Posts tagged ‘Breast Cancer’

And It’s ON!

A few months back my Shishter (not to be confused with my S-I-S-T-E-R) and I were discussing her budding relationship with this handsome feller who had wandered into her life.

My Shishter is 34, never married, quite beautiful, and has always sort of pooh poohed the idea of love. She could’ve probably been married as many times as Tammy Wynette by now, had she wanted to.  She’s always been very picky and would write somebody off if they didn’t possess a quality she wanted in a man or if there was something she didn’t quite like, never looking back or second guessing her decision to dump or compromising her standards.

I’ve always admired her un-clingyness to men and that she wouldn’t go out with one because she “needed” one. She’s very independent, self-sufficient and totally comfortable with herself to not need a guy in her world.

She had met The Fireman, who had been married previously and has three children, two of whom are young adults who still live at home and another one that’s about 5. 

She was telling me of a situation where plans had changed, with the Fireman,  at the last moment, as things have a tendency to do when one is a parent. She wasn’t much crazy about it at all and said something like she didn’t know if she wanted to do this because she liked her “nice, quiet, no drama” sort of life. 

Being the wise old grandmother I am, I said to her “Shishter…you have been pretty fortunate in your life to not have anything really rock your world. You do realize that tomorrow your world could be turned upside down by something totally out of your control, don’t you? You could go home and find your house totally burned to the ground with every possession you own gone or you could get a frightening, life-changing diagnosis.”  I went on and on with my sermon,  because after all, I’ve been through the illnesses and deaths of both of my parents, lived through my 16-year-old daughter telling me she was pregnant, a divorce, blah, blah….I was beginning to sound like the Charlie Brown schoolteacher to myself even.

There was NO way I would’ve guessed that within a couple of months, what I told her was going to, like, really happen.  I was talking hypothetical. Totally. My Shishter has had it pretty good.

Last Wednesday, my dear best friend found out that she has breast cancer and probably next week will undergo a double mastectomy to be followed by chemotherapy and probably radiation. She is 34 years old with no family history. She is totally, completely in love for the first time in her life.  This is not supposed to be.  It’s not a bad dream that I’m hoping to wake up from. It’s real. And it all came down so quick.

She found her lump a week ago Wednesday. She always did regular self checks. This came up out of nowhere.

I have no doubt that my Shishter has the cojones to kick this cancer square in the arse and make it sorry it ever messed with her. She is a tenacious and stubborn girl. I have vowed to fight it right along with her, doing whatever I need or have to do. I’ve told her I will shave my head right along with her. Not that that would fix the problem but if it  makes her feel not quite so alone to deal with the loss of her hair, by golly, I can lose mine too.

Cancer, I hate you. You took my parents, my stepfather, two of my aunts, two uncles, dear friends, but you will NOT take my Shishter from me.

Hey Jude

Cuzzin Judi is kickin’ cancer right smack dab in the arse, boys and girls.  Go see what she’s been up to.  She has more energy on Chemo than I do on Adderall.  She’s making us all look bad.  Heh.

Reason #3,875 Why I Hate Cancer

I hate cancer.  It’s always been lurking in the background, which I guess, it does for a lot of people.  My mom was the latest family member to have a round with it of late. 

Back in January, I did a post on the cool fundraiser, Driving For A Cure, to raise money for Breast Cancer research.  In that post, I talked about my Aunt Junie and her gallant battle against breast cancer and that’s part of why I’m so interested in the whole thing.

I found out this morning that Junie’s daughter, my most wonderful cousin, Judi, is now facing the same damn battle.  It pisses me off.  It just does.  In fact, I emailed Judi this morning after I found out what’s going on with her and instead of throwing some heavy, Jesus-y stuff at her, this was my greeting to my beloved cousin:  “Well, shit.  This sucks.”  It does.

I know that Judi is going to be fine.  She taught Middle School for 30 years and survived that.  She’s always been an independent, free spirit…heck, she raises mules.  Me and Judi can get on the phone and just babble for hours, solving problems of the world and what-not.  I wish there weren’t something like 1500 miles between us or I’d be hanging out at Judi’s farm in Texas all the time.   Hers was caught during a routine mammogram and she’s always been pretty diligent about matters of health.

I know Judi’s gonna be fine.  Still, it pisses me off that she’s got breast cancer. Why?

I guess it was about 1972, her mother, Junie…was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She was diagnosed after being mis-diagnosed for a long time.  I don’t know how long it was, but, it was awhile.  I also realize that in 1972, they didn’t have all the stuff they have now to diagnose, treat BC. 

Junie fought that danged cancer.  I swear….8 or 9 years.  She fought that sucker tooth and nail.  She died in June of 1979…I will never forget that day…we went to Opryland with my Louisiana cousins.  I heard my mother’s name paged over the loudspeaker and even though I was 10 and was not told a lot of details about Junie’s illness (it was kinda whispered…like in that movie “St Elmo’s Fire” where the girl’s mother whispered anything negative like “cancer”) but I KNEW that Junie was probably gone and dadgum…a little later, me and Buddy walked up to Mom and her sister sitting in that theater there in the 50’s part of Opryland and she blurted out that Junie was gone.  Weird how some things stay with you.

Anyway…it makes me so mad that my Uncle Wesley, who is 80 years old, in the last year has dealt with the death of a grandson…he watched his wife suffer and die with cancer and blast-it…now his baby girl has to confront the same thing.  I’m more worried about him than Judi, really.  Stuff like that’s  hard on a Dad. 

Judi, though…she’s gonna be fine.  She’s having surgery next week and I have no doubt she’s gonna be an octagenerian on her farm with all her various and sundry critters and will outlive all of us.  She is blessed with two sisters, who will stand with her through this whole ordeal, the rest of us in her family, lots of friends….she’s gonna do fine.

I still hate she has to even deal with this at all. 


Driving For A Cure

I’ve been meaning to do a post about this for awhile but wanted to wait til after Christmas.

My former doctor, Matt Yuill, lost his beautiful wife, Rochellerochelle_pink.jpg to breast cancer this past October.  Rochelle was only 33 years old and the mother of a 3 year old son.

It’s so hard to wrap your head around a young mother to be being told she has breast cancer when pregnant, but, that’s what happened to Rochelle.   She was a succesful dentist (she actually worked out of my office at one time).

I saw the Yuill’s at the swimming pool this summer and had no idea that she was ill.  They looked like a perfect little family enjoying the pool on a hot, summer day.  I had no clue then or the times I had been in Dr. Yuill’s office complaining about being depressed cause I lost my job, whine, whine….can you give me something for poor, pitiful me? Gah.

I also go to church with  Rochelle’s mother and stepfather, knew their daughter was sick but didn’t connect the dots that she was Dr. Yuill’s wife.  Duh. Rochelle’s dad is the former mayor of Hendersonville, as well.

Dr. Yuill is not practicing medicine as much now because he is devoting himself to his little boy and he is also devoting himself to finding a cure for Breast Cancer.

I wish I could get across here what a great guy Dr. Yuill is and what an attentive physician he was to me and so many other people. It’s so ironic that he has had to endure what he has, considering his line of work.  I hate that he’s not praciticing now but I also understand his first obligation is to that sweet little boy.

I’ve always had a time talking to doctors but Dr. Yuill is one of the easiest docs to talk to.   Dr. Millspaugh, who I go to now and who is a good friend of Dr. Yuill’s is also easy to talk to.  It must be the younger generation of docs. I don’t know.  I like both of these guys a lot.  Dr. Millspaugh is also a blogger.  He’s a good, thorough, doctor, but, I love the fact that my doc blogs.  Hee.

Anyway, Dr. Yuill has started the Rochelle Foundation in memory of his wife.  Along with the Tennessee Affiliates of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure (Knoxville, Tri-Cities, Upper Cumberland, Memphis and Chattanooga) they are trying to get a special license plate.  The license plate has been approved by the Tennessee Legislature and all they need, before the plates can go in production  is pre-sell 1000 plates before  July 1, 2008.  The plates are $35.  If they don’t sell the required number of pre-production of plates, they will return the money to you, but, see…that ain’t gonna happen.  We’re going to get all these 1000 plates pre-sold, aren’t we?

All of us have been touched by breast cancer in some way.  My good friend Janice, is a survivor and I lost my aunt Juniethe_profile.jpg (we laugh about this picture of Junie because it looks just like my profile. Hee) to breast cancer when she was just 50 years old. I’m buying my plate in honor of Janice and in memory of Rochelle and Junie.  Think of someone you love who has fought this horrible disease and fork over that $35, would ya?

You can go right here to get your license plate.