Most peeps by now know that I'm a cancer survivor. That's right -- me, Fran Drescher, who became famous, then got cancer and lived to talk about it.
So after writing a New York Times bestseller and founding my own nonprofit by the same name Cancer Schmancer, I kinda feel like, OK, I'm that go-to celeb whenever the subject of cancer comes up and a celeb is needed for commentary.
Not exactly what I signed up for, but here I am...
Then, one day the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women asked me to participate in their Red Dress Collection fashion show.
This rather unexpected invitation came after I'd received yet another unexpected invitation to join Barbra Streisand for lunch to discuss her heart health center in Los Angeles.
So I thought, what are these heart people trying to tell me? What do I have to do with heart health when I had uterine cancer?
But who turns down lunch with Barbra Streisand? No one, that's who!
And off I went to the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills. Well, after thoroughly dissecting her clothes, makeup, and hair -- all unpretentious, understated, yet elegant -- I began to absorb what this iconic figure was saying and that was when it happened.
I learned that more women die of heart disease than all cancers combined. That the symptoms are nothing like the male symptoms most often acted on TV. And most women don't recognize it's a heart attack, ignoring feelings of nausea, chills, sweats or a tightness in their chests or back.
I met women who shared their heart health stories. These women were not overweight like my dear friend Rosie was at the time of her heart attack. Quite the contrary, some of them I would even classify as petite! Weird, but true that you can be fat or thin to be eligible.
So, of course I said yes to walking the runway in the Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection Fashion Show in spite of the fact that I have 10, ahem, 15 pounds to lose. The universe was calling me!
I'm a health activist and this is important stuff that needs to be heard. So listen up ladies, women's heart health is no laughing matter. It's not some lady problem that can go away with a Midol.
If you feel strange, hot, cold, nauseous, pain anywhere around your upper torso, back or a single sharp pain in the chest, call 911 and rule out heart attack first. Before you go down the wrong path of flu, indigestion, acid reflux, stress or ignoring it completely, CHECK YOUR HEART HEALTH!
We're all busy and no one wants to think the worst, but remember you are useless to your family if you're six feet under!
And while we're on the subject, stop smoking, don't drink in excess, eat healthy, organic foods
and exercise regularly.
Your life might just depend on it!