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A Second is a Lifetime PDF Print E-mail
Written by Cecelia Latoof   
Monday, 21 July 2008 09:21


The second that I first diagnosed my sister Bryanna's breast cancer was the most life changing event I have ever experienced.  Getting married and having children did not even come close to that single second in my family's bathroom that day.

As Sis and I were showing one another our six month pregnant bodies and I saw what I saw, all other life became blurred. 

Being pregnant, and seeing our doctors monthly, I was stunned--horrified-- that her obstetrician had not seen what I saw.   I am a layman.   He was supposed to be the professional.

Doctors palpate (press and check for anomalies) a woman's breasts as a matter of regular monthly check-ups during the pregnancy.  How could he miss this?   How could he not see what I saw?   How could he be so negligent?   How could he have even gotten his medical license?   How could he still have his license?   How could he let her die?

It was tantamount to murder.   If not murder, then, surely, it was negligent homicide.   This man still practices.   Has he let other women go without a cancer diagnosis?   Have they, too, died? 

No.   She didn't die right away.   She languished for three years: second by second.   She suffered through chemo and radiation while she was pregnant.   She couldn't speak.   Or move.   She didn't even have the strength to moan.   But, she could vomit. 

Bald, and curled into a ball, was her reality.   How could this happen?   How could this be?

For her last birthday, at 39 years old, she was an invalid.   I slipped a diamond toe ring on her.   She whispered, "Is it real"?   I told her, "Yes.  Because, Sis, a diamond is forever.   And so are you."   She smiled weakly.   We both knew it wasn't true.

Yes.   The second I diagnosed her is continuing.   It has been more than 13 years since that time. 

That second should have been then, but, that same second is still now.


NOTE:  Please check your breasts, during your daily bath, for ANYTHING that was not there before.   We love our mothers and our daughters.   We love our sisters and neices and aunts.   Don't let us down.   Don't let youselves down.   Be here tomorrow. 

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Mean Dean - 07-31-2008 09:37

Awful powerful Cee - to make a tear come to my eye, not to mention your Mother & sister. I would recommend sending this to all cancer related organizations, including the American Medical Association, to be published in their journals &/or publications. Make that "second" count, by utilizing communication to every teenage girl & woman. That "second".....should save numerous lifetimes across the world. Do it - to it Cee.....and call it "A Cee Second!"
eloiselatoof - 07-21-2008 11:21

this story could have a different ending, if, when her doctor felt the lump, he had biopsied it. he didn't. he assured her that it was of no concern. the only message here is that every woman with a breast lump INSIST on biopsy by a competent doctor. we lost bryanna because of the cavalier attitude of her doctor, a specialist. it has been over ten years since her death, and the loss to her parents, sisters, and young sons can never be reconciled.
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Last Updated on Sunday, 23 May 2010 18:16