breast-cancer-ribbon-awareness.jpgIt’s Breast Cancer Awareness month and this is a post about health. So, it makes sense that I should reiterate the ins and outs of breast cancer.

Things like….get your mammograms as soon as your doctor will give them to you, push for a baseline mammogram at 35, do your breast self-exams, get your clinical breast exams, watch for any changes in the breast area, follow proper nutrition guidelines, know your family history…stuff like that.

Oh, and even if you’re not at the designated screening age, if you think something’s wrong, keep asking questions until you get answers.

“You’re too young to get breast cancer” is not a diagnosis. (I borrowed that phrase from a gal who, in fact, was apparently too young to get it, but lo and behold, that’s what she had.)

So, I won’t tell you all that. I figure you’ve heard enough of that already.

cape-woman.jpgInstead, I’d like to talk to you about capes.

Yes, capes.

What? … Am I the only one with a cape? Surely not.

So, what in the name of Breast Cancer Awareness Month do capes have to do with health and well-being??

Actually, quite a lot.

What people don’t talk about in relation to breast cancer is the energy build up or drain down that can be a factor in the development of the disease.

The reason I advocate taking off the cape, at least once in a while, is to reduce stress.

I know a lot of smart mamas who think it’s necessary to be a Super Mama… thus the cape.

Trust me, being a smart mama is enough… you are enough.

The reason stress is dangerous is that it reduces immune function. In a constant state of pressure, the immune system’s ability to fight off disease is weakened. (Howard Hughes Medical Center and the National Institute of Health)

Am I saying we cause our disease? Absolutely not. (I recently had a double mastectomy – and now have bigger tataz – thanks to breast cancer.) I don’t believe I caused my disease.

What I am saying is that spending too much time nurturing others and none – or very little – nurturing ourselves, is detrimental to our health.

Illness is, among other things, a signal that something’s amiss or out of balance.

What I’ve learned is that it’s OK to just be. I’ve learned that most things that seem extremely urgent, usually aren’t – as long as it doesn’t involve one of the kids and lots of blood.

I also learned that it’s necessary to take time for yourself, to take care of yourself.

The problem with the cape is that it has a tendency to make us want to do and be everything to everyone.

Are you still going to be busy? Yes.

Tired? Yes, again.

Being a mama is a demanding, wonderful job.

Just remember… smart mamas don’t have to be Super Mamas. There’s a difference between having a tough mindset, a powerful sense of yourself and feeling like you have to be Super Mom.

There’s a difference between a tuffgirl and a superwoman. If you’re a mom, you’re a tuffgirl, trust me… and you’re probably pretty “super” too.

You just need to give yourself credit, put away the cape, and take a break. cape.jpg

So, put away the cape, ladies… at least once in a while.

Listen to yourself. Listen to your body. Your immune system will thank you, and you’ll have more energy in the long run… energy you’ll need to keep up with your kids!

P.S. And, just in case you were wondering… the answer is, “Yes, I actually do own a real-live cape. It’s my TuffGirl Cape…for those especially tuff situations in life.”

P.S.S. And, “Yes, I have been known to wear it when necessary.”

sandra.jpg Sandra is a true Southern gal (trust us, we know this amazing woman in real life) who blogs about her boobs at