JACKSONVILLE, FL -- The first thing I noticed after Sheran's big, bright smile was a bright, red Corvette! Why talk cars when we discuss something as serious as breast cancer?
It's because over the last 11 years interviewing breast cancer survivors I've found a passion for life is a tremendous boost.
Sheran's passion is Corvettes. In fact, she met her husband at a Corvette show. The two fell in love and they're quite the team now.
That's crucial because Sheran is going through chemo now. She had regular mammograms and said she never missed an appointment. But the mammogram didn't show the lump she felt back in the fall last year.
Mammograms, of course, do save many lives. But in cases like Sheran's the key was doing a self exam.
Sheran says Buddy Check 12 saved her life. She was in the shower and felt a hard lump. Sheran says it felt like two jelly beans, oval and hard. The lump was directly under her nipple, the second most common area for breast cancer. (The most common area is the upper, outside quadrant toward your underarm and shoulder.)
The day she was diagnosed was "very emotional," Sheran says. She had trouble telling her husband. His thoughts now are to keep loving his wife and tell other men they should know what to look for in their wives' breasts. He actually had felt the lump, as well, and was concerned.
Sheran says no lymph nodes had cancer in them and that was a big sigh of relief. She'll be done with chemo in April and then she and her husband plan to pack up their suitcases in Orange Park and trek to Alaska.
Meanwhile, they're taking spins in their Corvettes to keep their spirits up. Sheran is telling everyone she can to do Buddy Check 12.
SO LADIES... ARE YOU CHECKING? Remember it's a tremendous advantage to catch cancer early. It can save you and your family a lot of agony. Just take a few minutes and check with the pads of your fingers, the most sensitive part.
If you feel something different or especially a lump that's hard, any size or shape, call a doctor.
You can get free Buddy Check 12 kits by calling our partner, Baptist Medical Center at 202-CARE. We'll mail you the kits with reminder stickers for your calendar. Put them on every 12th of the month for the rest of 2004 and get a buddy. I call my Mom every 12th and remind her!
First Coast News