BOZEMAN, Mont. – It’s October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which means Bozeman is going pink.
PNKBZN is a community breast cancer awareness campaign organized by HRDC with Advanced Medical Imaging, Bozeman Health, MSU, Prime and Cancer Support Community. It was created for increase breast cancer education and encourage women to have their annual mammogram.
You can see the pink signs all throughout downtown, and many storefronts have displays out front to show their support. Several downtown restaurants and stores are also making deals where a certain portion of the profits are donated to breast cancer support.
When people see others struggling with breast cancer, the physical pain is obvious, but what many people don’t see is the mental and emotional drain it can take on those battling it. disease.
This is where the Bozeman Cancer Support Community comes in. They offer several different classes and groups for physical, mental, and emotional support. I spoke with Nicole Warwood, who celebrated a year without cancer in July, about how the cancer support community has helped her. She was originally a board member for them as treasurer before her diagnosis and said it was a little weird at first to be on the other side. Originally, she only went there for physical treatment, doing yoga to help her body grow stronger. After being there, she realized that she needed emotional support just as much.
Nicole caught it early, so she didn’t have as difficult a recovery process as others, although hers was also extremely difficult, brought on feelings of guilt. Being around women in other stages, who told her they were glad she hadn’t gotten worse and was fine, helped her cope. Another challenge was his family and what this process put them through as well. Her husband had a tough time while she was having surgery, but was able to be strong and there for her when she was battling the aftermath of not getting better as quickly as she had hoped. She was grateful that they weren’t struggling mentally at the same time so they could really lean on each other for support.
Having young children, saying the word “cancer” can be scary. So they said there was something “gross” about her. Nicole also had to help them understand that she was going to be different after this. She can no longer do the same physical activity as before, and this may be difficult to accept. Cancer Support Community offers classes to help individuals and their families cope with these changes.
She wanted to emphasize how grateful and lucky she was to have great surgeons here and to be able to stay local with all of her doctors in the greater Bozeman area.
Nicole ended with some tips; get tested – don’t wait, trust your body if something is wrong, connect with those who can understand you, and don’t neglect the mental and emotional side.
For more information on PNGBZN, you can visit their website here.