It is hard to believe my double mastectomy was almost exactly 6 years ago. I so clearly remember waking up in the recovery room with my family and friends surrounding me. My family snuck one of my closest friends in, as that of course is not standard procedure to have a party at your bedside after an 8 hour surgery.
I had been in the high surveillance program at Memorial Sloan Kettering for 6 years due to my family history. My mother and my grandmother both had breast cancer. My mother today is vibrant, alive and well at 82. My grandmother unfortunately lost her battle at the young age of 52 from breast cancer.
Today breast cancer is no longer a death sentence. Early diagnosis is key. Please, during this month of Breast Cancer Awareness, remember to schedule your mammogram. Take the five extra minutes to focus on yourself. Be diligent with screening and your annual check-ups with your doctor.
And if you are in need of a new brush set or need a great gift that keeps on giving, remember my Proudly Pink brush set, we give 15% of sales to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Last year our donation helped to bring on another researcher!
The best thing…my boobs today look better in a bikini top than they did before my surgery! You have to focus on all the good things when going through a difficult time!
Stay aware of your body and boobs!
Michelle and Ann showed their support for our National Breast Cancer Awareness Month last night! Remember you still have the chance to win a set of my 5 piece Proudly Pink Brushes! Winners will be announced this coming Friday!
So many of you have been sharing wonderful stories and Thank You! Click HERE for more information.
This past Monday I went to the most incredibly beautiful memorial service for Evelyn H. Lauder, the powerhouse who led the Estee Lauder brand for so many years, changed the face of social awareness, and redefined what it meant to be a women living with breast cancer. She was a working woman, a mother, a wife, a leader, and a humanitarian; she really did it all while being the most giving, philanthropic woman you could have the honor to meet.
Sitting at the memorial, listening to the heartfelt stories of this extraordinary woman really made me think about the importance of family, truly living each day to the fullest, and making sure you are able to do something in your life that makes a difference in someone else’s. One of Evelyn’s most notable and proudest accomplishments was founding the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and leading it in raising over $330 million dollars since its inception in 1993. I feel so lucky to be able to be apart of that remarkable organization by helping to raise awareness and generate funds through products I personally create. I first developed products to support BCRF in 2006 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Target and I sold products every October in concurrence with breast cancer awareness month, but I believe this fight is an everyday fight so this year we are happy to offer my Proudly Pink Brush Set with 15% of proceeds going to BCRF every day, every month, all year round!
Proudly Pink Brush Set $14.99, available year-round at Target
With a cause that hits so close to home, it is so important to me to be able to contribute in any way I can. I know many of you have been impacted by breast cancer in some way or another and I encourage you to continue to show your support in your daily lives and share with the world what you are doing to help make a difference!
Through my journey with breast cancer, I have interfaced with many different doctors. One doctor that has had a profound effect on me is Dr. Elisa Port. She is simply one amazing lady, one extraordinary doctor. I first met Elisa at Memorial Sloan Kettering . She has since joined Mount Sinai as Chief of Breast Surgery and Co- Director of the Dubin Breast Center, an amazing state-of –the-art facility. She is absolutely my go-to breast cancer doctor. I often get calls from woman who have questions or are newly diagnosed and do not know where to turn. My first response is Dr. Port, you have to get to Dr. Port! She will ease you heart, soul, mind and body.
Below are a couple of questions I had for Dr. Port. We have focused all the blogs this month on Breast Cancer Awareness and I have saved the best for last. I am so pleased to introduce you all to the fabulous Dr. Elisa Port…definitely a name for to remember in your contacts!!
ELISA R. PORT, MD, FACS
Continue reading “The Words of an Expert” »
Continuing with the theme of Breast Cancer Awareness month, I would like to talk a little about an organization I work closely with: BCRF. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation was started in 1993 by Evelyn Lauder and since its inception has raised over $330 million dollars to support advanced and promising research for a cure. Currently, I partner with them for my Proudly Pink Brush Set, $14.99 with 15% of purchase price going to BCRF.
Proudly Pink Brush Set $14.99, available year-round at Target
Continue reading “The Gift of Giving” »
My dear friend Stephanie Ginsberg and her husband Ian, owner of CO. Bigelow Pharmacy and product line, hosted the Pink Promises Luncheon, an inaugural benefit on Long Island in honor of Stephanie’s sister Betsy Swersky who has been heroically fighting breast cancer. As amazing supporters of Breast Cancer Awareness, they raised an astounding 1.3 million dollars this past year for breast cancer research! I was honored to sit at their table alongside co-chairs Tory Burch and Susan Lucci (aka Erica Kane for the All My Children fans). My doctor Cliff Hudis, the Chief of Breast Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering was the keynote speaker, and as always, his knowledge and insight was so powerful. The entire event was amazing. I was thrilled to see so much support for such an important cause, especially one that is so near and dear to my heart.
Dr. Cliff Hudis, Chief of Breast Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering
Continue reading “Pink Promises” »
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a very special cause that is near and dear to my heart. My maternal grandmother died from breast cancer in 1959 at age 55. My mother was diagnosed with it at the age of 51 and I am thrilled to say she is still as vibrant as ever today at age 81. With such a strong family history, it was no surprise when I was diagnosed in 2006. Fortunately, I was diagnosed very early so it has become my mission to raise awareness to the importance of early detection. In the past, I took the opportunity to focus on this cause for the month but it became clear to me that the fight against breast cancer is an everyday battle, which is why I am happy to say we are now offering a BCRF set year round! You can pick up this chic pink brush set and case for just $14.99 at your local Target, with 15% of proceeds going to Breast Cancer Research Fund.
Proudly Pink Brush Set $14.99
In honor of this important month, I will be giving away one of these sets every week. Let me know, what are you doing to support breast cancer awareness?
My name is Janis and I am a two year breast cancer survivor on November 5, 2010. The fear, anxiety and despair I felt when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2008 were more intense than anything I had felt before or since. Going through the process, however, changed me, changed my life. Allow me to share three things I learned from having breast cancer.
Learning #1. Education really is power.
I felt so much pressure during the time between diagnosis and treatment. I needed to make really important decisions during a time when emotions were overriding cognitive thinking. I needed to decide between a lumpectomy and mastectomy (finding a second cancer area during the MRI made that decision for me. Lumpectomy was off the table.) I needed to decide between unilateral and bilateral mastectomy (I ultimately chose to remove both, but it wasn’t a clear or easy path to the decision.) I needed to select a surgeon, a plastic surgeon and a type of reconstruction (I chose expanders and implants.) I needed to find an oncologist. Each of these decisions was wrought with anguish. My only relief was when I felt I had learned enough to make an educated decision, when I decided with my brain, but it felt right in my heart.
Continue reading “Janis, a two year old breast cancer survivor, shares her story….” »
On August 4th, 2010 I went with my mom, a breast cancer survivor of almost 20 years, for our routine mammograms and ultrasounds. On the way to the imaging center, I remember chatting idly with my mom, but the voice in the back of my head just hoped that her tests would come back clear. We had just returned from a family vacation and I was still enjoying a lingering sense of relaxation. Unfortunately, that state of mind ended very quickly for me.
Luckily, my mom’s tests did all come back clear. I, however, kept getting called in for more imaging. I could tell that something was not right. I remember lying on the exam table covered in ultrasound jelly and shivering. I kept thinking of all the articles I had read in magazines or tales from friends and family about breast cancer. I wondered, “Would I now be one of them?” I kept trying to think positively, but it was hard to be my own cheerleader. I felt like the technicians kept looking at me with a “you poor thing” kind of look. The radiologist came in to tell me they would have to do a series of biopsies on three suspicious areas. I felt like they were talking about someone else. As I tried to focus on what she was telling me, my mom held my hand tightly. I barely heard a word. I couldn’t believe this was really happening to me.
The next few weeks were a whirlwind filled with tests and a lot of waiting. I never realized just how difficult waiting could be. I tried to listen to everyone who told me not to worry until there was something worth worrying about, but it was impossible. I waivered back and forth between wanting the results fast and feeling thankful for an extra cancer-free hour where I could pretend to continue living my normal life.
On August 16th, I got a call from my OB/GYN. The biopsies came back positive for multi-focal DCIS in my left breast. I remember my doctor telling me “Just breathe. I know your life just got turned upside down.” Everything around me just came to a screeching halt. All I could think was “please let me see my son (Jack, who is almost 3) grow up.” My friends and family rallied around me immediately. My husband, Jeff, who is a doctor, called every friend and colleague he knew to get as much information as possible.
Continue reading “35 yr. old Amanda Melnick shares her story…” »
If you had asked me a few years ago about breast cancer, I probably wouldn’t have much to say. With no history of breast cancer in my family, I didn’t know much about the disease. It’s crazy how much has changed.
In the spring of 2008, my cousin was diagnosed with stage IV triple negative breast cancer. In under a year, she had lost her battle––leaving behind two beautiful children and an amazing husband. It wasn’t until this terrible tragedy struck our family that we learned she was BRCA1+. It wasn’t until then that we learned that so was I.
Continue reading “Kristin Guinan- My Battle with Breast Cancer…” »