My first experience with cancer came at around 6-years-old. It was in the shape of my grandmother’s prosthetic breast laying on the bathroom counter. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer and had received a single mastectomy. I don’t remember the conversation explaining to me what it was. I just remember knowing what it was. After the mastectomy, she was fine for years, but cancer later came back in her bones, finally taking her life.

I can only imagine the stigmata in the 1970s of talking about a woman’s breast in public. Fast forward 40 years and we have a pink newspaper to help raise awareness. This conversation is now something that’s not only embraced, but encouraged. Our hope is that bringing this conversation out in the public will help encourage someone to get tested or offer the support they need.

The hundreds of thousands of deaths caused by cancer over the years have kept cancer in the spotlight. It has forced many conversations between mothers and 6-year-olds. Some were not lucky enough to keep their mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, wives and friends around long after their diagnosis.

Along with the need to keep talking about it and keep awareness high, it’s important to not let this ever-present conversation dull our senses to the facts. The constant bombardment of pink, relays and fundraisers has the potential to desensitize an upcoming generation to the dangers they face. Make sure you talk to your kids about it. Make sure they understand the dangers.

Through the day you may see people from Women Rock out selling this pink paper. All of the proceeds from those sales go directly toward their organization. You may already have the paper delivered to your door. Or might have already bought one at the convenience store. How much trouble would it be to buy a second paper? That spare change has the very real potential to go directly to help someone you know battling breast cancer. The very real potential keep a 6-year-old’s grandmother around a little longer.

Happy birthday Wednesday to Angela Brown, Jason Brown, Robert T. Godwin, Louise Jones and Victoria Whitfield, all of Sherman; Ron Smith of Denison; Layla Haney of Emory; and Lonnette Davidson of Collinsville.

Happy anniversary Wednesday to Jason and Karen Hannan of Colbert, Oklahoma, 14 years.