February 22, 2010

Hmmm, just looked at the date of the last post – apologies that it has been so long between drinks, so to speak.

I have heard it said, that you know your passion when you find something that keeps you up late at night and gets you up early in the morning.  Well, at after 1am, I guess I could be on the right track…lol

I have spent a fair bit of today (well, yesterday now) doing research on the web – seeing what information is out there about breast reconstruction and preventative mastectomies.  I want to try and ensure that at breastANGELS we are across any developments and what’s happening in the big wide world.

I came across some videos on You Tube of E D Hill being interviewed on The View in late January this year just prior to her undergoing a double preventative mastectomy.  For Aussies, from what I can see, she has been an anchorwoman on Fox News in the USA.  I thought the interview was very powerful in terms of her relating her story and why she was undergoing the procedure.  So I posted links to them from our Facebook page.

I then went looking for some contact details for E D (which I didn’t find by the way!!).  I wanted to thank her for providing some awareness around this procedure and what goes into making a decision like this.

What I did find in the process was a whole lot of various blogs and forums discussing her decision.  And while there were quite a lot of comments that provided encouragement and support, I was gobsmacked at the number that tackled, questioned and downright condemned her and her decision.  Some of the comments clearly came from places of ignorance of E D’s situation while others – well, let’s just say, I would love to live in Utopia with them.  Eating and living “right” is not a guaranteed all-preventative strategy for avoiding cancer.  Yes, there are some schools of thought that believe it can reduce the risk – to be honest, I have not yet made up my mind.

But back to the comments….who gave these people the right to decide what was right for E D Hill and her body?  Are they living her life, in her shoes?  No.  I was fortunate before I had my surgery in that I only had 1 person come outright to me and question my decision.  I think there were a few more who were hesitant, but they did not directly challenge me.

I am REALLY thingy that at breastANGELS, we do not have an agenda.  We are about providing the information and support so that each woman can make the decision that is right for them – in both preventative mastectomy and post breast cancer reconstruction scenarios.  And then if the decision is made to proceed and money is an issue, hopefully we will be able to assist.

Making the decision to have your breasts removed or not is not a decision that any woman would take lightly.  It is a decision to be made by each individual woman about what is right for her, and her alone.  If she has a significant other, then yes, discussion should involve them, but at the end of the day, it is ALL about the woman and her body.

You don’t give up all feeling in your breasts on a whim.  You don’t give up feeling your breasts react to your partner’s touch on a whim.  You don’t put yourself and loved ones through major surgery on a whim.  You don’t give up the ability to breast feed on a whim.  You don’t put yourself through a whole truckload of pain on a whim.

No one else should have the right to pass judgement.  I’m not saying that everyone has to agree with the decisions made, just have respect for the woman that it is her decision.

And here endeth today’s sermon.  My apologies folks, if you feel that I have lectured in this one.  However, I felt the need to get another side of the story out there.

Wishing you all health and happiness, Sharon

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Are we attracting cancer?

July 15, 2009

I was catching up with a friend yesterday and of course breastANGELS became part of the discussion.

She stated that with all the breast cancer focussed organisations that exist, if instead of assisting, we were actually creating more incidences of breast cancer by the process of Law Of Attraction?

Certainly when I was going through the process of deciding whether or not to have my breasts removed, it was something I considered.  I did have a couple of people say to me straight out that I should not be having my breasts removed and that I was too focussed on breast cancer.  I am an advocate of the Law Of Attraction, so it did challenge me with what I believed.  For me, it ended up that while I TRY to live according to the Law, I am conscious that it is a continual work in progress and I am far from perfect in my adherence.  This issue was so intensely personal that I believed that I would not be able to not focus on developing breast cancer.  There was also my family history to factor in as well.

For me, it became about utilising the resources available to me to take control of my situation.  I am reminded of the joke about the man drowning out at sea and a fisherman comes by and offers to rescue him.  He replies, “No thanks, My Lord will save me.”  A rescue boat comes by and again offers to assist and again he replies “No thanks, My Lord will save me.”  Then comes a helicopter that again wants to rescue and again he replies “No thanks, My Lord will save me.”  The man dies and upon entering heaven asks “Lord why did you not rescue me?”  Lord replies “I sent you a fisherman, rescue boat and a helicopter, what more did you want?”  We are often given the tools and resources to help us, but we have to also help ourselves.  The technology and surgical techniques were available to me to essentially eliminate my risk, but also retain breasts (and of course get a flat tummy as well lol).  To me, this was all a Win/Win/Win situation.

So, are we attracting more incidences of breast cancer?  It is possible, but I believe that the assistance and support all of these organisations provide far outweighs that possibility.  Particularly at breastANGELS as the women we support are either already at high risk or have had breast cancer.

But what are your thoughts?

Angel blessings, Sharon

The toughest thing to deal with…

July 2, 2009

When I was preparing for my surgery just over a year ago, the toughest thing I had to deal with was knowing that I was going to have no sensation in my breasts.

Even though they would look, feel and act like normal breasts, as there was no actual breast tissue remaining, I would have no touch sensation.  And this was something that I really grieved for.  Whilst they were not big, I loved the way they felt and the way they reacted to intimate touch.

In the scheme of things, it really is insignificant – I was going to essentially eliminate my risk of developing breast cancer – but for me it was a really big thing.  Would it stop me undergoing the surgery, absolutely not.  But it was still an aspect that I had to come to terms with.

And now, after the surgery and I am fully recovered, it is still something that occasionally brings me undone.  I am so thankful for having been able to have this surgery and the peace of mind that I now have is an absolute blessing.

There are so many positives that have come out of this surgery, not least of which being the creation of breastANGELS.  I guess this is just me being a bit human.

To read more about my journey and the creation of breastANGELS, please buy my book “Accepting With Grace – Mastectomy & Reconstruction, My Choice Before Breast Cancer”.  ALL the proceeds go directly to breastANGELS, I do not receive any money from its sales.  Click here to buy. http://www.breastangels.org/html/accepting.html

eBook – AU$18.00 (Approx US$14.50, CA$16.75, €10.30, £8.85)
Print (including P&H) – AU$30 (Approx US$32.40, CA$37.90, €22.95, £19.60)

What a day…

May 24, 2009

Hi All

Just had to share with you what happened yesterday….

Had a book signing with Angus & Robertson at Kawana Shopping World, here on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia.  The wonderful franchise owner Keith had said that as ALL the proceeds from my book Accepting Wih Grace – Mastectomy & Reconstruction, My Choice Before Breast Cancer go directly to breastANGELS, he would not charge any commission!!  Thank you Universe and thank you Keith.

So we went down and got all set up just outside of the shop, in the mall.  Also had our fluffy pink halo’s for sale and a donation tin.  We, my daughter & I, were wearing our halo’s.  Reid had on a pink baseball cap – still working on getting him into a halo…LOL!!

We were selling quite a few halo’s and getting some donations.  Then arrived Connie.  Connie is a new friend who will be on our board.  Connie asked if we would like her to go out with the tin and ask for donations.  OK – outside my comfort zone, but if you are comfortable, go for it.

Well, she absolutely proved Jack Canfield’s Ask, Ask, Ask Principle from the The Success Principles.  All you need to do is ask.  People were just opening their wallets and purses and being wonderfully generous.  I won’t disclose how much she collected, but the tin had to be emptied numerous times as it was getting too heavy for her to carry.  She also handed out brochures to most people on what breastANGELS is doing.

The summary for the day….didn’t sell 1 book.  But, we ran out of halo’s and collected a wonderful amount in donations.    Could I be disappointed that we didn’t sell any books – yes.  Am I, no.  I had let go of my attachment to that at the start of the day.  I realise the book has a limited audience, the more important thing is to create awareness of breastANGELS and what we are achieving.

We had lots of comments from people supporting what we are doing.  As quite a few said, the research organisations are absolutely required and will definitely help women in the future, but it is great that we are doing things and taking action to help women impacted by breast cancer NOW.

So, Thank You Connie, and Thank You Universe – have an attitude of gratitude and the Universe using the Law of Attraction will just keep providing.

Have a wonderful few days and I’ll catch you soon.

Angel blessings

Sharon

What information do you need?

May 19, 2009

Hi All

Hope you’ve had a fabulous day.  I did.  Here on the Sunshine Coast it has been anything but…but we need the rain.

breastANGELS is committed to ensuring that women at high risk to develop breast cancer have access to the right information to enable them to make an informed decision about what is right for them.  But to do that, we need to know what information you want to know.  Certainly from my own research and experience, I have a lot of knowledge about mastectomy and reconstruction using my own tissue.  We will also provide information on reconstructing using implants and have input from women who have been through breast cancer, as that is a different perspective all together.

But what else do you want to know?  How much detail do you want?  Do you want a warts and all or just the bare essentials?  Clearly every woman is going to be different, but this will enable us to prepare and provide information in such a way that it meets most needs.

So, tell me what you want….

Cheers, Sharon

Hello world!

May 18, 2009

Yes, I have moved in Gen Y and am now blogging – who would have thought!!

Thanks for joining me here.  I plan on being able to keep you abreast (yes, pun intended) of what is happening in the world of breastANGELS.

So much has happened since we launched just a few short weeks ago.  Media are starting to contact us for information, women are starting to contact us for support and we are getting great support and encouragement from friends and friends in the making all over the globe.

I am absolutely determined that breastANGELS will make a significant difference in the lives of women impacted by breast cancer.  And particularly for those women at high risk to develop breast cancer down here in Australia, I want to get some co-ordinated support happening.  I want ensure that you have access to all the information you need to help you make the right decision for you – whatever that may be.  breastANGELS is not about insisting that women reconstruct, we are here to support you to do what is right for you.

We have created a fan page on Facebook – click on this link to join. http://www.facebook.com/pages/breastANGELS/99121406016

While you’re there, you can register for one of our FREE upcoming teleseminars where I will be sharing my journey and also answering your questions.

Hope to ‘see’ you there soon.

Cheers, Sharon