In late October 2001, Barbara Woodson, 76, of Seymour heard what she called one of the most frightening words she has ever heard — cancer.
She had been experiencing pains in her left breast and decided to have it checked. The doctor examined the area and quickly discovered the source of Woodson’s pain.
“She said, ‘I found a lump,’ and I said, ‘No you didn’t,’” Woodson said. “I said, ‘Are you sure?’”
The doctor assured Woodson of her finding and recommended she see a specialist in Columbus, where they would do more tests. Woodson was terrified.
Everyone is afraid of the word cancer, Woodson said. Cancer is something that happens to other people; no one expects it to happen to them, she said.
The double syllables never roll off the tongue. The hard “c” hits like a ton of bricks before the soft hiss of the second “c” lets the word linger in the air, like a predator waiting to strike.
“I know I was awful scared,” Woodson said.
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