Updated: Oct 19, 2020
Welcome! My name is Nakeesha Longmire, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, with You Matter Therapy Solutions. I'd like to discuss a topic that is literally sewn to my chest and tattooed on my heart. Typically, during the month of October, Breast Cancer Awareness is in full effect. We would see walks, races and fundraisers being conducted all over the country. Women who are fighting, those who have survived, fought and who have lost their lives are being celebrated and remembered.
This year there won’t be any walks or races, and fundraisers are limited as we try to reduce the spread of Covid-19. Nevertheless, we cannot overlook that Breast Cancer Awareness Month gives recognition to those who have fought and are fighting for their lives. Although every breast cancer diagnosis doesn’t require chemo or the removal of the breasts, it still leaves an emotional scar for those who have experienced it which leads me to my point.
If you know anyone who has experienced breast cancer, I encourage you to celebrate them. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to throw a party or organize a walk. Let’s celebrate them by simply calling and asking how they are doing; going to lunch and having the most randomness of conversations, asking if they need anything or even offering to walk their dog "FiFi". Whatever the case may be, any small gesture of kindness will be uplifting and shine a positive light into a world as only they know.
We also have to be mindful that although Breast Cancer Awareness Month is uplifting, there are some who may feel triggered as they are reminded of a painful experience. I know this to be true because on Oct. 13, 2015, I was on an operating table having a bilateral mastectomy. Even five years later, October is a difficult month for me. My experience is my own, which allows me to understand the importance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the positivity it brings. It would be encouraging to be a shining light to someone you know who has encountered breast cancer.
In addition, I challenge you to take it a step further beyond the month of October by celebrating them all year long. I can personally tell you no gesture is too small, especially when the goal is to simply see someone smile.
Thank you for giving me a moment of your time. Please don’t forget 'You Matter' and check out why by visiting my website at www.ymts.org.