I try to keep my anger under control; really, I do. There are simply certain situations and certain people who deserve anger.
First of all, those of you who don't vote. If you choose not to, please don't complain about our government. You had your chance and will have another next November. Not voting tells me you simply don't care and, therefore, have no right to voice your anger.
The second recipient of my anger are the men in our lives refusing to get a simple blood test that will show them how their prostates are getting along. That's right, I used a "dirty word": Prostate, prostate, prostate! Do you know that, when caught early, this is one of the cancers most easily cured? Think about. Think about your kids, think about your wife. Shoot, think about your dog and how much he would miss you.
Last, but definitely not least, breast cancer. Another bad word. Are you getting aggravated with all the pink showing up this month? Well, good. As far as I'm concerned, there can never be enough pink shown in connection to our breast health. I personally know several friends who refuse one little test to make sure this devastating disease does not invade their entire life.
Reasons for not having it done? "It just hurts so much! Besides, if I ever come down with it, it will kill me anyway. Why go through having everything squished flat when you know you're going to die?"
Come on, ladies! Surely, you've read the paper and watched TV enough in the past several years to know that, as in prostate cancer, caught early this can be dealt with and cured.
Talk to any survivor. See if they think the exam is painful compared to what you would go through should the cancer spread and not caught until it's too late.
I'm not a doctor. I'm just a busybody trying to get women to take better care of themselves. I don't know the statistics. I don't care about statistics. I care about you! Granted, we probably have never met in person, but I've been writing for the paper off and on for almost 30 years. If there are some of you who have kept up with my family for that long, I thank you. You are the ones I consider true friends.
Talk to your family doctor. Give him a thorough account of your family history. He can then advise as to whether or not to start the screenings earlier than normal. Then, of course, you become of age to require one every year.
I am begging you to take advantage of this opportunity we have been given to catch a potential killer before it actually becomes a killer of entirely too many women in our society. If you don't want to go alone, take a friend to hold your hand. She might not be able to go into the exam room with you, but she will be there when you come out.
If for no one else, do this for me. Please! There are too many women dying from this predator that can be knocked out with one little X-ray and whatever else your doctor suggests. I don't want my readers to become victims. And I don't want to lose any of you as friends.
(Pat Fickle is a Martinez resident.)
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