Below, find CEO Alli Truttmann’s reflections on early detection of breast cancer and have a look into the life and family of our favorite sweaty sleeper! We’ve covered customer cancer stories and the link between breast cancer and night sweats.
A Family of Breast Cancer Survivors
It’s not too often that you’ll catch me writing a blog about my family members. But since the close of Breast Cancer Awareness month (October), I’ve been feeling a bit more sentimental about my grandmother’s own experience with breast cancer and believe it’s the perfect time to share.
When my grandmother was 52 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. They did not detect anything in her lymph nodes, so the doctors opted to forgo chemotherapy and radiation and go with suggested option: a mastectomy. As a little girl, I didn’t realize how much of an issue it was for my grandmother…I was just in awe of that perky boob insert that she slid into her specialty bra. But now, a woman in my 30’s, breast exams are becoming a normal part of my preventative health routine. This has forced me to ask questions of my mother and her experience as the daughter of someone with breast cancer. Of course, my mom experienced the normal feelings associated with a new diagnosis (shock, fear, denial, sorrow, etc.), but the one that I was most interested in learning about was my mother’s adamant pro-active approach to early detection once we “knew”.
Mom Knows Best
My grandmother, may she rest in peace, was a very stubborn, tiny German woman. She was as sharp as a tack, progressive, and an advocate for many things. But one thing she was not, was an open book when it came to her health. In fact, she suffered at least 1-2 mild heart attacks before she even mentioned to my mother that she was experiencing unusual fatigue and heaviness in her chest. So, it was with my mother’s urging and encouragement that she convinced my grandmother to get tested for the BRCA gene.
When it came back negative, my mother breathed a sigh of relief (of course) but she, herself a nurse, knew that there are many types of gene mutations, so she went to her physician and was tested for the other 2 types the BRCA gene. I was so proud of my mother for taking the extra steps to reassure both me and my 4 other female cousins
Why so precautious? Although the genetic testing came back negative for both my mother and my grandmother. My mom’s 6 first cousins have been diagnosed with breast cancer; two of which passed way to early from their diagnoses. In the next few weeks I will be interviewing two of her cousins and sharing their stories on our blog. Night sweats, hot flashes, and flushing have been a large part of their journeys; I’m hopeful that Wicked Sheets can be a little part of helping them get the better, more rehabilitative sleep that they need.
For more information on genetic testing, talk to your physician and start advocating for yourself and your future generations. For breast cancer support groups, visit these pages.