Ten Things a Breast Cancer Survivors Twenty-Something Daughter needs to Know

Breast Exam“The first thing a Mother thinks about when diagnosed with breast cancer is how it will affect her children. The last thing she wants is her own daughter to be diagnosed with it”, says breast cancer survivor and author Amelia Frahm. Frahm is the author of “Tickles Tabitha’s Cancer-tanerous Mommy.”

Last September, the little girl who helped inspire the award-winning children’s picture book, her daughter, Tabitha found a lump in her breast. She was twenty years old. “Words can’t adequately express the terror I felt right up until we knew it was not malignant, but I am so proud of Tabitha for being pro-active when it comes to breast cancer,” said Frahm.

Below are ten things the Frahm’s believe a breast cancer survivor’s twenty something daughter needs to know.

1. Just because your mother got it does not guarantee you will get it. Yes, your odds of being diagnosed with breast cancer have increased due to her Breast Cancer, but so have your odds of surviving it due to the fact you now know to be diligent when it comes to your own breast health.

2. Some boys are obsessed with breasts, but most of them grow up to be men who will not love a woman based on breasts alone. If you run into a guy who has not grown up, keep running and do not waste your valuable time. He is not smart enough for you or he would realize that these days you can implant breasts but not intelligence.

3. Any guy who would leave a woman because she found a lump in her breast or has been diagnosed with breast cancer is not a man, but a spine-less scumbag. Good riddance!

4. It is okay to touch your own private parts and you should do it often enough that you become familiar with your own breasts. Back in the day, (Your mom’s day) good girls were not always encouraged to do this, and sometimes a woman’s significant other found her lump. Do not let this happen to you—find your own lump!

5. Getting hit in the chest does not cause breast cancer. It only feels like it. Nor does wearing deodorant. So wear it. Breast Cancer is not to be used to evoke pity or justify something you are too lazy to do.

6. Do not whine that you might as well, smoke, drink, and live on the edge because you are destined to die of breast cancer, so you want to make the most of it. Your mother is not dead yet and as long as she is alive it is her goal as a Mom to make sure you outlive her. It is your duty as her daughter not to evoke gray hairs and frown lines, or to witness your Mom survive breast cancer only to die due to worry.

7. Every other week there is a new “study” showing something to help prevent breast cancer, and unless it is illegal or immoral, by all means try it, but do not stop eating healthy foods, exercising, examining yourself, going for a physical, and if necessary getting a mammogram.

8. Size does not matter. Women of all sizes get breast cancer and so do men. So if you have a brother, he needs to be educated too.

9. Doctors are not God. Trust your own instincts. If a doctor advises you that some women are prone to lumps, your lump is probably caused by drinking too much coffee, or you are too young to worry about it, and is reluctant to do a mammogram or biopsy, change doctors. Too many women who trusted their doctor and not their inner voice have ended up dead.

10. When you shower, use soap, and while sudsy, practice giving yourself a breast exam. The first thing your Mom thought about when she was diagnosed with breast cancer was how it would affect you. She would like for you to die of old age, not breast cancer due to stupidity, so educate yourself. You are your best health care advocate.

Information on how to do a self-exam and breast self-examination shower cards may be found at: www.shopkomen.com.

Tabitha Frahm’s lump was a benign intraductal papilloma that was removed with surgery. This year as recommended by her doctor she is scheduled for a mammogram. Like a lot of young women it was her mother’s experience with breast cancer that gave her the knowledge and incentive she needed to be diligent when it came to her own breast health.

Tabitha Frahm is a college student majoring in Psychology at North Carolina State University. Tickles Tabitha’s Cancer-tankerous Mommy (©Nutcracker Publishing 2001) pictures what she and her brother Jordan went through when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Author, speaker, and cancer survivor, Amelia Frahm was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1994, at age 34. She helped pioneer cancer resources for families coping with cancer. Her latest children’s picture book Nuclear Power: How a Nuclear Power Plant Really Works! is being released December 2011.

Amelia Frahm, Executive Director, Nutcracker Publishing Company

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