Today was supposed to be a day hiding from the rest of the world in the middle of nowhere; in the middle of nature. It was supposed to be a day when I didn't think about cancer. As a meeting planner I was invited to visit a beautiful inn and spa in the Hocking Hills National Park in Southeastern Ohio to view their meeting space. It is in a part of the State where I have never been and was truly looking forward to the trip.
While out exploring the surrounding areas I stopped by a small country store for a drink. As I went to check out, I noticed the jar. You know the one; the donation jar. I of course was curious and had to read the story. There it was, another beautiful women with 2 smiling daughters. Another woman fighting for her life after a diagnosis of cervical cancer.
It seems that Melissa was diagnosed in 2009 and has had complications ever since. She is now doing everything she possibly can to find a cure. I of course made a donation while trying to control my emotions. I just wanted to start screaming. Screaming because I knew this didn't have to happen!
I knew I needed to find out more. I wanted to find Melissa. I was able to find a Facebook posting that told her story and showed her picture. I now have a face to go with the name. Smiles that will never leave me as I know their story all too well.
Just as important, if you haven't scheduled your annual exam, please do so! Make sure to ask your doctors if you should be tested for HPV. The current recommendation is that all women over the age of 30 receive the HPV testing along with the annual PAP test.
Melissa you will be in my thoughts and prayers for a lifetime to come.
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide. In the United States, 12,200 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2010, and 4,210 women will die of the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. Visit Pearl of Wisdom to learn what you can do to prevent this disease.