© Cindy Beck, 2008
(Keywords: Cindy Beck, breast cancer, survivor, Cup of Comfort for Breast Cancer Survivors, mammogram, humor, Latter-day Saints, LDS, yourLDSNeighborhood.com)
This blog is normally humorous, but for just a moment or two, let’s talk about something serious …
My mom is a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed at age 59, and right about now—when I’m only a few years away from that age myself—59 is sounding pretty young. When she told me of the diagnosis, I wondered if she would live until 60.
She had a good doctor, a successful surgery, and a workable treatment plan that included chemotherapy. Her health care and treatment were so good that, as of this point in time, she’s a 13-year survivor.
You cannot imagine how grateful I am for every minute of those 13 years. Nor how thankful I feel that she scheduled regular mammograms and didn’t delay when they discovered a lump. It’s my belief that the mammogram is part of what saved her life.
About a year ago, a “call for stories” arrived in my inbox. Colleen Sell and Adams Media were collecting stories for a book called, A Cup of Comfort for Breast Cancer Survivors. I knew that I needed to write the story about my mom—a daughter’s view of her mother’s journey through breast cancer—and submit it.
It wasn’t easy writing, because it meant reliving the heart-stopping moment when she told me of the diagnosis. It meant calling to mind the desperate, sinking feeling of watching as a nurse wheeled her down the hall on a gurney and into surgery … and wondering if I would ever see her alive again.
However, it was worth the pain of writing it. Adams Media accepted my work, “Dancing in the Moonlight,” along with 45 other stories, and A Cup of Comfort for Breast Cancer Survivors came out in September of 2008. My mom’s survivor friends read the book, nodded their heads in empathy, and shed tears of remembrance … as well as tears of joy because they have lived through cancer, too.
October is “Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” If you’re a woman, please … please … get a mammogram. A mammogram is a little embarrassing (and the machine is usually cold) but it’s relatively painless. Early diagnosis might save your life.
If you’re a man, and you find a lump in your breast, don’t discount breast cancer. It doesn’t mean you’re immune just because you’re a guy. Go to the doctor! Once again, embarrassment is nothing compared to leaving behind those you love because you didn’t seek medical help immediately.
Now for the fun part … I’m holding a drawing here on my blog site and giving away a copy of A Cup of Comfort for Breast Cancer Survivors. The book is one of inspiration and hope. If you—or your family or friends—are currently facing cancer, or have faced it in the past, it makes a great gift.
To enter the drawing, simply leave a short comment on this blog anytime up until midnight, November 5, 2008.
The names of all entrants will be written on slips of paper. The winner will be pulled in a random drawing in which my dog, Corky Porky Pie, will sniff the papers, grab one … and most likely make me chase him around the room to get it back. Of course, if that gets too complicated, I might have to draw the name myself.
On November 6, 2008, I’ll announce the winner at my blog. So, leave a comment and check back on November 6th to see if you won.*
And then … go out and make an appointment for that mammogram!
*Even the words, “Hi,” will qualify as a comment, and if you wish to comment more than once, feel free. It won't entitle you to more than one entry, but I promise I'll read every word you wrote! Winner's name will be drawn on Nov 6th, and she/he will have one week to claim the prize by contacting me at my blog. After that, the prize will be forfeit and awarded to the next name drawn. Contest is subject to rules and regulations as governed by the great State of Utah ... blah, blah, blah ... and ends November 5, 2008.
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