Former First Lady Betty Ford passed away Friday, she was a brave and out spoken woman, much to the chagrin to many in the Republican party back in the ’70’s.
I was in my early teens when the Fords moved into 1600 Pennsylvania, and not aware of what politics was all about. The one thing I did remember was when Mrs. Ford was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy. It was something that I had heard my mother and her friends talk about over coffee, and at the time I had no really understanding of what all they were discussing.
Fast forward 25 years, and ex-wife #2 and I were sharing an “intimate” moment one night, when I felt a lump in her breast. We contacted her doctor a few days later, and within two weeks she underwent a “lumpectomy.” Fortunately the lump was benign, and she made a full recovery.
Since then, every October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) I tell guys to do their husbandly duty, and encourage their wives to do self exams and be aware of what their wives’ breasts feel like (most of the guys like that idea). While my ex and I went through a month of hell waiting for the biopsy results, I was told by her oncologist that a large number of breast cancers are discovered due to husbands finding lumps in their wives’ breasts during foreplay.
Going through what I am going through now with the current state of public healthcare, I can only imagine what it would be like today if we had found that lump. When we went through, what I can only describe as one of the most terrifying times of my married life, we had great insurance, and received fantastic and quick medical treatment. If it was today, or sometime in the future under Obama’s death care system, I have to wonder what would happen.
Rest in peace Mrs. Ford, and thank you for being so honest about your breast cancer. You have saved thousands of women’s lives due to your candor and bravery. You took a medical condition that was talked about in hushed tones and made a country aware that it is nothing to be ashamed of or need to deny. A woman is not her breasts, but what lies beneath, her heart.