Celebrating My “Breast Mitzvah”

During the recent August Sabbath service prayers for healing, my congregation Rabbi was somewhat taken aback when he stopped before me and heard me whisper my own name for prayers.

I later explained that thank G-d I am healthy, but facing one of the most difficult weeks of my life, as when I wake up the following Tuesday, I will have outlived my father by one day, and to “celebrate” the anniversary of his funeral, I am having a mammogram to hopefully celebrate 13 years being breast cancer “free”.

I am 3rd generation breast cancer in my immediate maternal side of my family.

My grandmother, aunt, mother and myself have all been diagnosed.

My aunt, Eva Brownman was in her late thirties when she was diagnosed and lost her battle at age 44. Carol Sneider and Marjie Shapiro, my cousins, are her children.

My family just recently lost our sweet Elena at age 44 also leaving 2 heartbroken children and my devastated brother.

There is no cure for breast cancer. I AM IN REMISSION; it can come back again, anytime.

You do not have to have a family history. You are the family history, once diagnosed.

It is ageless, sexless and ruthless. It is not a women’s disease.

Anyone with breasts can get it. Men need to check themselves as often as women do.

If you don’t know how..Ask!

I am blessed by G_d, excellent doctors, a positive attitude toward life and most of all early detection.

Losing a breast, breasts or your hair is an easy trade off, no brainer for losing your life because you didn’t get a mammogram for whatever reason.

Today I AM CELEBRATING my “Breast Mitzvah” 13 years cancer free, and look forward to the day when I no longer have to count the years or have any concerns that anyone will ever have to either.

Barbara

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