You Are Not Your Scars


In 1985, the first ever Breast Cancer Awareness Month was born. This holiday annually occurs in October. About 264,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, consequently making it one of the world’s most commonly diagnosed types of cancer. While being easily treatable in the early stages, about 42,000 women die due to the disease.

Due to the frequent diagnoses, the citizens of this country celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month as a whole. From social media groups to coming together at a party, patients and survivors of breast cancer often come together and talk about their experiences, their lives before and after treatment, and how they were affected by the disease. LCHS band alumni and breast cancer survivor Melissa Rush had her entire life flipped around when she was diagnosed in April 2020.

“[When I was diagnosed,] I was scared because I didn’t want to die and leave my family and son. There are a lot of things about cancer and the treatment for it that are scary because, usually, all we know is what we see on television or in movies. Most people have never experienced cancer before… I knew I had my family to help take care of me, and I was positive I was going to be okay,” Rush said.

Rush found her cancer on her own very early, making her recovery much more straightforward than some other patients.

“My treatment process was fairly easy. My nurse was fantastic and the best nurse I’ve ever had,” Rush said.

Throughout her breast cancer journey, Rush joined a Facebook group called Breast Connect, designed to bring together women who have experienced breast cancer and share their stories. Rush has met many women who have gone through the same struggles she has and has been able to make some friendships through the group.

“It was very helpful for me because I didn’t know anyone else who had breast cancer. It was a group of other survivors that I could get answers from if I ever needed it,” Rush said.

People across the nation celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month to recognize patients and survivors of breast cancer, show support for their struggles, and let them know that they are not alone. Throughout history, people have come together and helped support breast cancer patients with finances, chemotherapy, radiation, and more. A good habit to get into is doing frequent, at-home checks. This, as well as getting professional mammograms, can help save someone’s life.