Mrs. Howard, It’s Not Breast Cancer

Written By: Kim - May• 19•15

These are the words that every woman wants to hear who has ever found a lump in her breast. I heard these words from my radiologist this month after a bilateral mammogram and ultrasound. I am sure that you understand the relief I felt. Despite the research I did which showed that I had no signs of breast cancer, I needed medical confirmation.

I can tell you that I cried for several minutes after the doctor and technician left the exam room. Sheer relief washed over me and I simply could not contain my tears. I am extremely grateful that they were not tears of sorrow.

©2011 Crystal Woroniuk  courtesy of stock.xchng

©2011 Crystal Woroniuk courtesy of stock.xchng

Because I am an ugly crier (flushed face, red nose and red, swollen eyes – Clare Danes has nothing on me.) I texted my husband the good news. He was in the waiting room. I did not want him to be alarmed when I walked out looking traumatized, despite my attempts at superficial recovery. We celebrated with lunch afterwards.

Heart disease will likely kill me first – even after the weight loss. I have heart disease factors from both parents. The good news is that my annual check up results continually show no signs of high blood pressure or cholesterol.

Beast cancer does not run in my family. But did you know that statics show that more women without a family history of breast cancer get it? Yes, you read that correctly. I was just as surprised as you.

Do your breast exams monthly. I know a few women who’s lives were saved because they found the lump first. Get a mammogram annually. No, it’s not a pleasant experience, but child birth lasts a hell of a lot longer. In the scope of our lives, mammogram pain is small and finite. It was only through my monthly exam that I noticed the cyst. Cyst, not tumor. And even if it was cancer, I would rather know sooner than later. I would prefer to get treatment sooner  so that I have a better chance at beating any cancer.

Take your health seriously, ladies. Get an annual exam. Schedule the screenings and keep the appointment. What is more important than taking care of your body? If you won’t do it for yourself, just think of all of the people in your life who depend upon you. Think, just for a minute, about the huge void you would leave if you died too soon.

And, men, you need to know the facts about breast cancer in your gender as well. It’s not just for women only.

A Love Letter to My Parents

Written By: Kim - Apr• 15•15

September 8, 1987

Well folks, I’m all moved into my new apartment and about to start another phase of my life – living outside the home for the first time. It will be some experience with Stef, but I’m sure we’ll get through it.

You know I’ll miss you both very much, even though I’d never let on…I even feel a little guilty. I mean, all this money being spent so that I can better myself and no real benefit to you two except helping your child. I guess that’s what being a loving, caring parent is. One day I suppose I’ll understand the sacrifices that both of you make just to help me. I am loved!

A Love Letter to My Parents

A Love Letter to My Parents

Daddy, I never really got the chance or took the time to tell you how much your hard work means to me. I know you’ve worked hard so that you can put me through college. I love you very, very much Daddy. I will always be your little girl. I’d never want to grow out of that position.

Mom, I didn’t forget you. I realize that you and I have had differences of opinions in the past, but that is part of my growing up. You taught me respect for myself and others – probably the most important thing a child should learn. Although I’ve said some shocking things and even thought about them, I always hear your voice and it keeps me on the straight and narrow. Don’t worry too much. I’ve got a good head on my shoulders. I do realize that all of your nagging was because you loved me. If you didn’t, who knows how I would have turned out. There is nothing like a mother’s love – not even Daddy with all of greatness could replace you. I’m just glad that I didn’t have to find out.

I will try my best to make you both proud of me. I’ve got all of the basics – the things that you both taught me: self-respect, honesty, backbone, integrity (no brown-nosing), love of God and others. The most important is love because without it, the other characteristics would not have developed. Both of you showed me what real love is and I know in my heart and mind that I am the luckiest child to be blest with parents like you.

I love you both very, very, very much.

[Signed] Child #5, Kimberly Ann


[Note: I was going through some paperwork recently and found this letter to my parents. After spending two years at our local community college, I was off to

Troy University graduation, June 1990.

Troy University graduation, June 1990.

Troy University to finish my college degree. Not only was I the first child in our family and both of my parents immediate family to graduate from college, I was the first one to get a master’s degree. My mother passed away in 2002. My father is still alive, but not online. I wanted to immortalize their sacrifice on my blog. Thank you Marie A. and Emory C. Wickline.]