Two weeks ago was the first anniversary of the death of a Nitro High School classmate, Teresa Holovic O’Conner, from cancer. Last week was the 25th anniversary of the death of another high school classmate, Mike Burnsworth, from cancer.
They had different types of cancer, but in both cases their death’s ended lives much too short and left people behind wondering why and grieving. In Teresa’s case, she left behind a young daughter and husband.
Last weekend was the WV Komen Walk for the Cure in Charleston and this coming weekend is Mother’s Day. Wouldn’t it be fitting if everyone got their mother a mammogram for Mother’s Day? While not 100 percent, early detection is the best way to make sure more young daughters don’t lose their mothers before they grow up and have children of their own.
Over the last year, I sat with Jean Hanna Davis and produced a series of blogs/columns about breast cancer. Just a few weeks ago, we released the book Keep on, Keepin’ on in which Jean talks about her person struggles with the chemotherapy treatment being a cancer survivor. One thing she believes in strongly is early detection.
“I tell people to have their mammograms all the time. I show my scars. It infuriates me when women come up to me and say ‘My doctor wants me to have a mammogram, but I’m not going to because it hurts too much.’ I have raised my shirt and shown them my scars and said ‘Tell me how you think this feels. You can prevent this by having your mammograms. What do you think is going to happen if you don’t have it?” I have shocked people. I have had people not talk to me, but if you can’t do the minimum you should do to take care of yourself like have your mammogram, you are going to hear about it from me. That is as important as, if not more important than, getting up every morning and putting food on the table.”
So, let me say Happy Mother’s Day to all the women in my life. You all make a difference to me, whether you are my mom or my wife or simply a friend and an inspiration. I want to keep you all around for a long, long time. Please take the best care of yourself possible and get yourself checked. I don’t want to lose any of you.
Happy Mother’s Day!.