Name: Janet Woolwine
Company: A Likely Yarn
Fundraising Goal: $1,000
Why are you participating?
Bear in mind, I come from a time when "privates" weren't discussed, mostly gender neutral arthritis, gout, stomach problems, etc. The only instance I knew of in my family was my father's bout with prostate cancer. There was a large cloud of smug around me, since I didn't even have one. Then, as a great surprise to each of us, my younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. She acted quickly, is committed to keeping up with checks, and is doing well.
I still didn't worry, since I was blessed with the original "no muss, no fuss" body and somehow believed it just didn't apply to me. Color me shocked when it not only did apply, but it could happen....and it did get me!! Mid-summer of 2014, I finally followed up with a delayed mammogram and found out I was the Bearer of Bad News. Yep, carrying it around with me, 24/7. Thanks to Dr. Strawbridge, Dr. Mullins and Dr. Armstrong, it was pretty much a non-event. Or at least as I had pictured such a process. We found it, we fought it, we fixed it and it was over as speedily as we'd known about it. I had a short recuperation at home, aided and cheered on by family, friends and cat. Radiation for 6 weeks and now it's an every-6-months schedule of checks.
It's become my mission to pay it forward. The information, the encouragement, the support and, yes, lots of noodges where needed. Being a non-repetitive type, I had 2 varieties, one on each side. Totally unrelated, like two strangers riding merrily along on the same bus. Having known several strong survivors and hearing their stories, I knew the advances that had been made since The Bad Old Days, the various options in surgical approaches, options and after-care choices (reconstruction, prosthetic devices of all descriptions...or adopting a "yeah, what about it??" approach).
Being in the fiber business (A Likely Yarn in Abingdon VA), my clientele is mostly female and I preach to them long and often about self-knowledge and self-care. For their daughters, cousins, friends and, yes, their men-folk, too. (Bet you didn't know that, did you? Chances are only 1 in 1,000 but if you're that one man, statistics don't matter.) Skilled care is readily available, costs can be underwritten or reduced, and DENIAL IS NOT A RIVER IN EGYPT!!! As to modesty, "breast" is no longer giggle-fodder for little boys. Everybody's got 'em. Now take care of them!!!
Please join me in providing even more knowledge and services for even more women during October's Breast Cancer Awareness program. Come by the shop to pick up materials (and yarn!), donate early and often, educate yourself and, most important of all, be your own advocate. Get the mammogram, listen to the doctors and stay with us for a good long time!!