Remembering June

It’s March, do you have a happy colon?!

I ask, because March is Colon Cancer awareness month. 

Near me, in the District of Columbia, some local university hospitals  invited uninsured and underinsured women and men between the ages of 50 and 64 to take advantage of free screenings.

Colon cancer is one of the big five in the U.S..  It’s one of the deadliest cancers, and it’s one of the most preventable cancers.  I know that sounds like a contradiction, but if you catch it early, there’s a good chance surgery and treatment can knock it out.  If it results in cancer in other parts of the body, it’s a tough disease and can kill. 

The key to catching colon cancer is colonoscopy.  Early check-ups by colonoscopy, if polyps are discovered,  usually results in those polyps being removed and regular follow-up colonoscopy is suggested. 

Leroy died from colon cancer.  He knew he had a family history of colon cancer  so he went in for his colonoscopy a few years before his 50th birthday.  It turned out to be anything but routine. 

Leory’s grandma pushed back her colon cancer more than once and lived a very long life.  His mom, faced colon cancer too.  I guess you could say her remission lasted many years and when cancer came back, it struck in the abdominal area with such force, this time, it would take her life. 

She died three years ago today.

June Sievers always felt guilty about her son’s cancer.  She carried the gene’s, she always said, that killed her son.  We would tell her,  that just wasn’t so, but she was never convinced.  Leroy and his mom suffered a country a part.  One on the West coast, one on the East coast, but they felt each other’s pain and would comfort each other by telephone on many nights.   

June would always try to sound stronger than she really felt.  She would devote her energy into telling Leroy that she was fine, not to worry about her, everything would be ok.  She was being a “mom.”  She never knew he would consult with her doctors, who would tell him, the cancer was agressive and there wouldn’t be much time left for her.

June Sievers was a strong woman.  A wonderful visitor to our home.  We loved her and we loved her spirit.

She died just a few days before her birthday. 

I like to look at the calendar and think of March, as June’s birthday month.  A day of celebration. It’s so much better than marking March 22nd as the day she died.

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