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CELEBRATE LIFE  Ladies Cancer Support Group   Sara Benson, 941-575-6765,

                           May 3  was our last “official” meeting of the year. It feels weird to say that, as we usually end the
                           year in June with a great big gab session. We’ve found that many of our ladies are on their way by
                           the end of May and we don’t get a chance to say “see ya later” because it’s too late. So, we
                           decided to make May the last one before summer, go to one of our favorite places for lunch, and
                           say our goodbyes while we’re still all together.

                           We also ended our year on a very high note. Dr.
                           Nazanin Khakpour was our much anticipated
                           speaker and she lived up to everything we had
        heard about her. Not only is she a fine breast cancer surgeon, but she
                                                  was recognized as one of
                                                  America’s top cancer
                                                  doctors in 2015, 2016
                                                  and 2017, and also one
                                                  of America’s most
                                                  compassionate and
                                                  caring doctors. It wasn’t
                                                  much of a surprise that
                                                  we had a lot of visitors
                                                  who wanted to listen to
                                                  Dr. Khakpour speak, as
                                                  so many of them were her patients. It was almost like old home week with
                                                  all the smiles and hugs going around the room. Our group wants to thank
                                                  Dr. Khakpour for taking the time to come all the way from Tampa to meet
                                                  with us. For those of us who had never met her, we could definitely
                                                  understand why the ladies who were at the meeting have spoken so
                                                  highly of her.

        We ended our time together by having a great lunch at Hurricane Charley’s. There were sixteen of us and it always
        amazes me what good friends we’ve become. Each one of us has experienced what the lady sitting next to us felt when
        she was diagnosed and heard those three nasty words “you have Cancer”. She knows what it’s like to have radiation or
        chemo the first time. She knows what it’s like when little children poke their moms and point and ask why you’re bald.
                                                                          She also knows what it’s like to “hope”. Some
                                                                          of these women have been talking to each
                                                                          other for years and others are new at this thing
                                                                          called cancer. It doesn’t matter. They all have
                                                                          one thing in common and that’s the “C” word.
                                                                          However, that’s not all we talk about. Most of
                                                                          us have children and grandchildren, and in
                                                                          some cases, “greats”. Many of us have had
                                                                          interesting careers and others have been
                                                                          stay-at-home moms. Some travel to the north
                                                                          for the summer and the rest of us remain in
                                                                          sunny Southwest Florida. Some play mah
                                                                          jongg or bridge; a few are boaters and a
                                                                          handful play golf. But in the long run, whoever
                                                                          we are or whatever we do, we are the ladies of
                                                                          ‘Celebrate Life’ and that’s what we’re doing
                                                                          every day…celebrating.

                                                                          We’ll be meeting for lunch on the first
                                                                          Wednesday of June, July and August. Why
                                                                          don’t you think about joining us? Just give me
                                                                          a call and I’ll be glad to let you know where
                                                                          we’re going to be. My first experience with
        ‘Celebrate Life’ was at lunch during the summer. I didn’t know a soul when I walked into the restaurant, but by the time I
        left, I knew I was in the right place and I would keep on coming back. It’s now been 11 years. Come on, give us a try.

        Our next regular meeting will be September 6. I’ll be around during the summer and you can be sure that I’ll remind you
        before that date.

        See you soon.
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