July 22, 2014 - 21:09
Letters to the Editor
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Dear Editor:

Unexpected cancer – October is cancer awareness month

I could say this has been a bad year for me, But, is it? I went to my gynecologist in Chattanooga in July. Being past due for a mammogram, he sent me to Women’s Diagnostic Center where they immediately did a mammogram and ultrasound, and I was informed I had breast cancer. I wasn’t expecting that news, already having fibromyalgia, type II diabetes, and still recovering by a triple by-pass in 2010.
After a partial mastectomy I was told they got all the cancer. So that was good news! There was no cancer in the lymphnodes. I’m glad we got to it in time, before it spred. As a precaution, I will be starting radiation for six weeks, five days a week.
I had the breast surgery on August 15, 2013, one day before the thirty-third anniversary of starting chemotherapy for non-hodgkins lymphoma on August 14, 1980. Dr. H. Stacy Vareen, a new young doctor in the Copper Basin area at the time, saved my life by being familiar with cancer, taking out the swollen lymphnodes on my neck and sending me to Atlanta for chemo treatments. Thank God for all you doctors who took good care of me.
Early detection is the key. Keep regular appointments. Research has come a long way in my thirty-three years. None of us understand why us. Cancer is a dreadful thing for anyone, young or old. Many people have it and don’t know it. Same with diabetes. Other things are as bad or worse. We never know what’s next. I like sharing my story so other people can see they’re not alone, even though there are so many mixed emotions. It comes with the territory. With trust, hope, and belief in God, your family and friends will get you through it. Emotional support, love, and care are very important. Keep in touch with your family, friends and neighbors. Show them you care. Tell them encouraging things; do little things to show you care.
Every life has a purpose. Living in sync with your purpose brings joy to life, as there is a deep appreciation for the opportunity to make a positive contribution to our world. Not money, power, status – nothing replaces this. Purpose produces a happy life which is far better than a happy hour. Purpose enables us to withstand difficult and dark days. Purpose gives life meaning and direction. Purpose is energizing and contributes to over-all well-being. Without question, purpose translates into a life well lived. There is something you just have to do. I encourage you to do it.
I look forward to our weekly Polk County News. Cheryl keep up the good work! If you would like to share your stories with us or want to call me any time and need to talk to someone with 33 years of experience, I am happy to talk to you.
If I can inspire at least one person to have a little more hope and encouragement, then it is well worth me sharing my story with all of you.

Have a blessed day and keep me in your prayers,
Stella (Hedrick) Crump.

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Polk County News | P.O. Box 129 | 3 Main Street | Benton TN 37307
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