August 4, 2020 by Armand Amoranto
What might have been. Just the other day, while I was picking up some items from Albertson’s with my kids, I noticed the latest People’s magazine on the rack. There, front and center, was the story Kelly Preston Dies of Breast Cancer at 57: 'She Was a Bright, Beautiful and Loving Soul'. I turned to my daughter Alyssa and said “you know, that could have been mom’s story.” You see, almost 5 years ago, Michele was diagnosed with breast cancer. It started with her feeling something as early as our July trip to Cabo San Lucas that year and by the time biopsy was done in November (5 months), she was in stage 2/3 cancer. With the help of Dr. Italiano, Dr. Toosie, Dr. Frakes and Dr. Gupta, she has now been in remission for 3 years.
What a difference 5 months can be. I share this because we just finished 5 months of shelter in place and modified lockdowns. This represents the amount of time Michele and I detected her cancer and began treatments. An article written on May 20th shared that Primary care doctor visits down 60% since start of COVID-19 pandemic. There have been many articles (The Telegraph, STAT, ABCNews, Nature) published showing concerns about the lack of diagnosis of cancers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
What can we do? One, it is important to know your body. Are there changes that you can either feel or are painful? Two, schedule your regular checkups and scans. Hopefully your doctor is now available to meet with you to do the regular checkups and yearly scans. If you are feeling something different, insist and make the time to visit. We were blessed to have the opportunity to see our doctors when we needed and get the surgery Michele needed when they were scheduled. As a result, we will get to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary on August 5th, we will get to celebrate our son's high school graduation, we get to start our brand new business together and hopefully see the end of the Covid-19 pandemic together. God bless and be safe everyone!