How to Age Like a Million Bucks

by Chloe Jeffreys · 66 comments

in Women in Midlife, Your Vagina and You

First of all:

Have a Million Billion Bucks.

A million bucks is chump change today.


This last month or so has been a dizzying round of doctors’ appointments. I’m beginning to think that maybe my warranty is about to expire.

Two weeks ago, I had to see the skin doctor because I had this strange bump on my face that wouldn’t go away.

A bump my GP said looked suspiciously like CANCER.

Fucking great.

My mother isn’t even a year dead in the grave from CANCER and I’ve got some doctor telling me maybe I’ve got CANCER.

No PTSD triggers there.

Have you ever had a doctor tell you he suspects CANCER?

(Actually, to be perfectly honest, my mother is not dead in the grave; she’s dead in the closet in my office.  But that’s a whole ‘nuther post for a whole ‘nuther day.)

My doctor–the new one, not the old one–referred me to a specialist to have this suspicious bump checked out.

The problem with specialists is that, since they are so special, everybody wants to see them. When I called to make the appointment, the receptionist told me she couldn’t get me in for 6 weeks.


I’ve known people to be dead less than six weeks after being told they have CANCER.

I told the receptionist, “Hey, I could be dead by then. My doctor said this could be fucking CANCER, don’t you think you could move the appointment up?” ( Relax. I didn’t cuss at the receptionist. I just thought the cussing part. I’ve found in my life that cussing at people does NOT motivate them to see things from your point of view.)

She said, “No can do.”

I said, “But my mother just died from CANCER. Can’t you do anything?” (Okay, I admit I did play that card.)

She said, “Oh wait, I think I can get you in three weeks from tomorrow.”

I said, “I’ll take it.”

So I waited for three weeks and a day–plus an hour and change in his office, because specialists are notoriously known for running late–to see this Aspergery doctor (meaning that he was very analytical and methodical, but had zero bedside manner) who told me that I do not have CANCER.

I was grateful.

I am grateful to all the people who have Aspergers who’ve made my life better by being methodical and analytical. While a pat on the shoulder and a comforting word might have been nice, I was so happy to hear that it wasn’t CANCER that I almost didn’t care that he was as cold as a stone.

And he didn’t know what the bump was either, but now it is going away.


Maybe I shouldn’t have spent all that time tanning, huh?


And then there was my bone scan.

The day before seeing the dermatologist, I had my second follow-up bone density scan.

I had my first bone scan two years ago after my mother’s osteopoosis diagnosis.

Am I the only one who has become crazy after their mother gets a bad medical diagnosis? 

My spine is unchanged, my hip is a little bit worse, but I found out I have osteoporosis in both wrists.

Thanks for the crappy bone density, mom.

Although I can’t completely blame genetics.

I guess those two years I spent doing cocaine and living with a meth dealer wasn’t such a good idea, huh?

The bone density scan was the day before I did that photo shoot in the park with Rachel, my daughter,  in those ridiculous 5 1/4″ heels.

How I want you to see me


The entire time I was tottering around, I kept thinking, “If you fall, you better roll.”


how do you make gifs


And this week I saw a hoity-toity Urogynecologist.

I waited nearly 7 months to get an appointment. I drove 4.5 hours to get to his office. That’s just how special a specialist he is.

Because my vagina is just that important to me.

I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about my bleeding problems here before, but if I haven’t, then there ya go.

I have bleeding problems.

And because I’m such a damned type-A over-achiever, I also grew ginormous babies who’ve wreaked some kind of havoc down there.

This specialist revealed to me just how much havoc. It’s a havoc much worse than I knew. Apparently, all those kegels have been nearly miraculous in keeping things as good as they are, but it isn’t going to last because there is significant tissue damage that is only going to get worse with age.

I’m fairly devastated about it. I really like things the way they are right now.

But I’m going to need a hysterectomy (keeping the ovaries) and major vaginal reconstruction if I don’t want to wake up one day and find my uterus lying between my legs.

On the good end, if my husband is lucky, he’ll get one more chance in his old age with a virgin: Me.

I guess having that 10lb VBAC at home was just as dumb as my OB told me it was going to be, wasn’t it?


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Donna Highfill March 28, 2013 at 5:47 am

I’m sitting on a train scaring the people beside me because I keep bursting out laughing. You always surprise me — and I know exactly how you feel. I told somebody the other day I feel like a used car that just hit 100,000 miles. This is why I only go in for a physical every 2 years and have one answer for every question — “Fine. I’m fine.” Tha


Pam@over50feeling40 March 28, 2013 at 4:33 am

Hopefully you will inspire others, Chole, to face these moments with the same attitude. It takes so much patience…but you seem to face it really healthy. You look fabulous!! I know you can help so many women!


Holly March 27, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Oh my goodness you have had some scares but you seem to have a good attitude about it.

Yes, we did have a doctor say, You have Cancer, and they were sooooo wrong! My husband had some lumps that his GP sent him to get ultrasounds on. The radiologist said it looks like cancer to me and sent him to a specialist. Now this would be scary for anyone, but in our situation it was much worse because my husband had 48 of these lumps!!!

I think our specialist was very special too because it took 3 weeks to see her. But on that day she said, “Cancer? These lumps are lipomas…a very common lump of fat that for whatever reason your body stores just below the skin….totally 100% benign! Whew!

We later found out that this same radiologist has ‘diagnosed’ many other people with Cancer, for very simple non-cancer issues.

You look FABULOUS in your heels, even when stumbling, lol.



Chloe Jeffreys March 28, 2013 at 12:02 am

Oh Holly, that’s terrible! Even I would think that many lumps would be lipomas. I think there are some radiologists who are so afraid of missing a diagnosis that they diagnose everyone with cancer. They scare a lot of people, but they probably don’t miss many cases. Still, it is so frightening when a doctor suggests you might have cancer and then you have to WAIT to find out. That’s the worst time, isn’t it? That waiting? I am glad that you waited to hear good news, and not bad. It seems like any regular doctor though should have been able to spot a lipoma. Or 48 of them!


Joy Weese Moll March 27, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Yikes! That’s a lot to deal with. And somehow there’s still an undercurrent of humor that you keep through it all. Take care of yourself!
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Barbara March 27, 2013 at 7:57 pm

You may be falling apart inside, but you look fabulous! You have a great attitude about all of this – I fall apart at the slightest thing. Wishing you a year of no specialists!
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Ginger Kay March 27, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Well, now you’ve terrified me. I had a 10+ pound VBAC baby 21 years ago whose head did not crown and after three hours of pushing/smashing into my whateverisinthere while a nurse said, “We can see his head; he’s almost out,” had to be sucked out with a vacuum. He had a perfectly round melon head with a plunger mark on it, and I had an episiotomy scar I could feel for years afterwards.

I’m doomed, aren’t I?
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Lois March 27, 2013 at 7:07 pm

I love reading your posts, Chloe! You look like a million billion bucks, no matter what’s going on inside. For the bone density, I recommend my friends Ben and Jerry. Every night.
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Nancy @ Reasoncreek & BoomHer March 27, 2013 at 6:43 pm

You crack me up! Writing humor is hard. Oops… crack and hard… I guess I’m thinking osteo-type words. Anyway, a PSA post that is funny, poignant, and informative. I’m impressed.
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Bonnie March 27, 2013 at 6:32 pm

We are not aging. We are not aging. We are not aging.
Now click those ruby stilletos and make my wish come true.
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Helene March 27, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Even with a broken down vagina, you are beautiful and funny. You rock the jeans and heels, too!


Barbara Coleman March 27, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Chloe, you really hit a hot button with me…I think the medical professional is one seriously messed up system. Physicians treat numbers, not people. I’ve been through my share of similar situations and let me tell you I understand your frustration….let me tell you also…the hysterectomy…Best. Thing. Ever!


Connie McLeod March 27, 2013 at 2:00 pm

You totally crack me up. THANKS for all your hard work in making the website and the bloghop happen!
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Haralee March 27, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Your post made my laugh but also makes me warn you against those 5 inch heels! Gravity is not your friend with your bones from an extra 5 inches!
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Shannon Bradley-Colleary March 27, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Oh dear Chloe — I thought I knew you well, but apparently not. I have several visual images of certain parts of your body I wasn’t really able to see the last time we got together. Now I’m feeling like someone needs to take a look at my vagina. Either my ob-gyn or George Clooney.
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b March 27, 2013 at 12:23 pm

First of all I am glad your mother is in the closet. I had a friend that kept her long, long gone mother at the end of the upstairs hall. The child in all of us kept us downstairs!

My mother used to say that getting older took way too much of her time. She had things to do and doctors were interfering with her schedule.

Asbergers …I am going to quit doing that. It is does not make me look good! Darn.

Stay tough and strong because it gets more interesting as you go along. I know you will have lots more good laughs!

b+ (age 71)
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Denise Danches Fisher March 27, 2013 at 12:20 pm

It’s no walk in the park, Chloe, has skin cancer not once, not twice, but 3 times! Lucky, for me, it wasn’t melanoma but basal cell. The bleeding went on 4-EVER. Didn’t have to do the hysterectomy (yet) but had laser (ugh) many D &C’s, etc. etc. Aren’t these life passages a joy! Oh, buy the way, did I tell you I couldn’t find the jam the other day? I found it today under the sink.


Denise Danches Fisher March 27, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Sorry apparently my spelling is going ‘buy’ ‘by’ too!


Chloe Jeffreys April 1, 2013 at 9:20 am

I totally got myself all terrified about skin cancer and was busy looking at all sorts of scary skin cancer pictures on google. (Don’t EVER do that, by the way.)

I also had laser for the bleeding, and it did help, but not enough. I’m so glad to be done with it all now.

As for the jam? Oh my dear, I’d lose my teeth if they weren’t seated in my gums. It’s getting worse by the day.
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Cynthia March 27, 2013 at 12:12 pm

I so get it. Seems like I have been in a doctors office more in 2013 than the last ten years. Love you in the 5 1/2 inch heels. Not long ago I was walking with two friends (in very sensible tennis shoes) and a young woman, wearing extremely high heels, walked from her car into her house, right in front of us. I said (a tiny bit snarkily), “How does she keep from falling in those?” THUMP. I was flat on the ground, having tripped over a tree root. Instant karma is a bitch! I’ve decided if I’m going to fall in tennis shoes, I might as well try the 5 1/2 inchers.
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Chloe Jeffreys April 1, 2013 at 9:18 am

LOL! That is karma, isn’t it? The second I judge someone else the damned thing I was judging happens to me.
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D. A. Wolf March 27, 2013 at 12:05 pm

How can you manage to make me laugh even with the topics are far from laughable? And yet humor is one of the great levelers, and a gift when it comes to the tough topics.

Sending xoxo, and I get it. Really.

It is a bit much when it seems to hit all at once. (And the “C” word? I don’t know a single woman over 45 who hasn’t heard it raised at least once.)
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Chloe Jeffreys April 1, 2013 at 9:17 am

If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. They say, anyway.

Fortunately, all of this is mostly in the past. The bump is completely gone along with my bleeding uterus. The bones are still brittle, but I do what I can. That’s all we can do, right?
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Pat March 27, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Chloe, Isn’t is interesting how in the modern medical world, one’s ailments depends on which specialist one sees and what body part is being inspected. Love your sassy attitude. You will scare those bad cancer cells away.
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Chloe Jeffreys April 1, 2013 at 9:16 am

Let’s hope so. I do not want cancer. Cancer sucks.

I think our disjointed healthcare system is a bit broken, but I am glad for specialists when I really need one.
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Walker Thornton March 27, 2013 at 11:32 am

And, here you are–on the other side and in great shape!
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Chloe Jeffreys April 1, 2013 at 9:15 am

Yep! I’m so glad that’s over.
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Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain's Wife March 27, 2013 at 11:29 am

You are aging? Not true. You are rockin’ it. I just did my first bloghop at GenFab, I am so excited!


Chloe Jeffreys April 1, 2013 at 9:14 am

I’m glad you joined in! It is fun, isn’t it? These were some great posts. I love all of the different points of view everyone has.

I’m afraid that the aging this is probably true. It isn’t the aging I mind so much as the dying at the end. That I’m currently not looking forward to.
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Sisters From Another Mister March 27, 2013 at 11:18 am

Thank you for putting this together, and the new site, and for you – especially you xxxx
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Chloe Jeffreys April 1, 2013 at 9:13 am

You’re welcome. It was such a huge turnout that I’m still trying to make my way through all of the posts.
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Raquel March 27, 2013 at 11:08 am

At this age, pretty much every doctors appointment is met with some fear, and there is so much to check (ugh!). So happy to hear that you are ok. And I love those heels! I would trip in about 5 steps. The heels and life itself look great on you Chloe. Keep up the good work!
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Chloe Jeffreys April 1, 2013 at 9:13 am

Right? You just never know.

But I still think preventative care are the most important doctor visits we make. I think this is one reason men don’t live as long; they aren’t are eager and willing to go in for check-ups. They wait until something is wrong, and by then it is often too late.
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DarleneMAMA March 27, 2013 at 10:46 am

Holy cow! You’ve had a real run of medical issues. All the best as you work your way through solving each one.
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Chloe Jeffreys April 1, 2013 at 9:11 am

Last year when all of that happened was a very bad time. It seemed I was running from one doctor to the next for this, that and some other thing. This year is going much, much better.
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Carpool Goddess March 27, 2013 at 10:36 am

I think we live parallel lives. I’ve had the C scare, that thankfully, turned out to be nothing, and the bleeding problem too (I said buh-bye to my uterus several years ago). But, you’re totally rocking the skinny jeans and heals, my friend. Rock on!
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Chloe Jeffreys April 1, 2013 at 9:11 am

I haven’t missed the bleeding at all. And I love that I can buy pretty panties now and they last for a long time.
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Karen D. Austin March 27, 2013 at 10:30 am

Wow. You do a very good job keeping all this on the back burner…well until this blog post. Even though I pry to have my parents tell me all their age-related issues so that I can support them, my plan is to LIE, LIE, LIE to my kids. Aging is not for sissies. I love the frame-by-frame pics of you in those heels. Tee hee. You’re keeping it real. Thanks for letting us know we’re not alone in managing our own stuff.
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Chloe Jeffreys April 1, 2013 at 9:09 am

I’m just glad I didn’t fall and break my neck. I only wear those shoes when my husband is there to support me now.

I hear what you’re saying about telling everybody all your age-related issues. I hope I’m not one of those older people who complains about every little ache and pain. It’s so boring. Well, it might not be boring to you, the person in pain, but it is boring as heck for the rest of us.
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Beverly Diehl March 27, 2013 at 10:26 am

Awesome post. Yes, some doctors are a$$hats.

My mother died of breast cancer. So I’m lying there on a table, the doctor tells me the lump in my breast is *probably* a cyst, he just wants to stick a needle in it and drain the fluid. I give a shaky okay. He sticks the needle in (needles terrify in the best of scenarios).

Pain, then he says, “Oh wow, it’s filling up with blood, never had that happen before.” Next he chides me for crying.

It turned out (the lump) was NOT cancer, but when it’s happened in the family, it’s always your bete noire.
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Chloe Jeffreys April 1, 2013 at 9:07 am

That’s horrible! I had a needle aspiration once and it was so creepy. No blood, and that was bad enough. These cancer scares are no fun especially if you have a close relative who has died from cancer. Each time you wonder, “Is this the time it’s for real?”
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By Word of Mouth Musings December 5, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Ack, i am lousy at preventative care …. had a bump on my forehead for two years … they told me I needed it taken care of since its in the middle of my head … so i cut bangs.
I failed my bone scan test, drink three glasses of wine a night, don’t work out … but so far i don’t need a vaginal rejuventation … guess if I die thats the bit they should show people in the casket – since the rest is going to crap …

maybe i should write this into a post 😉

btw, your blog looks pretty!
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Chloe December 5, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Okay Missy. I haven’t even met you yet and now I’m all worried about you.

Preventative care is the single most important step you can take for your health. You are going to get such a talking to when I meet you in the spring. Tsk. Tsk.

Thanks for noticing my new and prettified blog. I’m trying to make it a nice place to visit.


Magnolia December 5, 2011 at 3:52 pm

I pushed my first one out of that holy place. The next two came out by c-sections. I wished I had had all three of them that way now. Though my Va-JJ is holding up pretty well all things considered.

Sorry about all your surgery.
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Chloe December 5, 2011 at 5:33 pm

I thought my Va-JJ was also holding up pretty well. But then the doctor pulled out the calipers and started measuring this, that and the other thing. He also asked really good questions that have made me step out of some heavy denial I’ve been in.


Susan in the Boonies December 5, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Let the whining continue until morale improves.

I think it will.

(I mean the morale will probably improve. Well, the whining will also probably continue, too, but that’s OK. 😀 )
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Chloe December 5, 2011 at 5:35 pm

I think I’ll have some whine with my cheese.


Angie December 5, 2011 at 10:07 am

Let’s figure out together how to do it gracefully, okay?


Chloe December 5, 2011 at 11:34 am

Okay! Of course that might mean that I have to take off those ridiculous shoes, huh?


D. A. Wolf March 27, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Ridiculous shoes? Say what? (My ridiculous shoes are staying right near my teeny-tiny tootsies… or at the very least, scattered seductively around the bed… Better yet, strung into a necklace as a fashion statement… )

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Les Kertay December 5, 2011 at 9:04 am

I’m not so sure about that 2-for-1 discount; my experience with discounts would suggest that a “sale” on surgery is not a good idea. But you do (both of you) have my undying admiration and appreciation for being so willing to be frank about your experiences, because I really think it’s important for people to get comfortable with things that we can avoid/deny because they make us squeamish. Chloe, this goes for your whole recent series.

Here’s a story for you about aging. A couple of years ago I experienced a sudden and profound atrial flutter while away from home. Got great care and, when I came home, asked around to get the name of the best cardiologist in town. When I got to meet him at last he walked in the room, shook my hand and introduced himself and said, “Middle age is NOT for sissies.” That about says it all, no? (By the way, that’s how I knew I was in the right place)

Hugs, Chloe.

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Chloe December 5, 2011 at 11:36 am

No, it most certainly isn’t. I feel like I’m having my 50,000 mile check-up and learning that I need all my tires rotated and all my fluids changed.

But the alternative isn’t that great, is it?

As an uber-control freak, I’m not taking this aging thing very well. It seems to be happening to me whatever I do. That’s not fair. Shouldn’t you get like points or something for effort?


Magnolia December 5, 2011 at 3:53 pm

I promise you once you get on the “other side” (of fifty) it gets soooooo much better.

I wish I could take all of what fifty has given me and go back to thirty. It’s really THAT good.

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Chloe December 5, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Okay. Deep breath. I can do this!


Maddie Kertay December 5, 2011 at 8:42 am

ohhhhhhhhh… do you think we could get a 2 for 1 discount?.. that is the EXACT surgery I need.. like a total over achiever, I should have smoked and drank during my pregnancies so I could have had little babies, but no.. not me.. last couple were HUGE at 10 and just a hair shy of 11 pounds.. CRAZY.. and born at home..

I can see it now.. we can lay around afterwards and watch bad daytime television and blog about our recovery.. it was be grand!! We will call it….. The Naughty Parts Diaries! – How we got perky vaginas.. don’t be jealous!

Hugs to you my girl!

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Chloe December 5, 2011 at 11:42 am

I would love this!! Vicodin and Motrin all around!!!

I have often joked that I should have smoked and done meth while pregnant. Why in the Sam Hill did I bother taking those vitamins and eating salmon to grow big heads for big brains for children who don’t much use them anyway????

I want a perky vagina that all the other girls envy, not a saggy one with organs hanging out. Who wants that?!?!

My biggest fear is that surgery will ruin my sex life. This fear is keeping me up at night. As a women’s healthcare RN, I know this does happen. That’s why I’m telling people to seek a specialist in female pelvic recontruction surgery. This is not a surgery you want to skimp on. I’m also headed back to physical therapy to prepare.


Robin December 5, 2011 at 8:37 am

ugh… there are aspects of getting older that just plain suuuuuuck. *hug*
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Chloe December 5, 2011 at 11:42 am

It pretty much does, doesn’t it? All this wisdom, and what the hell for? Nobody wants to hear your wisdom anyway. I wouldn’t go back and be stupid again, but I’d like my stupid body back, please.


Lance December 5, 2011 at 8:33 am

perfect song

you’re aging better than I. I congratulate you.
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Chloe December 5, 2011 at 11:44 am

Oh, thank you Lance.

All in all, really, it isn’t so bad. And I’m so lucky that I have decent insurance and the know-how to find good doctors. My mother would be alive today if only she’d done preventative care. I hope at least I can learn from her mistakes.


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