Last weekend I was in Boston, and noticed a lot of people in pink walking along the Charles River. At first I thought it had something to do with the Barbie movie but then I realized it was a walk-a-thon to raise money and awareness about breast cancer. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a good time for me to share the first part of my editor's letter from January/February 2023.
I’d like to do something a bit different in this space and use it for a public service announcement: Do not neglect your monthly breast self-checks and yearly mammograms. I know they are awkward, even uncomfortable, but they are important. About 13 percent of women in the United States today will get breast cancer, and the sooner it’s found and treated, the better. Being female and over the age of 45 are the two biggest risk factors for breast cancer. It’s just a wild guess, but I would say the bulk of Handwoven’s readership fits in that demographic, and if you don’t exactly fit that description, I’m fairly certain you know and love someone who does.
In March 2021, my annual mammogram found an abnormality, a change that might have been missed if I hadn’t gotten mammograms regularly. The discovery led to a mastectomy and lymph node removal in July. I was relieved not to have to go through chemo or radiation, although I did opt to have reconstruction, which was completed this past September. Capable and caring coworkers helped me through a long period of endless appointments and work outages, keeping the magazine always moving forward and within its press dates. Not to be a Pollyanna about it, but I fully believe my job and simple weaving projects kept me grounded and prevented some, but not all, good old-fashioned feelings of self-pity.
My Little Rep Gems coasters satisfied at least temporarily my ongoing obsession with pink and orange! The pattern can be found in Handwoven May/June 2014.
Update: I often think I should keep a journal. For example, every day it seems like I forget a bit more about everything that happened over that period of time. Maybe it's better that way! I'd rather fill my head with weaving ideas, and new color combinations I want to try. Perhaps instead of starting a journal, I'll start a new project with a little or maybe a lot of pink in it!