I’m on My Soapbox – Again.

By Marilynn Olson, member Soroptimist International of La Conner

On February 24, I had breast cancer surgery… for the second time, this time in the right breast. The first time was in 2008 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in the left breast. At that time, I shared my story with my Soroptimist sisters publicly at a meeting. Some thought me brave to tell “the world” what was going on with me.  

I was not brave. I was lucky. My cancer was caught early in 2008. It was caught early in 2015 too, because I get annual mammograms 

At that meeting in 2008 I stood on my soapbox to state that early detection saves lives. It has now saved my life twice.  

The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 300,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2015*. Of those, only a third will be diagnosed early, while the cancer is still confined to the breast—before it has a chance to become invasive and more difficult to cure.  

For you and all who love you, please, please, please get an annual mammogram. Insurance will pay for it. The squishing discomfort is a small price to pay for peace of mind, and it could potentially save your life.  

My good news is that after six weeks of daily radiation at United General Cancer Care in Sedro Woolley (and another five year, daily morning date with Tamoxifin), I will once again be just fine and totally breast cancer free. 

Learn more about the importance of early detection and its impact on saving lives at the American Cancer Society’s website.  

And one more thing, if you know someone who is now going through what I’ve been through, let them know you’re thinking about them. I’m grateful to all my wonderful Soroptimist friends who called, sent cards, emails and Facebook messages to wish me well and offer help. There is great power in the collective and I have drawn strength from their caring. 

* http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/overviewguide/breast-cancer-overview-key-statistics