author C.C.Cole's blog

Saturday, October 29, 2011

On Breast Cancer Awareness

So many have their stories about the hideous disease of Breast Cancer.  I applaud the survivors, and with their strength, courage, and promotion of awareness, many get proper screening these days.

In my small world, a couple of years ago, I left work on a Friday.  I drove home through the cold and rain, hoping to get horizontal as soon as possible from a severe cold with body aches, with a bottle of Nyquil at my bedside.  I lay in bed for the next two days, drenched in sweat and feeling like I was going to die.

On Sunday at noon, I sat up, taking a deep breath, realizing my fever finally broke, and I wasn’t dying.  As I sat up on my bed, turned on the TV to Lifetime, and relaxed, my telephone rang.

It was my best friend, who lives out of state from me, weeping over the telephone.  We’ve known each other long enough when something was wrong when we spoke, and she’s almost never one to cry.  She told me the words: “I have breast cancer.”  My fever sweat dried, and my cough stopped, and my runny nose became a non-issue.

She needed to find a doctor to help her.  Being in a large city full of top hospitals, when one is left to her/his own devices, it’s like being on the South Pole.  I have a lot of medical contacts, and after some searching, I found a Breast Cancer Specialist within a few minutes.  Before two hours passed, my friend was on the telephone with someone who could help her….on a Sunday afternoon.

The year was hard, but she never complained.  I accompanied her for the initial testing and consultation of results.  It was hard for me, so describing the difficulty she faced is beyond imagination.  But she charged forward, was given sound options, and with the help of her family, made well thought out decisions, leading to an excellent outcome.  She didn’t even take off much time from her job.  Her courage amazed me, as I’m not sure if I could have kept going the way she did.

But that’s what brings us back to the point; none of us know what we can do until we’re pushed against the wall.  Breast cancer, like other illnesses, is serious business, and the efforts to keep women (and men, in rarer cases) informed of the updated recommendations for screening and treatment.

In one hour, my life changed lanes from my cold to her cancer. It’s amazing how quickly little things get thrown aside when a real problem arises.   She is thankfully doing well today.

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