"Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons."
~ Ruth Ann Schabacker
As the baby boomer generation has grown up, it is easy to think of the good ol' days and the traditions that made them. Some of these traditions were good and some were misguided.
As part of those traditions, many things were not ever mentioned in polite conversations. One was death and dying, another was pregnancy and for sure the word "breast" was never mentioned.
That is why it is so hard - even today - for men and women of the baby boomer era to talk about that "secret word," except in the fantasies of young men.
The fact that we are even writing about breasts in this editorial causes the senior member of our editorial staff to blush ever so slightly.
The month of October is set aside as a time for all of us to think about breasts in ways we probably wouldn't otherwise. During this month, we will focus on breast cancer, its survivors and those affected by the disease.
Breast cancer was one of those types of diseases we never talked about, until courageous women, like those featured on the pages of our Sunday edition, were willing to literally bear their souls. We want to say thank you to Stephenie Coleman, Dianna Galloway and Stephanie Lunt and the women before them who shared their stories of empowerment and courage to bring awareness.
Because of these women, and women like them, we can talk about breasts now without giggling or without making jokes. We now know the seriousness of a disease that wasn't openly discussed and how it causes pain and by some, a loss of dignity and even death.
A death in many cases that was not necessary.
Yes, the good ol' days were good days for sure, but if only we were taught sooner that breasts were not too taboo to mention, but rather natural features of a woman's body, which were being attacked by a vicious spreading cancer. If only we had started thinking sooner about finding a cure, we would have spared thousands of women and men the pain and suffering that is involved with having breast cancer.
We urge you to have a mammogram as a major precaution. If you can't afford to get one, talk to your doctor or your local hospital; there are programs to help you.
If the cancer is detected early enough, a person's life expectancy is extended. There are many things that we have learned over the years, one of those is that it is OK to discuss issues like cancer and that words like prostate and breast are not some secret words that should only be discussed in secret, but should be discussed openly with those you love.