By Jeannie Blaylock
First Coast News
JACKSONVILLE, FL -- It all began with a husband trying to give his wife a little boost. And she needed it. Caroline Barton was having chemotherapy for breast cancer.
"I looked like death warmed over," she says now.
So husband Geno decided a moist, yummy coconut cake would be just the ticket. He started with a yellow cake mix and worked his magic. Or so he thought.
Caroline took a bite. Then she asked her husband what kind of cake it was.
"'Well, I think it's coconut,' he said," Caroline remembers.
It wasn't. And at this point in the story Caroline is laughing hard. Geno had grabbed the box of white rice instead of the coconut. Uncooked rice.
In Caroline's words, "You have a very crunchy cake!"
So why is this story in an article about breast cancer? Well, I think it reminds all of us women that life can be pretty fun. You have them, too, I bet-those oh, oh moments which turn into great stories later.
It's just one small reason you should be doing Buddy Check 12. Life is too precious to lose when you have the opportunity to catch breast cancer early and beat it.
That's exactly what Caroline did.
"I started watching your stories and I heard about the Buddy Check 12 thing and I though what a neat idea," she told me. Eventually, she found her own lump doing a self exam.
"It was about half the size of a hushpuppy," Caroline says. The lump was up toward her underarm, a very common place for breast cancer. In her husband's words, it felt "stiff." (By the way, hats off to Geno for being involved. He felt the lump and advised Caroline to call the doctor.)
Caroline says she got "sick as a dog" during chemo. But she has faith in God and her family cheered her on. She says, "I knew one way or the other I would be cured - in this life or the next. So either way I was going to win."
She had stage 3 breast cancer. (Stage 4 is the worst.) Now she's trucking right along. Her hair is back and so is her energy.
Caroline encourages every woman to check. You can order free Buddy Check 12 kits. It's easy. Just call Baptist Health at 904-202-CARE. We'll mail you the kits for free. They contain stickers you can put on your calendar every 12th of otf the month. Get a buddy and remind her, too.
Do your self exam, get a mammogram and see your doctor regularly. Buddy Check 12 has saved more than 160 women on the First Coast from dying of breast cancer.
First Coast News