The Texas Spitfire: Ann Richards.
She went from homemaker to governor. Ann raised four kids and was the first woman elected to state-wide office in Texas in fifty years. “I did not want my tombstone to read, ’She kept a really clean house.’ I think I’d like them to remember me by saying, ’She opened government to everyone.”’
So here's to a woman who stayed a woman. She used her wits and her charm; iron fist in a velvet glove. Ann Richards died from cancer today.
This time of year is an interesting one for me. Twice now it's been the season when my mom has been allowed to stop her radiation or chemo. Nine years ago the treatments for breast cancer worked. Her ovarian cancer has been clear for a year. One of the hardest things about the whole process is that she refused to tell people each time. She didn't want to be the woman with cancer. Make sure that if you ever meet her, you don't bring it up.
Last time was the worst, chemo is a low down dirty rotten thing--too bad it works. We didn't tell abuela, she wouldn't be able to handle it. One morning, abuela looked at my mom and said, "You have no eyelashes." "Yeah," said my mom. "Huh. I told you to stop wearing so much eye makeup. I told you your eyelashed would fall out." "You were right."
She loved an excuse to wear wigs. She loved that her hair grew back in curly even more.
In honor of the survivors, and for those who have lost their fights, here are a couple things you can do to decrease your risk of breast and ovarian cancers:
It's tasty, you love it, it prevents cancer. Drink up!
Even if you don't need them, using them can help reduce your risk of ovarian cancer. Consider going on the pill just because especially if you have a family history. Don't sweat the pill too much because you could just...
Nurse a baby:
Thought I'd throw that in there since it's an easy one.
Breast cancer is a killer, but I feel like we are more informed as to the precautionary measure that women can take (mammograms, self-exams, etc.) Ovarian cancer came the closest to killing my mom because the symptoms are so vague. At first she thought it was just gastro-intestinal issues. If she avoided chocolate, or refined flours it would get better. She tried a macrobiotic diet when some osteopath told her she was suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Then it was possibly fibromyalgia. She tried everything. One day the pain was unbearable and she went to the hospital writhing in pain. After hours of tests, nothing. They decided to do an exploratory surgery. That's when they found the tumor and diagnosed her with stage 3 ovarian cancer (4 is lethal.) 5% chance of making it to five years. IF they could do another operation and IF they could remove the tumor and IF the cancer had not metastasized and IF the chemo worked she was looking at an 80% of making it to five years.
She told the Dr that 80% was just "NOT GOOD ENOUGH."
Well, if anyone was going to fight this, she was. She showed that cancer who's the boss (not cancer.)
I literally thank God that all those "ifs" worked. She's one year in the clear.
So, have some miso and take a pill, don't let it happen to you.