Buddy Check 10: Trust your instinct

4:52 PM, May 10, 2012   |    comments
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Early detection truly does save lives. That's why we always remind you to pay attention to your body, do your self exam and schedule an annual mammogram.

If you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of your family.

A breast cancer survivor offers this life saving lesson: be your own health advocate.

Brenda Parzy never felt a lump but says she had a bizarre burning sensation in her left breast. Even after a mammogram showed nothing, she pushed for an MRI.

"Trust your instinct. If you're not satisfied and you feel there is something more going on, go with it, because chances are there is something going on."

And for Brenda, there was: three cancerous tumors in her other breast. But she says the birth of another granddaughter the same day she was diagnosed gave her the strength to battle back.

Her husband's humor helped her handle her hair loss.

"I thought I was totally prepared for that, with the wigs and knowing I was going to lose my hair," Brenda says. "But until I got in the shower and it started happening and I was holding clumps of hair... when I got out, I was crying.

"And he's standing there with the electric razor waiting to shave my head and when he did, he said, 'You look just like your brother!' Actually, I had to laugh and say, 'I look more like you,' because he's bald."

It became the perfect Christmas card to lift her spirits. Now she reminds other to pay attention to any changes.

"You need to be aware of your body. Do your self exams. Know how you feel on a day-to-day basis... you know those times when you don't feel you're normal."

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