Last October 2010, during Breast Cancer Awareness month, my wife decided to move up her scheduled mammogram. A spot was noticed during the examination. The seriousness of the finding was minimized as being “probably nothing.” We were devastated by the bad news that we were not prepared to receive. The biopsy confirmed that she had breast cancer.
Having lost my mother to breast cancer before my 21st birthday, I knew the seriousness of the diagnosis. After much discussion and prayer, in December, she underwent a double mastectomy. I held her hand and provided strength
and support. I returned the favor in a small part, as she had walked me from
the edge of death. I was determined to hold her hand and provide comfort to a
wonderful person, who had dedicated her life to helping children and comforting
parents as a pediatric nurse.
Four surgeries later, she is now cancer free. I am thankful that medical technology has advanced to the point that so many early interventions will extend the lives of so many women. Any man, who thinks he is the head of the family, merely needs to take the reins from the real boss of the house. If only for a few weeks. The man may think he is the head of the family, but the woman is the neck that controls movement of that head. I made the decision a long time ago to appoint my wife the CFO and CEO of our house. She has done a remarkable job, while I spent too many nights on the road. She is the one most responsible for the success and stability of our children.
While she was recovering, I opened a manuscript I had started and never finished. I was surprised at what I found as I read, Coins of Death. My goal with Frank Duffy’s character development was to demonstrate that cops, like everyday folks, must deal with assorted personal issues. I had no idea that I would walk in the shoes of my character. No one will ever believe that I wrote Frank’s journals prior to my wife’s illness, but I did. Hopefully, I brought some empathy to the character of a calloused cop.
I salute all the courageous women who have battled this dreadful disease. Fear grips their life. The fear of death, the fear of missing the milestones in their children’s lives and the fear of an uncertain future. I pray for their family and friends who show support and strength during those difficult times. It is not an easy path and is full of
Every year, 200,000 women will develop breast cancer and 46,000 will die. Doctor Oz, attributes a 30% decrease in fatal breast cancer, by obtaining routine mammograms.
During the month of October, a portion of the proceeds of any of my four books will be donated to the USF Breast Health Program (Thank you to those that helped the cause this past October). We were blessed to have found a team of highly skilled and empathetic surgeons. One, Dr. John Cox described a comparison of butterflies and breast cancer patients.
“The newly diagnosed breast cancer patient reminds me of a butterfly. Shrouded in transcendent beauty; their fragile nature can be so easily tossed to and fro by the winds of adversity. During this dread experience, they make their way along the path of life with great difficulty sometimes appearing as if there is little direction to their forward progress, yet somehow making it to their intended foal.” – Dr John Cox
Thank you to Dr. Irene Wahba, Dr. Katherine Reed, Dr. John Cox and Dr. Paul Albear. You perform miracles everyday!