Breast Cancer Awareness Month sparks reflection

To the Editor:

As Cancer Awareness Month ends, I’d like to share my wife’s experience with breast cancer.

Because her grandmother, her mother, her aunt and her cousin, all on her mother’s side, had died of breast cancer, Carole was very concerned and dedicated to her checkups. Each six months she went to her doctor at Sansum, Dr. Dunn.

For several decades of those twice-yearly visits, Dr. Dunn evaluated the labs, did his exam and each time said, “I’ll see you in six months.” That is until the last exam, last month. That exam, with Carole mentioning she “felt something” caused Dr. Dunn to administer an MRI, which also saw something, sent her across the street for a biopsy, and sure enough, her worst fears were realized. It was the dreaded cancer. A week later, the surgery was done and tests done that showed no additional cancer in glands or elsewhere.

Then came the 37 radiation treatments at the local cancer center. They were each week day for almost seven weeks. Declaring her treatments done, the clinic said, “Now it’s wait and see. “A mammogram and probable MRI will be done in six months, and Carole, her family and friends are hoping and praying for no recurrence of the cancer.

To all who have had cancer, I’m sure you can relate to Carole’s journey. To all who have not, please don’t ignore this insidious disease. Do self exams and get mammograms. Your loved ones and your friends will thank you.

God bless Dr. Dunn, Sansum Clinic, the Ridgecrest Cancer Center, our church family at All Faith Chapel and all of Carole’s Ridgecrest family and friends who have been awesomely supportive.

Gale G. Poppen

Story First Published: 2013-10-30