365 Daze

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WestBow Press, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 104 pages
Step into the chaotic life of a single, working mother diagnosed with breast cancer. Laugh a lot. Cry a little. Share Lesa's most private moments—all with her tell-it-like-it-is Southern humor and warmth. Lesa Osborn, a divorced mom and career woman, was enjoying her suburban Atlanta life with her daughter and a new, mysteriously attractive boyfriend. Nothing could have prepared her for the dreaded diagnosis: A highly aggressive breast cancer. Thus, her year of turmoil began. In reality, Lesa's predicament was one that thousands of women face daily, but this was her challenge. Clinging to her job and health insurance, Lesa returned to work and juggled priorities at home while still recovering from surgery. Overwhelmed by real crises, and everyday frustrations, she did what any feisty Southern gal would do: she fought like hell, daring cancer and caustic people to get in her way. By sharing her eventful year with candor and self-depreciating humor, Lesa presents a view of life as an unexpected gift with a lesson or two in how to laugh and be grateful each day of every year. www.365DazeBook.com

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About the author (2011)

My Tuesday morning drive to the office in the Atlanta burbs was like any other. Driving down Satellite Boulevard to company headquarters, I made my commute in its usual twenty-five minutes. Without incident, I wheeled my silver SUV into the same crowded parking lot and then entered the familiar two-story, stucco office building as I had day after day. I could have closed my eyes and walked through the lobby and known when to stop at the elevator door by counting the number of heel-toe taps my shoes made on the marble. Once on the second floor, I made my predictable detour to the dimly lit break room. Easing into a work mode, I poured my ritual mug before taking the last leg of my early morning trek to my office down the hall. Settling at my desk, I was about to take a sip when, as if on cue, my cell phone rang. "Hello?" I answered without a second thought. "Hi, this is Dr. Auda's office. Is this Lesa?" the woman asked. "Yes." I replied. "Dr. Auda needs to speak with you. Can you hold?" "Yes, I can hold." I said I had been in Dr. Auda's office five days earlier for a mammogram. After I showed my gynecologist what felt to be a golf ball-sized lump in my left breast, he referred me to Dr. Auda, a respected breast health specialist. To me, Dr. Auda's head of thick white hair, small stature and easygoing manner made him seem more like a gentle grandfather than a top surgeon. Maybe it was a combination of his temperament and my here-we-go-again assumptions, but the sequence of events during that visit barely fazed me. First, Dr. Auda ordered a second mammogram, which took place immediately after he examined me. Second, he reviewed the results on the spot. Third, he told me to schedule a biopsy for the same week. I'd found large lumps before that always turned out to be non-cancerous cysts. Plus, having had two mammograms and an ultrasound within the year, I was more or less irritated to be going through the hassle. I doubted that I could work a biopsy into my schedule that week, or even that month, and told Dr. Auda that I would see what I could do. The roundtrip alone from my home to his office located south of Atlanta would consume three hours. I'd have to use up one of my precious few remaining vacation days. In response to my noncommittal attitude, he asked me to wait there a few minutes and disappeared. When Dr. Auda returned, he presented a different option. If I could hang around another hour or so, he would perform the biopsy that day. I happily agreed because the day was already shot. It didn't occur to me that this prominent doctor had a good reason to accommodate my schedule. I was simply relieved that he salvaged a vacation day and saved me some gas money! All of that replayed in my mind while I held for Dr. Auda, and trickles of concern began to saturate my thoughts. Doctor Auda personally wants to speak to me? Sh*t! This can't be good! It usually takes an act of congress to get a doctor on the phone. "Hello, is this Lesa?" Doctor Auda asked in his grandfatherly tone. "Yes, hi Dr. Auda," I answered. "Lesa," he said with a slight hesitation (I imagined him scanning my records as he spoke), "we received the results back from your biopsy, and...ah...it's cancer. The tumor is malignant.

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