Thursday, October 05, 2006

Have you checked the Girls?

Mom and I after her first chemo

October is National Breast Cancer Month. I can't stress enough what a difference early detection can make, it might save your life. You would think that with all the information available women would realize the importance of doing self exams and having regularly scheduled mammagrams. That is not the case.

Unfortunately, my mother died in February of breast cancer. Her doctor had never given her a mammagram, in fact he discouraged them. He felt the results were inconclusive and too many times issued false positives. The doctor held these beliefs even after his own wife had breast cancer, fortunately for her, she is a survivor. Am I bitter, yes. But I don't believe that the fault is solely the doctor's. My mother was an intelligent woman, well read, current on issues and even worked in a hospital. Like most of us, she was busy and neglected to take care of something simple like this. Don't let the same thing happen to you.

By the time they found my mother's cancer (December 29), it was Stage 4 and had gone to her stomach. We did not find out the prognosis until the day she died (February 2). Mother never asked and I am glad she didn't. She was able to do the things she enjoyed when she felt up to it, instead of worrying about getting things in order. I am an only child and she would have spent her time concerned about how I would handle everything.

I believe that God is in control of all things. My mother's death was in His time and purpose. I don't have to like it, but I accept it. I try daily to see what I can learn from this experience. How I can help others when they have trials. Can I be more compassionate. Most of all, I need to make the most of each day with my husband and children.

Please get regular check ups. For yourself. For your children. For everyone you love.

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