Friday, October 16, 2015

Calling All Sistahs

Thank you so much for coming for my 2nd day of super important posts.

Calling All Sistahs!

is not contagious.
you can catch it
 through early detection.

I did.
***Just 2 months ago today***

Let me tell you how I caught it.

Here in Colorado, 
our channel 9 News has an 
early breast cancer detection program called 
The idea is to remind you, and for you to remind your buddies, to do your self checks on the 9th of each month.

*This is the part where I become quite emotional because this is so meaningful to me, 
so just know that I'll be crying through most of the rest of this post as I write it*

August 9th was my youngest son's 14th birthday 
so I was BUSY that day.
I didn't do my Buddy Check 9 self check, I didn't even think to do it, I was in birthday mode and it wasn't even remotely on my mind.

I don't know why it suddenly popped into my mind on August 17th 
but it did.
The awareness that 9 News has created made a difference
for me
because I'd heard it every month for the last 8 years,
 because it made me remember!

I realized I had forgotten Buddy Check 9 so I did my check on that August 17th morning 
and I found a lump.

It's SUPER important to note that MOST lumps turn out to be NOTHING 
but mine wasn't nothing.
You can read all about that portion of my story HERE
if you missed it yesterday.

Catching cancer in its early stages is critical.
It saves lives.
It preserves choices.
It makes it curable!

I don't necessarily believe that things happen for a reason because to me, that somehow leaves too much room to think that bad things might be deserved or allowed to define you. 
I DO believe that it doesn't matter what happens in life, 
But what absolutely DOES matter is how you choose to handle it

I got breast cancer. 
*I don't deserve it*
But I get to CHOOSE how to handle this.

I'm choosing to treat it as a blessing. 
I have to deal with this so I want to do it well.
I've had to learn a lot very quickly so I could make smart decisions about how I want to be cured.
Did you hear what I said??
I Got To Decide How I Want To Be Cured!
How awesome is that?!
That my friends is a blessing!

I'm choosing to share my story to make a positive difference.
This isn't about getting attention for me. 
This is about getting attention for Breast Cancer Awareness beyond just the month of October.
This is about generating that absolutely necessary awareness that needs to exist every single month,
the same kind of awareness that allowed me to find my cancer save my life.
I want this for you, and your friends and loved ones, and their friends and loved ones and so on!

1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in her lifetime...
*she deserves the chance to choose how she will be cured*

Unless you live in Colorado, you don't have access to my 9 News and its Buddy Check 9, 
a program I will forever be grateful for.
It made a difference in my life, in my treatment choices, and I want to pay that forward.

I'm starting a monthly blog series called
Calling All Sistahs!

We need to spread the word that early detection of breast cancer saves lives.
Your yearly mammogram is certainly a very important detection tool, 
but so much can happen in between so every. month. counts.
Monthly self breast exams help make early detection possible.
2 months ago, on August 17th 2015, I became 1 in 8.
In the spirit of the buddy system,
each month I will remind you
to check yourself
on the 17th.

This comes from my most grateful heart.
Most of us have never met but
YOU all matter to me!
I want YOU to be safe.
I want YOU to have choices.
I want YOU to know that cancer is not contagious 
but YOU can catch it...early!
And if YOU do...YOU my sistah will be ok!

***Calling All Sistahs! This is your reminder...
YOU better check yourself***

*****Now please tell YOUR sistahs to do it too!*****

It's that easy.

 Please place this graphic on your blog sidebar
or your facebook page 
or tweet it 
or pin it
or whatever you need to do
 to share
so all of your sistah's can see it.
Please link it back to this post 
so all of your sistahs can be part of it. 
Here is the link to this post:

Then join me here on the 17th of each month.
It's a serious subject but I want it to be easy, inspiring, uplifting.
  We will have some fun too :)

7 out of 8 women have nothing to worry about. 
*****But what about that 1?*****
She doesn't even know it yet.
She needs to be ok.
She is our sistah.



donna mikasa said...

My mom was a breast cancer survivor, and I'm aware of the importance of early detection. I'm posting the graphic on my blog and I'll try my best to join you here on the 17th of each month. Hugs to you for sharing!

Susanne Rose said...

Michele, it's a great idea to remind us every 17th of the month to do the buddy check! I think it's a really good thing to tell your story, because it ends with a "Happy End", although you are the one that was diagnosed with cancer. It gives people hope and takes the fear of finding something at the buddy check. Thank you!
Big hugs and take care!!!

designbydonna said...

Thank you for sharing your story and your positive attitude. Praying for sucessful outcomes for you. I just had a mammogram and have to go back due to a suspicious spot. I am trying to stay positive and not worry about the 'what if". you are right the waiting is the hardest part. I am also a take action person--let's do something and get this fixed! Hopefully your monthly reminders will help save other women.

Greta said...

What a great idea, Michelle! Early detection of many cancers does save lives & what a great platform to spread the word to women. Just got my letter saying it's time to schedule my mammogram & that's the first thing I'll do on Monday. Happy thoughts are being sent your way!

Angie Tieman said...

Great post and reminder, Michele! I was one of the lucky ones whose lump turned out to be nothing, yet I still need reminders to check with all the craziness of everyday life. Thanks for sharing!

Lisa Petrella said...

Now I'm crying too! Michele, this is an incredible post and such an awesome idea!!! Leave it to you----such a kind, caring, generous, thoughtful, compassionate friend----to think of everyone else in the middle of all of this craziness. Thank you! BIG HUGS, Sistah!!!

Virginia L. said...

I am proudly sharing this in my blog. Thank you, Michele! You are one amazing woman and a strong leader! Your positive attitude and Special Forces are going to keep you SAFE and STRONG.

Ceal said...

I am so proud of you! I lost my Mom to breast cancer at the age of 21. I am a survivor, not breast but a survivor. Cancer sucks but it is beatable if detected early. So glad you are starting this awareness... Hugs

LauraJane:) said...

Super idea:) Thank you!!

Lee said...

What an amazing and inspirational post!! Sending you gentle, squishy hugs and hoping to join in here often!!!

Darnell said...

I'm sorry that you are having to deal with this, Michele, but kudos to you for turning this bump in the road into a positive series to help women! You are the best! Your powerful words and willingness to share will save lives ... I'll pass it on and I will add you to my prayer list! Thank you so much on behalf of all women!! Hugs, Darnell

Rubeena I. said...

You are so strong. Sending healing thoughts.

Julie B said...

I totally agree. I'm 20 years in after finding a lump at 38 and not having docs take me seriously, too young, too active etc.I pushed and got a biopsy which did show changes.
Following lumpectomy and on a trail for tamoxifen all seemed fine then 10 yrs down the line it happened again but 9 years later hopefully things are now fine after surgery and radio. So listen to your body and follow up and if they don't listen keep pushing!!!!! :)

Shona Chambers said...

I think your amazing to think of others when this is going on in your own life. I have to admit, I never check myself and hardly ever think about it, so this would really help me a lot. Will see you back here on the 17th and thank you!!!

Ardyth said...

You are awesome Michele - I love how you've taken the opportunity to spread the word, even while you're dealing with it yourself. We are all thinking of and praying for you and your family!

Helen Gullett said...

When I read your post today, I thank God for you! It is an amazing idea to spread the awarness. I had my mammograph 4 months ago and doctor called me to have another one in 6 months because they saw some shadows and not sure about it. Next month I will have my other mammograph. I am worry and scare but knowing that there is a chance it is nothing helps me to have peace. I am not yet 40 and dealing with this symptomps. YES, hopefully more and more women will aware and do the test as early as possible.

Yesterday I got 2 news from 2 different friends whom 1 had a surgery to remove cancerous lymp and the other one just diagnosed with breast cancer :( This made me sad.

Michelle, thank you for doing this! I will wear the button proudly on my blog and keep praying for you and your healing process!

Barb Ghig said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, and for encouraging all of us to perform a breast self-exam! My mom is a breast cancer survivor (x2, ten years apart), and she is now 83 yrs old - Cancer free, and very healthy! I'm sending you my very best wishes that you will remain safe and strong! God Bless You, Michele!!!

D- said...

I added your badge to my side bar.
Wishing you the very best. Thanks for sharing.
Sending healing hugs,

Becca Cruger said...

What an incredibly powerful story. Thank you for sharing it to help raise awareness and spread the message!

conil said...

Your star is just beaming PINK all over the place. I'll be there with you in spirit on Wednesday and everyday thereafter.

Lori Kobular said...

MICHELE ~ I have tried to add your Calling All Sistahs to my blog, but for some reason when I save the picture on try to put it on my blog the picture comes thru distorted. I really want to add this to my blog!

Lori's Kreations

Michele Gross said...

Hi Lori, if you right click saved it to your computer, when you add it as an image onto your sidebar, make sure you click the little button that says shrink to fit (or something like that) Its under the spot where you load the picture file. If that doesn't work, email me at and I'll send you the jpeg file :)

LauraJane:) said...

Kick away girl!
Praying for all to go well:)

LauraJane:) said...

Kick away girl!
Praying for all to go well:)

Laurel Beard said...

Oh my Michelle! Tears swelled up in my eyes! You are a rock star! I appreciate this post and all that you shared.... Got the 17th down on my calendar for each month, although I don't know how to check properly other than to mush around with my fingers in a circular motion! I just had my first mammogram ever last week. It was nervewracking because it was my first... I angst about the results, which thankfully came back as normal. I shall put this on my calendar and save your badge to my sidebar! And today? I LIFT YOU UP IN PRAYER because YOU just made a huge difference in my life!

Heather North said...

Girlfriend, you know I got your back. Praying for you today as you meet with your surgeon and praying extra hard on Wednesday. Your message will save lives, Michele. Thank you for being so open with us. Sistah, this calls for an extra glass of wine tonight. Perhaps I will have one for you. The sacrifices we make. ;)

Bea said...

You're in my prayers.

Celeste Goff said...

I can't think of a single person who has not been touched by this disease in one way or another. I lost my paternal grandmother to bc, a maternal aunt, a maternal great-aunt, and my maternal grandmother has had it twice. I have at least a handful of friends who've had it and have survived. Breast screening is important and can save lives!

Kristie Goulet said...

You know I have your back, Sistah!! I pray that yesterday went as well as possible as you met with your surgeon and praying for you tomorrow as you face surgery. Your message has definitely changed my life and will save many others. Thank you SO much for sharing with everyone!!! Lots of hugs and love to you! xoxo

Helen Gullett said...

Keep praying for you Michelle!

Carol Carr said...

You are so right -- everyone can choose how they will handle dealing with this horrible disease. I wish you good luck with your forthcoming surgery and will be praying for you. I, too, am a survivor!

Vonnie G. said...

Praying for you and all the indivuals and families fighting walking this journey. And for those of us who walk beside you...may you never feel alone. We love you!

Vonnie G. said...

Praying for you and all the indivuals and families fighting walking this journey. And for those of us who walk beside you...may you never feel alone. We love you!

Sue Smith said...

Michelle, you are amazing and so right to start your journey with such a positive attitude. My sis is 3 years post her diagnoses of breast cancer. I marvel at the strength each of you demonstrates when you receive the results. I was so grateful to be w/ Kris through her surgeries. I would love to be there for you too, to let you know all will be well and that you beat this fight. Heavenly Father is aware of you and your struggles at this time. He will bless you and your family accordingly. My prayers are with you and I will put your name on our prayer list in the temple. God bless.

beth said...

Thank you for sharing and being so courageous. My mom fought two times but won finally after surgery and radiation. She was in her late seventies. She passed last October at 90.
Prayers are with you during this challenge.
Great idea to remind us to self exam monthly. Time just seems to go so fast and it is easy to miss exams. Thanks

beth said...

Thank you for sharing and being so courageous. My mom fought two times but won finally after surgery and radiation. She was in her late seventies. She passed last October at 90.
Prayers are with you during this challenge.
Great idea to remind us to self exam monthly. Time just seems to go so fast and it is easy to miss exams. Thanks

Melissa said...

I know this post is a couple of weeks old now, but I needed to reply today. I've faithfully done my monthly self-checks since I was in my early 20s and lost one of my first cousins to breast cancer. She was only her 40s when she died. I'm now in my early 50s, so I've been self-checking every month for nearly 30 years. I've always done mine on the day of the month I pay my mortgage/rent so I never forget. After nearly 30 years of checking and finding nothing, last night I found something -- an oval shaped lump in my right breast. I sent an email to my boss letting him know I wouldn't be in today and went straight to my doctor this morning for a walk-in appointment. I now have appointments scheduled for a bilateral diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound, a follow-up appointment with my doctor for the results of those tests and referral to an oncologist (if necessary), as well as an appointment with a surgeon to remove it. She thinks it's most likely benign, but there are a few she felt during the manual exam that concern her, so she wants to proceed cautiously. As a fellow member of the stamping/card making family, I just want to thank you for spreading the word on the importance of self-checks. I will PROUDLY be adding your badge to the sidebar of my blog. xoxo