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Stupid People, Amazing People and a Happy Belated Birthday

August 10, 2007

Well, it’s Friday and that once again brings us to the Fabulous Friday Five (though truth be told, this is the second time I’ve done it, so don’t feel bad if you don’t know what I’m talking about).

Like last week, there are no themes or connections between the websites other than I happened to find them throughout the week while doing “research” at work.

  1. I’m not the only one who celebrated a birthday this week! Apparently, the Internet turned Sweet Sixteen on Tuesday. The Internet was made “publicly available” on August 7, 1991, after more than ten years of research at an international particle physics lab in Switzerland by Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Caillau. And, of course, Al Gore.
  2. Now, I hate the soul-sucking, fabric-of-America-destroying Wal-Mart as much as the next person, but sometimes you have to wonder who really is to blame when a woman claims to have suffered chemical burns on her feet from $2.40 flip-flops that she wore not once, not twice, but ten times after her first “reaction”. And she took pictures!
  3. Speaking of stupid people, who here hates Brett Ratner? Yeah, I didn’t know who he was either, but apparently he’s the skeevy director of such classics as Rush Hour, Red Dragon and the franchise-crushing X-Men: The Last Stand. Shout out to my co-worker Chris Thilk who was brilliantly quoted in this LA Times article that gives legitimacy to an emotion we all feel. And by “all” I mean “the people who care.”
  4. Amazing Blog Alert: Thanks to researching health blogs yesterday, I managed to find a link to the lyrical prose and gut-wrenching honesty of Jeffery Harrell, who lives and works in Washington D.C. as a graphic designer and who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder. There’s really not much else I can say about Jeff and his blog other than I wish I could write like him for even just one post.
  5. Lastly but most importantly is something I actually saw at Julia’s, who posted the emotionally charged post of a woman recently diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. As per the request of the author of Toddler Planet, I am going to post her message to all women and their loved ones:
  6. We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of breast cancer?I didn’t. I thought that breast cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my monthly breast self-exams, and found no lump, I’d be fine.

    Oops. It turns out that you don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer. Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/GYN because my breast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked…funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn’t worried. I should have been. After a round of antibiotics didn’t clear up the inflammation, my doctor sent me to a breast specialist and did a skin punch biopsy. That test showed that I have inflammatory breast cancer, a very aggressive cancer that can be deadly.

    Inflammatory breast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis because many doctors have never seen it before and consider it rare. “Rare” or not, there are over 100,000 women in the U.S. with this cancer right now; only half will survive five years. Please call your OB/GYN if you experience several of the following symptoms in your breast, or any unusual changes: redness, rapid increase in size of one breast, persistent itching of breast or nipple, thickening of breast tissue, stabbing pain, soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay – for a while), flattening or retracting of the nipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d’orange). Ask if your GYN is familiar with inflammatory breast cancer, and tell her that you’re concerned and want to come in to rule it out.

    There is more than one kind of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is the most aggressive form of breast cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It’s not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our breasts undergo during the years when we’re pregnant and/or nursing our little ones. It’s important not to miss this one.

    Inflammatory breast cancer is detected by women and their doctors who notice a change in one of their breasts. If you notice a change, call your doctor today. Tell her about it. Tell her that you have a friend with this disease, and it’s trying to kill her. Now you know what I wish I had known before six weeks ago.

    You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer.

  1. August 10, 2007 10:31 PM

    I have a friend being treated for this. After several doctors dismissed her “rash” as nothing to worry about, her husband did some searching on the Internet and found the information. It’s good that you’re taking the time to share the information.

  2. August 10, 2007 11:21 PM

    Here’s a video that explains IBC:

  3. August 10, 2007 11:29 PM

    Thanks for the link! 🙂

  4. August 12, 2007 2:38 AM

    Thank you for sharing the text — this is one instance where it’s important to know about the possibility BEFORE you need to!


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