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reSLience… a.k.a. resilience

it's what lies within that really matters

I went for my first mammogram yesterday. I had been warned by my female friends and even had a cautionary call from my mom wondering if I knew what to expect. A few weeks ago I had even been on an email joke string that showed cartoon drawings of women’s breasts. Intimidating? LOL

So I went armed with my knowledge and stories and hoped for the best. It had to be better than breast cancer and all that comes with battling that horror.

A grandmotherly-type woman called my name from the waiting room area. She took me to back to change into a gown. She then asked about my family history of breast cancer and explained that NO ONE should be lulled into a false sense of security – ONLY 4% of breast cancer victims were a result of heredity. As she was emphasizing the importance of self exams with me I thought to myself how she is really on the front lines dealing with women as they learn of the horror of possible breast cancer detection.

My procedure was a digital mammogram. The entire time she worked, I could see the images on her screen. I asked her questions as she positioned me and took extra angles of pictures to make sure there were no potential spots in thicker tissues. It was not painful – but admittedly I have a high pain tolerance and digital mammography is supposed to not require the pressure as past procedures. So – thankfully – I DO NOT have breasts now like the woman in the cartoon. WHEW! LOL

I remembered Blissie had found some awareness tools on SL for breast cancer a few months ago when we were working on our Relay for Life fundraiser. I came home and set out to find them. I am always ready to also dispel myths that Second Life is only for oversexed deviants and this seemed like yet another opportunity to do just that.

The first area that came up in SL search was a Breast Cancer Awareness Center. The center housed all sorts of SL fundraiser items on sale, as well as freebie packs of ribbons and tshirts and ball caps with the patented pink ribbon logo. Upstairs in the center there was a wall filled with tribute ribbons. Each of the ribbons had floating text associated with it that was a heartfelt tribute to a friend or family member that had been affected by breast cancer – either as a survivor or sadly, someone who had lost their lives to the disease. It was solemn to just sit and read and reflect.

I was on a mission though to find the mammogram machine that Blissie had found months ago so I continued on. I figured the American Cancer Society sim of all places would have one. Unfortunately I didn’t find one but I did find a couple other things I wanted to share. First, I found an interactive self-exam. Bigd even did it with me LOL… but as I am laughing I am reminded that men can also get breast cancer – just fyi. We explored the whole sim. There are lots of meeting facilities there and a conference coming there sometime in June (unless it already happened – couldn’t tell). There are also lots of educational pieces on cancer – including video terminals that take you to the American Cancer Society website.

The most touching pieces of the sim though, are the pieces that are designed to honor the cancer survivors and the memories of those who lost the fight. Bigd and I took some time to soak up some time under the memory tree. Bigd posted a touching note honoring my grandmother who died of ovarian cancer.

Please make it a priority to be preventative with your health care. Share your time or your funds with efforts that help educate people. Offer up your prayers for those who are battling cancer. Together, we can all make a difference for those around us.

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