Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Never Again Take Loved Ones for Granted; MAVIS JUMP Cancer Survivor, Fernandina Beach

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Never Again Take Loved Ones for Granted; MAVIS JUMP Cancer Survivor, Fernandina Beach

Article excerpt

At age 83, I had a lot to learn.

I would never have cancer. In five generations, from my parents to grown great-grandchildren, my family had never had cancer, with the exception of a beloved sister helplessly addicted to nicotine. I had a radical mastectomy on my right breast at the Mayo Clinic April 7 of this year. First lesson learned.

The second lesson? I had been taking my loved ones, family and friends, for granted. The love and concern of our family overwhelmed me. I changed the words of a popular song to "and I was lifted up on angel's wings" because a lot of angels engulfed me with prayers, love and kindness. One line of J.W. Riley's beautiful "Prayer Perfect" came to mind: "Down a wake of angel wings, winnowing the air" and because it is so comforting, I pass along the next line: "Bring unto the sorrowing all release from pain, let the lips of laughter overflow again." Cancer has brought sorrow to so many.

Church friends have special meaning in our lives. My husband, Allen, and I were one of four couples who started Providence Presbyterian Church in Yulee. Still small, we are family, and they were a gift of love. A special angel, Lorraine Lintala, arrived with a copy of "Uplift," supplies, a new bra and her experiences with two mastectomies. She was my mentor from the beginning to end of my recovery. Second lesson? Don't take love for granted!

The Mayo Clinic was a special blessing. It is comforting to know you are getting the best possible care. From Kenneth DeVault to all the oncology team and the surgeon, Sara McLaughlin, I felt a special bond. I was being treated as a person, not a cancer.

A smile, when the obviously concerned mammogram technician remarked, "If it weren't for the stent in your heart I wouldn't have to take so many pictures." I was touched by her kindness.

The .6+ carcinoma was on the right side. There were no complications. I never was afraid, from beginning to end, being in excellent hands and God as a great ally. I recommend him!

Breast cancer has changed my life. The precious hours I have with my husband of 63 years and family are more treasured. Family and friends are more often in my thoughts and prayers. I no longer feel guilty about letting tasks go if I feel like it. …

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