Medical Gowns Are Almost Pointless

by Sherry Riter in Dad,Family,Health

Putting on a medical gown that is more open than closed today had a huge part in contributing to my future health.

Let’s start by saying, I hate going to the hospital or seeing a doctor for medical reasons. When I’m really, really, really sick, then I’m thankful for their expertise. Otherwise, I try to steer clear of them until it is necessary.

There are two really important facts that make this post even worth reading…

  1. I am a woman
  2. My dad has two kinds of terminal cancer with a zero cure possibility and is just trying to die with some semblance of dignity

Those are the two reasons that I went to the doctor today.

Early diagnosis of cancer often proves to be one way of eradicating it through removal and treatment to increase the number of years we get to enjoy life, family and friends. That can’t happen if you don’t visit the doctor. In this case, ignorance is not bliss.

Do you know about comedian Kathy Griffin’s latest push to fight cancer? Well, I watched her on television and realized that dramatic actions often can wake people up.

She was dramatic.

With the cameras rolling, Kathy Griffin had a public pap smear to raise cancer awareness and early diagnosis in women. Yes, she did it at pool side with everyone watching. You couldn’t see her private parts, but it took place nonetheless.

Although you may not approve of her methods, I know that many women who are fearful of such a procedure before watching her, realized that there was nothing to fear after watching Kathy.

I like her poster and wish that I could plaster a hundred of them on the front of Dad’s house.

Kathy Griffin's pap smear

Kathy Griffin's pap smear

Kathy Griffin was vagazzled
Images: The Huffington Post

So today while waiting my turn in the doctor’s office, I thought about how lucky I am to live in an era where modern medicine can help us to take great care of our bodies. It often solves our problems and helps us to live longer…but not always.

Early detection is the key to ridding the body of many types of cancerous growths.

Ladies, please don a medical gown soon if you haven’t had a pap smear in a long time. All the men out there? Yeah, you too need to go have your own kind of exam. Prostate cancer is just as horrible as cervical cancer and can also be detected early. The medical gowns may be almost pointless, but the exams could be life saving.

Dad had prostate cancer years ago. So long ago that I really thought it would never come back. Now that cancer has come back…well, it took over fast and with a vengeance. The doctor said to imagine the spot of cancer on his lung like a flower bud. It grew a little, opened and then let the pollen go all over his body. The pollen that went to his pelvis developed into another kind of cancer.

Rather grim when I think about it, especially since in just a few short months it has taken over his life. He barely can use a walker because his hips are turning into cancer mush. Hospice visits him daily. He is starting to lose weight. The morphine they give him has been increased several times to help with the pain. He has basically lost his appetite and become completely reliant on other people.

The whole thing is just awful for him.

This morning I talked to him a long time before I started work. He sounded so sick and yet, he still laughed and cracked jokes.

There was nothing different Dad could have done to stop this from happening to him. He was tested every couple of months to make sure he didn’t have a recurrence of this horrible disease. The moment the doctor found the cancer was almost the moment it came back.

It is just too strong and aggressive this time.

I still can’t cope with the fact that he is only sixty eight years old and that shortly, I won’t be able to pick up the phone and call him.

This morning he said, “Be careful driving because if you were to die, I would just crawl in the coffin and let them close me up with you. I just don’t want to have to live through this cancer mess.”

Kathy Griffin is right.

I want to tell cancer to go suck it too.

It took me a while to reapply my makeup and get my red face to go away so that I could go into work today. But as I walked into the building, I knew that I was going to write this post and say…

Take care of your body now. Don’t procrastinate. Enjoy your health and do all you can to enhance the health you have because it could be so much worse.

You could be like Dad.

No hope of enjoying holidays, cooking a new recipe, driving to Virginia to visit me again or seeing grandchildren married and having babies.

I don’t know how long he has left to live, but I don’t want him to suffer any more and I pray that he will go quickly. Thank you all for continued prayers on his behalf. Your overwhelming support during this most awful time of grief is very much appreciated and so much more than you can imagine.

Go have your exams.

Do it for you.

Do it for your posterity.

Do it for everyone like Dad who have only a short time left on this planet.

Just do it.

No, I did not get vagazzled,My mother is saying, “What is vagazzled?”

I think I hear my phone ringing now and I’m sure it is her.

The Redhead Riter

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 R.L.Scovens September 22, 2010 at 12:34 am

GREAT post!


2 Doreen Lombardo September 22, 2010 at 12:57 am

Excellent advice. I'm sorry about your father. I understand completely what you are going through. You are 100% correct about early detection.

Read my article here:


3 PJ September 22, 2010 at 2:01 am

Hey Gal! I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. I will keep him in my prayers for "God to have His way". I say this for a reason. I pray for healing for people all of the time. I have seen sick people linger a long time due to prayer. I found this out a while back. I had been praying for healing for a lady in our church for a good while. She seem like she had her good days and bad days but after a while it seemed like it was mostly bad ones. I continued to pray healing upon her and she continued to live (if you want to call it that). One day I couldn't stand seeing her sick anymore and I just said, "Lord, have your way". Would you believe 2 days later she passed away? Now truthfully, I don't know if my prayer caused that or not, but I felt as though a weight was lifted off her and me. I had been praying for healing, and God wanted to bring her home. I couldn't help but feel like I was the one who was keeping her here suffering.

I don't mind the exams (well, I do, but I know they are necessry). What I do mind is the fact that sometimes I feel like they are a "racket" just to make money. Since I was 40 years old, I have had 3 mammograms, and I'm 56 now. Every time I have gone, all they say is "the they're (you know what (they are) are too dense to see anything! Now, can you tell me what that means? What am I supposed to do about it please? At 150 to 200 dollars or more a mammogram, I am not happy to hear that phrase, and people wonder why there isn't a better response to early detection exams. I've been told they have to pay for the machines somehow, well, at $200. a whack, how long would it take to pay for a machine? Get it paid for the lower the price of the mammogram! No!! Then it's we have to pay the techs, the readers, and so on. PLEASE! It's a racket!

God Bless,



4 Linda Fawcett September 22, 2010 at 2:22 am

Thank you for your openness and your advice. My prayers are with you and your father.


5 ruthhill74 September 22, 2010 at 2:51 am
6 laughwithusblog September 22, 2010 at 3:38 am

I have been putting my appointment off, and there has been lots of cancer in my family. Thanks for the shove. I'm making the appointment tomorrow!


7 Teresha@Marlie and Me September 22, 2010 at 8:36 am

I'm am so sorry that your Dad is suffering so much, but I am glad that you two are spending the time he has left bonding and I am so proud that you are turning this awful situation into a positive by advocating cancer screenings!


8 cinfulcinnamon September 22, 2010 at 2:46 pm

What a wonderful post. I too am sorry to hear about your Dad. I lost mine to cancer as well. And there was also nothing that could be done. He was my hero and I think about him everyday. I hope everyone takes your wonderful advice and gets checked. It is so worth it.


9 Merana Leigh September 22, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Ok, a couple of things…

first of all…a pap in stilettos? I'm bustin' over here. (even thru the ewww factor of the privates being somewhat public).

2nd…I'm so sorry about your dad. I lost my mom to cancer 8 yrs ago when she was 64. It is not an easy road to travel. I pray the Lord's grace to help you both.

3rd…not only get examined for you, but for those who love you….to do otherwise would almost be selfish. I've had mammo's since I was 29 b/c of my mom's bout with breast cancer in '92 (which she then developed uterine cancer from the Tamoxifin she took for the breast cancer). Anyway, I'm also religious about monthly self breast exams. 2 mos. ago I found a lump. BIG TIP…CHECK IN THE NIPPLE AEREOLA AREA ALSO!!! My doctor didn't even feel it 'til I pointed it out to him b/c that's NOT the area that's usually touched in a breast exam. After several weeks & many tests, it was determined to be benign glandular tissue, praise God…but there definitely IS something there. I kept my boys & ex-husband in the dark. They don't need to know until it was something they NEED to know. But had it turned out to actually be something, I determined I would face it head-on with the fight of my life….if nothing else than to teach my children the strength of perseverance, and that I loved them enough to fight for my life just so I could be here for theirs. What parent wouldn't do that for their child?! There was such a time of reflection in those weeks I was uncertain of what road I would travel. But, not knowing is the hardest part. Playing dumb & burying your head in the sand is not an option. "What I don't know won't hurt me" adage is a lie….it could kill you.

Hugs ~ Merana


10 susan September 22, 2010 at 7:39 pm

I'm not a fan of Kathy Griffin, but I must say I admire her spunk on this particular project. Maybe she'll promote mammograms too–a mission that would be dear to my heart since I lost my mother to breast cancer. If you have encouraged one person to make an appt. you will have done a great service. Nice to "meet" you!


11 Modista Modesta September 22, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Great advise! I have been procrastinating. I to will pray for the Lords will, and lots of comfort for you and your family.

@PJ – you get ultrasounds when your breasts are to dense, your only problem without health insurance at that point would be the cost, almost 3 times as much – at least that is what they bill my insurance.



12 Karen September 22, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Great post! I have a friend who's entire family (well, every single woman) has had cervical cancer at some point in her life. So, she & her sister are very good about getting checked out frequently. Totally worth it…..every woman in her fam who has caught it early, had minimal treatment and is still alive & kicking and living!!

Sorry to hear about your Dad. Ironic that I happened upon this post as I just wrote & posted about my Grandma, who passed from Ovarian cancer. I'm sorry to hear about your Dad…that's never an easy journey to take.


13 Jami September 23, 2010 at 4:16 am

This is a great post, though I am terribly sorry to hear about your father. What a difficult time for all of you.


14 Holly October 7, 2010 at 10:11 am

OMG!! I just saw this!! Are you sure that's not you? LOL!! No VAGAZZLED??? But WHY?

This is such a great thing to spread awareness about. We so frequently ignore things thinking it's no big deal… but if it's our kids, they are IN THERE to see a doc… PRONTO! I know that I am guilty of this. I did recently go for my "Well Woman" exam. A few years ago I had a hysterectomy but they left my ovaries for hormone balance… Wouldn't you know it? I've got a big cyst on my ovary. *sigh* So in a couple weeks I have to go back to have it checked again to see if there's any growth. I'm also in the referral process for a mammogram. I was scolded about that…. seeing as how your supposed to have your baseline mammogram about 35, another at 40… as you get older they become more frequent. ??? I just didn't think about it. I'm almost 41 and never had one. So, I AM!! I'm going to try to get it scheduled this month… being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and all… So YES!! Everybody!! Go take care of YOU!! Red, this is especially important for you to take care of yourself in all ways because stress takes it's toll and the more rest and nutrition you get, the better your body will handle it. I think I'm talking to the choir conductor, though. So thanks for being such an inspiration to so many! (((HUGS)))


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