Letter to Editor in the Tomahawk Leader Oct. 11, 2005, issue:
To the Leader:
October is not only Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it's the anniversary of when I lost a breast to breast cancer. Ladies, get that mammogram! It was a mammogram that saved my life. There was no lump, even after we knew where the cancer was, no one could feel a lump. I was one of the lucky ones, they got it early.
When the surgeon asked if I wanted a "lumpectomy" as opposed to a "mastectomy" I told him to make his decision as if I were his mother. When I came out of the anesthesia he was at my bedside apologizing for having to take my whole breast, imagine, apologizing for saving my life, because, as it turned out, I had two different types of cancer in that breast. Had he done only the lumpectomy, the most aggressive of the two cancers would have continued to spread.
I've had women say to me, "But I've heard a mammogram hurts."
When you're so sick and weak from the chemotherapy that you just curl up in your husband's lap like a baby, that hurts. When your skin is burned, cracked and bleeding from the radiation treatments, that hurts. When your grandkids have to stay away from you so as not to pass on any sicknesses that your body is unable to fight, that hurts. Next to these things, believe me, a mammogram is a piece of cake. For the sake of those who love you, just do it!