Thursday, October 11, 2012

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS: A Guest Post by Kallysten

Not only is this my birth month, but it's also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You see all the pink in the NFL (love it!), but there are also lots of events going on around the interwebs. I'm not hosting any, but it definitely means something to me. A distant family member passed due to complications during her treatment for Breast Cancer and the mother of one of my closest friends through school passed away after surviving Breast Cancer and later developing Liver Cancer. I am proud to support awareness, and happy to have Kallysten here today to share her thoughts and promote HER event, Shades of Pink. Welcome Kallysten!

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Thank you for having me over, Buffy, and thank you for your interest into my Shades of Pink event. You had asked where the idea for it came from.

The short story is, every year in October I try to do some kind of monthly event. It’s my birth month, and I like to have a special celebration with my readers. This year, as I was looking for ideas, I remembered that October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I didn’t look any further for a theme.

The somewhat longer story is that the battle against breast cancer is one that is important to me. When I was seventeen, one of my aunts passed away after a long fight against the disease.

I stepped into my grandmother’s kitchen one morning and saw my aunt there with just a few wispy hair on her otherwise bald head. Until that moment, I hadn’t realized she wore a wig, and neither had I known just how touched she was by the disease. She always tried to smile, look upbeat and full of energy; that morning, she hadn’t put her ‘game face’ on yet, and to see her so fragile really shook me.

I must have hidden my shock pretty well, because later my mother told me my aunt was relieved that I didn’t make comments or appear scared by her appearance. I wanted to say, of course I didn’t make comments, I didn’t want to hurt her. I guess for her to be relieved by common courtesy she must have been embarrassed by others in the past. It made me wish I had hugged her extra hard.

She passed away a few weeks later. Her funeral was the first one I attended. Other people had passed away in my extended family before that, but my parents had always given me a choice to go or not. This funeral, I went to, and it has stayed with me.

We all have this time in our lives when we think we’re invulnerable and eternal. I think mine ended in that kitchen that one morning. That was when I truly realized what it meant to grow older, or to fall sick, or ultimately to pass away.

I’ve been wearing the pink ribbon since then, doing self-exams (not as often as I should as I talked in this post but I’m working on it!) and donating to research, but this year I wanted to do something more. I was a few months over seventeen when she passed. I just turned thirty-five – so it was literally half my life ago. That’s why this Shades of Pink event I am running this month is important to me.

There are two parts to the event: a fundraiser, and we’re a little over the $250 goal, with a raffle for anyone who participates with a donation of as little as $1; and weekly giveaways, which are my way of keeping the ‘pink’ fresh in people’s minds. I would love it if your readers came by to check the event!

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About the Author
Kallysten's most exciting accomplishment to date was to cross a few thousand miles and an ocean to pursue (and catch!) the love of her life. She has been writing for fifteen years, and always enjoyed sharing her stories and listening to the readers' reactions. After playing with science fiction, short stories and poetry, she is now trying her hand, heart and words at paranormal romance stories.

Find out more about her and her work here.


4 comments:

  1. I think it's amazing what you are doing and I should check for lumps more myself after finding one but luckily it turned out to be nothing but I do know people who were not so lucky so I think it's great that you are making people more aware and I think you are an amazing writer and person

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  2. i think it's great what you are doing. Cancer touches so many lives.

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  3. It is great that you are doing this for Breast Cancer I have done Cancer walks in the past but didn't get to yet this year because of health issues but I try to help when I can. I several people in my family that have died from cancer and My Aunt found a lump, thankfully is was nothing this time but we have all learned to check it be sure.

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  4. I've lost a lot of family members to Cancer and really appreciate people like you who go that little bit further to make people aware. Thank you.

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