Breast cancer survivors are kicking up their heels this month. A plethora of pink T-shirts, sparkling jewelry and lapel pins sporting "I earned my pink!" express a spirit of celebration.
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month others, besides survivors, are remembering, too.
There was "Pink Week" at one of our local high schools and free "survivor" haircuts at JC Penney throughout October, an indication that a lot of folks are cheering us on.
The hurrahs drew me into The Walking Company, where a pair of running shoes had my name on them — or at least the shocking pink breast cancer symbol on both heels. Sporty in black with bright pink soles, matching inside lining and fancy abeo designs, these sneakers can make a person excited about the "extra mile"--one that leads to continued wellness.
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Believe it or not, there's evidence that walking or jogging can make a difference!
According to an ABC News commentary by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center internist and epidemiologist Dr. Anne Tiernan, "Nearly 30 studies have shown that women who exercise at moderate to vigorous levels for three or more hours per week reduce their risk of getting breast cancer by 30 percent to 40 percent."
She points out that this provides as much risk reduction as taking the drug tamoxifin — but without the side effects.
If anything, you may experience a "runner's high" and that's a pretty joyful way for me to fight off the return of breast cancer. Not surprisingly, one oncologist told me about the studies when I mentioned I had chosen a more organic approach — exercise and good nutrition — instead of the chemical options after my 2003 mastectomy.
So, when I saw the "cool" running shoes that shout "survivor!" I couldn't pass them up. And to ensure I get my money's worth and continue to jog even when the weather cools down, I've joined a group: Running to Glorify.
This fall and winter, I'll be kicking up my heels in a "happy dance" as I run, praising God with each step that I am still a survivor.