When life hands you a lemon, don’t choke on it.

Well, that’s just so cute. So sweet. So cliché. So not.

You know what? It’s not easy to cope with life’s bad breaks. Things happen that knock the breath out of you. If you live long enough, it will happen — either to you or a loved one — and you still have to deal with it if it’s to somebody you love.

When this happens, if somebody tells you to make lemonade, you’re likely to slap them silly and go on your beleaguered way trying to fix what can be fixed and accept what can’t.

 The toughest mountain I’ve ever faced is being dealt the sentence of BREAST CANCER. 

It sounded like a death knell. and cowell have been. In order to deal with a catastrophe with any semblance of power that makes it sufficient to more on, you have to have grace. And that, of course, is a gift from above. The courage to face any personal setback has never just plopped into my lap on cue. I’ve had to draw any strength that I might have had from my personal association with my God and a lot of one-on-one communication with Him to straighten out my mind-set. And fortunately, friends who do the same on my behalf.

This personal challenge happened in 2009 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. What a literal kick in the gut. What? Am I not a good person? Do I deserve this? I felt abandoned and alone. That’s because I was so wrapped up in my misery that misery was all I could see.

What I found out was — I am not alone. There are hoards of women out there who have gone through what I faced and have moved to the next level. I have family and friends who care and bandied together to help and support me through this.

I was told I had a life-threatening disease that scares the dickens out of most women. Sure did me. I had to climb over this mountain of shock and fear. The kicker was I felt fine, just peachy. This couldn’t be happening — not to me.

Oh, yesum, to me!

I had surgery, which is no small thing in itself. After surgery, nothing was over — I was now facing the dreaded chemotherapy and radiation

But you know what? My breast cancer had not yet spread to the lymph nodes. That means that my survival chances were way up there with the proper regimen of care. And I had doctors that were rated the best in this field.

In the last month, I have done much research on my particular malady. Breast cancer in 2009 is not the same as it was 20 years ago or even 10 years ago. So much has been learned through research and the innovations are tremendous.

Here’s the thing. If I hadn’t had that scheduled visit where my family nurse practitioner found that lump in a routine checkup, I would be unaware of the big bad beast sitting on my shoulder waiting to kill me.

The moral of my little recitation today is — get a mammogram when you are supposed to and get check-ups when you’re supposed to. 

My first impulse was to dive under a rock and keep this whole mess a secret. Second thought was — that’s just seven degrees of dumb. By telling my story, I might be instrumental in getting somebody somewhere to get a mammogram that will save her life.

I think somebody up above in His infinite master plan nagged my subconscious into going to the doctor when I didn’t want to. But then, I never want to. Something made me go.

I don’t think I’m special. I don’t think I’m lucky. I think I’m incredibly blessed.

Climbing that tall mountain taught me a some life-changing habits ... like patience, trust, love and good ole common sense.

I know who you are, I khow where you live. I know what you are facing. Been there — done that,


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