I have a dear friend who had a brush with death recently.  She had to have aortic valve replacement surgery. This was not something she was born with. Her aortic valve eroded due to excessive exposure to cobalt radiation treatment she received following a mastectomy 39-years ago. Breast cancer is the gift that keeps on giving. Yes, treatments and options have changed but breast cancer remains and still ruins lives.

I will continue to write and be an advocate for this cause. I will not apologize for the stands I take nor care if everyone agrees with me. The best way to get the word out is to share our personal stories.

I thank God my friend has survived this ordeal and that she had the best medical team available. Competency is crucial but it is not the only attribute that counts. Good manners and treating patients with care and kindness is also key. As a patient I do care how I am treated. Being a physician does not give one a pass to treat me poorly.

Breast cancer awareness month is coming to a close. Whether we realize it or admit it, we are all on the same team. We want an end. Whether it be prevention, cure, early detection and/or divine intervention, breast cancer does not have to be our lot in life.

For those who are offended by the color pink, I say get used to it. For some, it gives them a momentary relief from focusing on the negative. It is a diversion tactic of sorts and hurts no one.   If the color pink and a breast cancer walk can bring survivors together as a form of solidarity, what is the harm?  If it lifts their spirits then holistically, we have touched their lives.

As a business person, I do agree that profits and donations could be put to better use.   As long as  businesses – charitable or otherwise, are allowed to mismanage, these practices may continue.  However, this is something that can be addressed and corrected if we are willing.

The first rule of medicine in treating a patient is do no harm. That includes physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

pink ribbon wall