This year Breast Cancer Awareness month holds significantly more meaning and importance to me as I have been by my mother's side the past two and half years during her journey fighting a recurrence of her breast cancer from 2009.
I am now focused on providing support and compassion for breast cancer patients and survivors during their treatment journey. Accompanying my 85 year old mother on all of her appointments I have experienced first hand all of the tests, scans, MRIs, ultrasounds, mammograms. infusions, and hard conversations. It is so important for breast cancer patients to have the support of a family member or friend as they travel through this journey. I cannot imagine my mother having gone through these past few years without an advocate by her side.
Today my brother and I escorted my mother to an appointment with her oncology surgeon to discuss preparations for my mother's second breast cancer surgery to remove her mass and lymph nodes.
We have been blessed that the oral chemo medication she has been on has shrunk her cancer tumor to less than half of its' original size, however the only way to eradicate the cancer is to remove it surgically. We had previously prepared for my mom to have this surgery twice and our efforts were derailed by my mom taking two hard falls, breaking both hips and her wrist. She has gone through two major hip surgeries, a wrist surgery, and a minor stroke since she started her cancer treatment.
With a lot of hard work we got through all of the difficulties we were presented with, they were not easy for her or for myself as it created a lot of stress for everyone. Somehow through this tough time we made it to the other side and now after months of rehabilitation my mom is in better health so we can restart the plans for her surgery.
Today I would like to thank all of those friends, family members, and advocates of breast cancer patients. Thanks for making the time to be there for someone else who needs you and a time filled with fear of the unknown.
Since I have been going through the entire curative process which my mother elected for I have learned so much about breast cancer and what patients like my mom go through during the treatment process. One of the most important things I have learned is the importance of compassion for the patient. I have experienced an incredible culture of compassion at UCSD Moores Cancer Center where my mother is receiving her treatment. Every single person I interact with has somehow expressed compassion, kindness, courtesy, patience, and understanding above and beyond anything I have ever experienced in the health care industry. I am so grateful for all of the incredibly talented members of my mom's care team.
The other thing I have discovered is how important the sense of touch is for the person going through cancer treatment. I wanted to help my mom get a much needed massage and reached out to Julie to help me locate a licensed and certified oncology therapist in her area. Julie not only helped me find an amazing massage therapist but also educated me in what type of certification to look for in my search. I am happy to say with Julie's guidance my mother has received healing oncology massage which even her Oncologist confirmed was a great idea.
This is why I designed the special Wellness for Cancer Crafted for a Cause bracelet. My hope is by donating 10% of every piece of our Wellness for Cancer (WFC) Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) bracelets we will be able to support WFC's efforts to train spa and wellness industry professionals to provide healing touch treatments to those living with cancer.
For years I have been a fan and supporter of Julie Bach, founder of Wellness for Cancer (WFC) a 501 3(c) charity created to facilitate self care and better lifestyle choices for individuals who have been touched by cancer. In 2016 I designed a special Crafted for a Cause 'Be Well' Collection to support WFC and bring awareness to Julie's great mission to help teach professionals in the wellness and spa industry how to heal those touched by cancer.
As with all Mala + Mantra products, the bracelet imparts messages of mindfulness and wellness: “be brave. be strong. be restored." I also intentionally wrote the mantra to inspire cancer patients to fight and never give up hope.
Malas and mantras are tools used for thousands of years to help cultivate self-compassion, forgiveness and wellbeing at the individual level.
Having several cancer survivors in my immediate family and circle of friends, and having found lumps which fortunately when biopsied were negative, I have been personally affected by this devastating disease. Each purchase of the Mala + Mantra X Wellness for Cancer BCA bracelets helps cancer patients and survivors receive well BE-ing treatments. We encourage support of becoming cancer aware by sharing your photos of this bracelet and using the hashtag #bebravebestrongberestored
Wellness for Cancer is a non-profit 501 (3) charity founded by Julie Bach, who is both passionate and compassionate when it comes to helping people with cancer. The foundation of the program is a cancer-focused collaboration with doctors and specialists in the field, to develop a comprehensive online training and hands-on program for spa and alternative medicine professionals. The network of 10 educators in 10 countries provides evidence-based training for therapists, using proven techniques from medical centers. The charity trains leading spas and wellness centers to provide personalized wellness services for individuals touched by cancer
“I am honored that we are launching the Mala and Mantra X Wellness for Cancer BCA mala bracelets as Meditation and Mindfulness are evidence-based approaches approved by many hospitals and cancer centers to help individuals address: Depression, Anxiety, Stress Reduction, Concentration and Quality of life issues associated with cancer,” says Bach.
Wellness for Cancer embodies compassion and wisdom to provide well-being solutions that help individuals recognize that they are more than their physical body and they are more than their cancer diagnosis. They are human beings.
Help us spread the word about regular mammogram screening by encouraging your friends and family to get screened.
Also, please offer to support those in your life suffering from breast cancer as sometimes it's the small gestures of companionship, attention, listening, kindness, and empathy which provide the most comfort.