October is a busy month. Schools have settled into the day-to-day routines. The sports world is busy with the MLB Play-offs; NFL, college, and high school football seasons are in the mix; the NHL has started its season; and NBA basketball training camps have started. College basketball has started having "midnight madness." The news and weather shows are providing fall foliage reports.
October is also the "awareness" month for two causes that I support very strongly - Breast Cancer Awareness and Domestic Violence Awareness. In 2009 and again last year (2012), I wrote diaries concentrating on Domestic Violence Awareness. In 2010, I wrote a diary about both issues together.
As I have mentioned, I know why Breast Cancer Awareness is an issue I care deeply about. My sister survived nine years after her initial diagnosis with breast cancer back in 2003. As well, many folks who hang out at Firedoglake know that Jane Hamsher, Marcy Wheeler, and now Christy Hardin Smith have all had their battles with Breast Cancer. Here are a few statistics on Breast Cancer from the American Cancer Society:
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. About 1 in 8 (12%) women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.
The American Cancer Society's estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2013 are:
- About 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
- About 64,640 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
- About 39,620 women will die from breast cancer
I have had a number of friends over the years tell me about their experiences as victims of Domestic Violence. I would wager most all of us know multiple individuals who have been victims of Domestic Violence though we probably do not know exactly which of our friends and acquaintances these are. Here are some Domestic Violence statistics from SafeHorizon.org and DomesticViolenceStatistics.org.
Very sobering numbers for both of these issues.
This is the opening to an article one of my sister's very best friends wrote for the book A Cup of Comfort for Breast Cancer Survivors:
The first thing my best friend did after her diagnosis was throw herself a party.
Roughly 30 women were there – cops’ wives who’d befriended her during the 10 years she was police reporter for the local daily newspaper, journalist friends, neighbors, her physical therapist, the county attorney, daughters of friends, camping buddies. Some were breast cancer survivors; the rest of us, friends who were now more sharply aware than ever that any day we could join that unwelcome sorority whose numbers now include one of every eight American women.
My friend, Cissy Taylor, had had just one request in advance: bring a scarf or a hat for me. Already anticipating her chemo-induced baldness, she’d asked the women closest to her to join her in preparation. So we did – offering regal turbans, exotically patterned scarves, cozy knit caps, broad-brimmed and flowered hats, each of which she tried on and considered with an expression of combined merriment and gratitude.
And because I can: