Ah, October. Growing up in St. Louis, the end of September was filled talk of magic numbers and the upcoming pennant race. To support our beloved Cardinals, the streets were a sea of red. October was all about baseball and red.
I did don my Cardinals jersey this afternoon as the redbirds clinched the pennant, but the lead up to October has been a bit different this year. Instead of baseball and all things red, I’ve been reading all my brain can handle on breast cancer and I actually bought a pink dress.
I’m starting off October with a bang– four events in two days! I’m so honored to be working with the DiLorenzo TRICARE Health Clinic at the Pentagon for their Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. The overarching goal of each of the events is to encourage women to maintain a healthy lifestyle to reduce their risk of breast cancer and to remind women that early detection through screening saves lives. This Friday is my big day, which starts at 0530 with a run with the military staff at the clinic. For you non-military types, 0530 corresponds roughly to oh-dark thirty, which is to say, 5:30. AM. And I will likely be the only civilian. No pressure there. After a quick shower, I’ll throw on my new pink dress and give a talk that’s open to anyone at the Pentagon, sharing a little about myself and some friendly tips for patients, survivors, caregivers, and providers. I’ll have another quick breather before the big event in the courtyard of the Pentagon, where I’ll reinforce the themes of the day and kick off a walk around the courtyard. Representatives from the Breast Health Centers from Walter Reed and Ft. Belvoir will be there to answer any questions and encourage women to set up screening appointments. That will wrap up my day, and while I’m sure I’ll want one desperately, I’ll bet there won’t be time for a nap before I have to head to the bus stop to pick up the kiddos. I’ll also be heading over a couple of other times to give the nursing staff a patient’s perspective and to share some of the recent news from breast cancer research and clinical studies with the clinic’s doctors.
I was definitely a bit nervous when we started talking about all that would be going on this week. But then I realized this is exactly the kind of thing that I want to be doing. I’ll be bridging a gap between scientists, patients, and physicians. It’s a lot all at once, but I feel like this is something that God has really worked out for me. It’s all right here, I just need to prepare and go for it. I’m ready. Three out of four talks are finished, I’ve been faithfully running, and I am now the owner not only of a pink dress, but also a pink running shirt. Thankfully, the Cardinals are once again vying for a World Series spot, so I’ll get to rock my red, but this year, there will be a healthy dose of pink thrown in there, too.