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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Breast Cancer Heartbreak

I was asked by a fellow blogger if I would participate in a Breast Cancer Awareness Month by sharing some manicures directly related.  I am going to be bluntly honest.  I didn't want to do it.  You see, my Nana died of breast cancer when I was about 17.  She was everything to me and the absolute center of my family.  I spent every possible moment at her house growing up and I loved her deeply.  We would walk to Woolworth's (she couldn't drive) and eat at their counter.  I spent the night and watched tv, and picked green beans in her backyard for a penny a bean.  We would go with my grandpa fishing and I would dig for sand crabs for them.  I have a million memories of her.
Apparently, unknown to me at the time, she had found a lump in her breast and had gone to the doctor about it.  They completely dismissed it and told her it was nothing.  She got a second opinion and they didn't listen either.   By the time someone bothered listening, it must have been too late. She had TWO mastectomies and she still died. 
I was heartbroken and ANGRY.  Where was the justice in this world?  What kind of idiotic doctors dismiss something like a lump in your breast?  Could her life have been saved if she had competent doctors?  
My family of relatives hasn't been the same since she passed about 25 years ago.  Her house was the hub of all activity and it died when she did.  I will always regret not being old enough to be able to grab a doctor by the throat and force him to listen.
Maybe medicine wasn't as advanced in the late 80's as it is now.  I don't know.  I didn't realize how upset I really was until I started seeing the pink ribbon popping up these past few years and some irrational part of me wanted nothing to do with it. It was too late for Nana. She didn't survive.  Why should I care now?  I still partially feel this way.  I know it isn't rational. At all.  Raising awareness and money can help many people.  Apparently, I am still dealing with the loss and I didn't realize it until I was asked to participate in bringing awareness to this evil and destructive disease.
But maybe, just maybe, by participating and getting over my feelings of injustice and anger, I can help someone else by sharing my story and my loss.   Go get checked before it's too late.  Make sure you have competent doctors around you. FIRE them if they don't listen!  You are their customer!  Get a second opinion!  Medicine has advanced tremendously these past 25 years.  Take advantage of it.  
RIP Martha Yana Lazo.  I WILL see you again in heaven.
My base coat is Maya Cosmetics Hex with Milani Pink as the lettering.

19 comments:

Tini said...

She sounds like she was a beautiful lady. Thanks for sharing your story! It was very touching =)

April Croft said...

Big hugs for you, I know exactly where you're coming from. Although it wasn't breast cancer my Grandad passed away from cancer and was misdiagnosed and then told he'd be fine - he passed the following Friday. Like you, I hated seeing anything cancer related and didn't give to the charities because I thought my Grandad didn't survive so why should I pay...I think differently now, the money is vital and I'd love to think any money I give could partially help a family to avoid having to go through the same heartbreak. He passed 10 years ago now on St Davids day, the day of our patron saint which is such a hard day for me. I wonder if he could be cured if he was around now and was diagnosed now. THANK YOU for this post. You are so brave for posting this and you have inspired me. Imagine how much money is being raised world wide with all the charity polishes, and all the awareness from blog posts such as this :) <3

Gosia said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story, that must have been very hard for you... So so so sorry for what happened to your Grandma... Working in medicine and seeing incompetent doctors (less and less of those thank goodness), it breaks my heart knowing that other people suffer because of the doctors' incompetency... Participating in Pink Wednesdays you're raising awereness about this horrible disease!! You never know, maybe you WILL save someone else's life by inspiring them to do SBE and finding the right doctor to take care of them!! {{Hugs}}

Pointless Cafe said...

Tabitha Harris said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I'm trying not to cry right now. My sister had breast cancer & a double mastectomy as well. She was told everything was clear and was starting to plan her reconstructive surgery. Then out of no where she's in the hospital on her death bed. The cancer had spread to her lungs, brain & liver. How could they not check for that? I understand your anger completely. I always regret not having visited my sister when she moved out of state. October is also her birth month, so I'm wearing pink manis for her.

The Silverinator said...

Big big huggles for you. Thank you for sharing your story. <3

Shannon @ So You Think You Can Paint said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story about your wonderful Nana. Sadly, I think women were largely dismissed by doctors 25 years ago. I know my grandmother was as well (she died of uterine cancer 36 years ago). The fight of breast cancer survivors and the loved ones of those lost to breast cancer to get the word out and the fight of cancer researchers to find out the causes and the best treatments have changed things drastically for women. I'm very sorry those doctors treated her in that way and I can feel your pain in your words. It isn't fair. I'm glad you own your pain and put it out there. You shouldn't sugar coat it. I just know that our grandmother's deaths also helped pave the way so that when we find lumps in our breasts we wont be dismissed. It should have to take that to be heard, but unfortunately in the US that is often what happens before people stand up and take notice of health crises. Women like you - loud, vocal, beautiful women, stand up and scream about the injustice of it all. Then more people start sharing and listening and change happens.

Keep shouting for your Nana, I'm sure she is in heaven rooting you on. <3

I am so truly sorry for your loss.

Nailing Nail Art said...

Im so sorry for your lost, your story is heartbreaking!
Its really good from you that youre participation in this!
x big hugs for you

JinJit said...

Thank you so much for sharing.
BIG BIG HUG ♥

Patty said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother. I understand just how special our grandparents can be because I loved mine deeply as well. It is just so tragic when someone we love so much is taken from us by this deadly cancer. It makes me so mad to hear about doctors dismissing what she had. This is one thing that continues until today. We all need to be educated and stand up for ourselves...this means sometimes to demand testing when we are sure we need it.
I know your grandmother is up in heaven and she's saying go forth and tell people my story so that they will learn from me.
Sending you a great big hug!! ♥

Andrea said...

Michelle, thank you for sharing your story and for doing this even though it has brought so many raw feelings for you. Your feelings are not irrational, they are a reflection of your love for her. I think your nana's story is so important because all too often we rely on the word of a doctor and very seldom second guess them, when we maybe should. Our culture leads us to believe doctors know everything, when many times they do not have the right answers. I'm so sorry for the loss of your Nana. Her photo shows she was full of life and happiness. Your lovely mani in her memory speaks volumes. {hugs}

Kelly said...

Thank you for sharing your story, I can only imagine how hard that must have been for you. I hope participating will help you to find some peace.

Ashley is PolishAddicted said...

The biggest of hugs to you Michelle. Your Nana would be PROUD. ♥

The Daily Lacquerista said...

This post makes me so sad I want to cry. *hugs* I'm so sorry for the loss of Nana. <3

Pointless Cafe said...

I really appreciate you honesty. It makes me feel not as alone. While my brain totally understands and supports anything that can bring more awareness, sometimes my heart just hurts. I know in my head that the pink ribbons do nothing themselves, it's the thought behind them and the awareness that can be raised, meaning more support, more money, etc. but part of my heart says that I don't even want to THINK about cancer. I had enough of it to last a lifetime the 2 years I watched my husband slowly die. It will shatter you into a million pieces. You see a tough, strong, 6'2", 200 pound man who was too proud to ask for anything his entire life waste away to nothing and depend on you to change his diapers. It's the most heartbreaking, horrible thing you can ever go through. You wake up and just want to scream at the sun - how DARE it come up as if the world wasn't ending. How DARE people go on with their daily lives as if the world wasn't ending. Your head knows better, but your heart...it just can't process the devastation. So when I see all the breast cancer awareness stuff, my head knows it's nothing to be angry about - quite the opposite. But my heart wants to scream.

Michaela said...

❥ ☮ ╰☆╮

Helena / Lacky Corner said...

So sad that you lost your Nana at only 17. Thanks for sharing your story and you did a wonderful tribute to your Nana with this manicure!

erronous said...

I'm currently 21, a few months ago I found a painful lump in my breast, I went to the doctor about it and was urgently referred for an ultrasound. Luckily, it was nothing but I just thought you'd like to know that women are being listened to more and more now, I thought they'd brush me off at 20 for being 'too young' or not in an 'at risk' category but really, they listened.
I'm so sorry it was too late for your grandma.
Hopefully people will now start to receive the same reassurance I got and any necessary treatment to fight this cowardly illness.

Krisu said...

Thanks for sharing your story, I think this makes woman think much more then preatty pink ribbons! I myself was watching the BCA month for 2 weeks before I remembered to give my self a check in the shower ;(

Sheila, if you are reading this: My Heart is broken for you also. ;(