LIFESTYLES by Ronda Gates Weekly Message
Weekly Gems from Ronda Gates.

Take Care of that Exam

My 57 year old sister, Barbara, called this week to tell me that my family medical history has changed. She's been diagnosed with breast cancer. She's had a lumpectomy and, barring a bad review of the lymph nodes which would precipitate a mastectomy, she will begin chemotherapy and radiation next week. Boy am I glad I've been writing checks to support cancer research. Her prognosis improves with each new revelation regarding what constitutes successful treatment.

After we got through the initial processing an announcement like that brings, I asked her what I could do that would be helpful to her. She said, "I want you to ask every woman you know to do a self breast exam TODAY. I want you to tell every man you know to forgo the possibility of embarassment and request their women friends to do a self breast exam." I agreed.

Barbara's mammagram six months ago showed nothing abnormal. We both share a medical history of fibrocystic breast disease and it was only a nagging promise she made to a surgeon friend a couple of months ago to be more regular about her self exam that made her linger over a piece of scar tissue that "felt different".

Additionally she asked that I ask everyone to mobilize their 'prayers'--whatever that is for them, for her healing and to join her each time she goes to 'treatment" to scurry into the dark recesses of her body to immobilize and kill every one of the aberrant little buggers.

Barbara has a wonderful sense of humor. She is a gifted writer of books for children. Her humor was revealed by her pre-surgical effort to paint her body with a sign for the surgeons to read that said, "remove all cancer".

She also shared an anecdote that supports her perspective to maintain an upbeat attitude. Prior to her surgery she lifted her breast as close to her mouth as possible and spoke these words of warning, "Listen, in about two hours Dr. Wilson's going to cut a hole exposing you wicked little creatures inside to a very bright light. If you're smart you'll race toward his scalpel and let him get you out of there because, if you hang around, in a couple of weeks you're going to get the big guns and die painfully!!"

Now--go take care of that exam.

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LIFESTYLES by Ronda Gates
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