Without any wasted words, Mac says it all...


Taking care of the Ta-Tas.

October is breast cancer awareness month which means you won’t be able to go anywhere without seeing pink ribbons and the airwaves will pulse with public service announcements touting the value of early detection, or fund raiser announcements. Women everywhere will be hypersensitive to the subject of breast health, but all too soon, the walks will be history and the ribbons will fade. November looms just around the bend and with it, the rush and bustle of the holiday season.

If you’re anything like me, your day to day life resembles a race, a mad dash from one deadline to another. It’s easy to be swept along by the chaos and forget all about those life saving messages breast cancer awareness month delivers. Don’t let that happen. I’m here to tell you, early detection is the key to avoiding the worst ravages of a breast cancer battle.

I can say this because I am a survivor and so is my sister, and a cousin as well, and yet, the differences in our treatment plans was chasm wide. Sure, all three of us experienced double mastectomies and reconstruction, but that’s where the similarities ended. At stage III, I had no choice but to throw everything, including the kitchen sink, at my diagnosis, if I wanted to survive. Thankfully, my sister and cousin caught the disease early, and though their treatment protocols weren’t a walk in the park, their stage I diagnoses didn’t require they discover the joys of chemotherapy and radiation. I wasn’t so lucky, and that’s partially my fault.

You know that game you played as a child, where you threw a beanbag across the distance, to drop through a hole in a section of wood? My breasts had the consistency of one of those beanbags. I’d found a number of questionable lumps over the years, all of which had proven to be simply cystic clusters. Having had enough of the pattern of panic and relief, I quit doing self-exams and relied entirely on yearly mammograms. As it turned out, that was not one of my finer decisions.

 If I could go back and change one thing in my life, it would be those damn self-exams. Feeling yourself up once a month is such a simple thing and yet the benefits are beyond measure. So, do me a favor. Find yourself a Bosom Buddy. Call up your sister, mother, cousin or girlfriend and make a pledge to remind each other to check those ta-tas. Pick a day and put it on your monthly schedule. Set the alarm on your phone (yep, there is an app for that) and when it rings each month, give yourself a life saving massage! 

And if you need a bit more inspiration, here’s a hunky…er, informative video to help you out. Your Man Reminder.

Take care of those ta-tas, ladies! 

You can read about our family’s brush with breast cancer in my newly released guide to navigating the breast cancer abyss with humor and hope. Where Would You Like Your Nipple? Is available in e-format at Amazon and in print at Createspace.

And don’t forget to stop by and say hi at my home on the web. Mackenziecrowne.com 

25 comments

  1. Beth Trissel // September 29, 2012 at 9:30 AM  

    Whewwww, that's quite a tale and a somber warning I hope many will heed. My younger sister was diagnosed in 2010 with a small but very bad kind of breast cancer and opted for a double mastectomy at the age of 43. She was very fortunate not to have to undergo chemo. My mother, earlier that year was diagnosed and had a lumpectomy and radiation. Needless to say, I do self exams even more than once a month and have regular mammograms. I am so glad your story has a happy ending.

  2. Mary Ricksen // September 29, 2012 at 1:58 PM  

    Mac is amazing! And a real force!

  3. Mackenzie Crowne // September 29, 2012 at 2:18 PM  

    Thanks so much for letting me visit with you today, Mary, to spread the word, cajole, or just plain scream, DO THOSE SELF EXAMS! They could save your life.

    You're in the thick of things, aren't you, Beth? I'm so glad to hear of the positive outcomes for your mom and sister (I know how hard their diagnoses are for those who love them) and go you for being proactive with your own body. Self exams are such a simple task with huge benefits.

  4. Judy // September 29, 2012 at 2:37 PM  

    Thanks for sharing what is a painful reminder. Yes, we all need to check ourselves out! Thanks again, Mac, and good luck with your book...

  5. Diana Layne // September 29, 2012 at 3:28 PM  

    So thankful you and your family members survived. I recently lost a dear friend on mother's day to breast cancer-her third go round. It was supposed to be the kind that kept recurring but could continue to be "cured". I guess she just got too weak to fight it the third time round. She had five kids and eight grandkids and everything to live for. Very sad.

  6. Hywela Lyn // September 29, 2012 at 3:58 PM  

    So glad you and your two family members beat this and thanks for sharing your story and for the reminder - also for the video, I have to admit the message seems to come across so much stronger when it comes from hunks like those! :)

  7. Patrice // September 29, 2012 at 4:14 PM  

    Thanks for the post and reminding us to be diligent. I'm so sorry that you and your family had to fight this fight but glad to see you came out on top.
    Bless you.

  8. Darcy // September 29, 2012 at 4:57 PM  

    I'm one of the lucky ones who haven't been affected by it. Yet. But it's a danger that's always waiting for us just around the corner if we're not vigilant. My prayers are with all who have already gone through or are now going through the battle. And if you haven't read Mac's book, please do so, or else give it to someone who may need the words of wisdom and experience she shares. The book is that good!

  9. Mackenzie Crowne // September 29, 2012 at 6:12 PM  

    thanks Judy. A well read "Nipple" is a win win for us all.

  10. Mackenzie Crowne // September 29, 2012 at 6:16 PM  

    I'm so sorry Diana. your friends story is one that is told way too often. BC is a sneaky mean b**** that needs to be defeated for good.

  11. Mackenzie Crowne // September 29, 2012 at 6:17 PM  

    don't you love that video lyn? I wish I had seen it 6 years ago.

  12. Mackenzie Crowne // September 29, 2012 at 6:19 PM  

    diligent. excellent word Patrice and blessings are always appreciated.

  13. Mackenzie Crowne // September 29, 2012 at 6:22 PM  

    thanks so much Darcy. you're such a sweet cheerleader. my prayer is that Bc will never be around the corner for you or any other.

  14. Mary Marvella // September 29, 2012 at 6:44 PM  

    Mackenzie,

    You really know how to grab a woman's attention! That book sounds like a must read. I am so glad you survived to tell the tail and warn others! Thanks!

    And thanks, Mary for bringing her to us.

  15. Scarlet Pumpernickel // September 29, 2012 at 10:36 PM  

    Wow, I want that phone ap! Thanks for joining the fuzzies and spreading the word about early detection. My good friend went in for a routine check up for her CDL license and the doctor found a small lump. She had surgery and is undergoing chemo. I've asked everyone to put Peggy Minton on their pray lists. If not for that routine check up it might have been much worse.

  16. Tiffany N. York // September 29, 2012 at 10:43 PM  

    Great post, Mac. My friend was 25 when she was first diagnosed over a year ago. Chemo/radiation/2 operations and a double masectomy later, she's still fighting. Thanks for helping to make everyone aware.

  17. Mona Risk // September 30, 2012 at 10:11 AM  

    Thanks for the reminder to do the self-exam. I tend to forget it. Yet my mother and aunt had breast cancer.So glad you beat it.

  18. Mackenzie Crowne // September 30, 2012 at 10:40 AM  

    hiya Mary, thanks for stopping by to help spread the word

  19. Mackenzie Crowne // September 30, 2012 at 10:46 AM  

    hey Scarlet, love the name. prayers for Peggy as she fights her battle.

  20. P.L. Parker // September 30, 2012 at 10:48 AM  

    Mac - wonderful post. Both my older sisters are breast cancer survivors! Elena ten years and Karlyn five. I pray every night for them. Good reminder for all of us. Thanks and you are included in my prayers as well.

  21. Mackenzie Crowne // September 30, 2012 at 11:06 AM  

    Hi Tiffany. That's a tough road your friend is walking but it's doable. So glad to hear she's a fighter. She's in my prayers.

  22. Mackenzie Crowne // September 30, 2012 at 11:08 AM  

    Get that app, Mona. It's an easy breezy reminder and the guys ain't bad either. ;-)

  23. Mackenzie Crowne // September 30, 2012 at 11:11 AM  

    Go Elana and Karlyn! Way too many of us touched by this demon, Patsy.

  24. Josie // September 30, 2012 at 8:37 PM  

    Welcome to the Pink Fuzzies, Mackenzie. Thank you for your inspiring story and the wake-up call for monthly breast self-examination. Also thanks to Mary R. for hosting you.

  25. Mackenzie Crowne // October 1, 2012 at 1:28 AM  

    My pleasure, Josie. Thank you all for having me and a special thanks to Mary. She's a gem!