Parker County Today December 2017 - Page 49

our healthcare: BATTLING CANCER Cancer Waits For No Woman By MARSHA BROWN Julie Temple Didn’t Have Time To ‘Mess,’ With Cancer, But Who Does? J “I looked to see if I had a mole or a cyst and I found nothing,” Temple said. “So the next day I was really busy and forgot about it.” She forgot about the whole thing, until it happened again. Finally, she discovered where the blood was coming from — her nipple. Temple was at the home of her godchild who had just had a baby. “I asked her if that had ever happened to her,” Temple said.  The younger woman’s response was, “No and if it did, I’d be totally freaked out.” Being a tech-savvy Millennial, the young woman turned to Google. After a little research, the younger woman advised her godmother, “You need to see a doctor.” Everything she found on line pointed to the same thing — cancer. Temple’s answer was, “Maybe, when I get this wedding behind me.” The younger woman was shocked. ulie Temple is a busy woman. Last spring, she was working at a fren- zied pace, operating her own multi- faceted business that included event planning and had just landed a job orchestrating the biggest wedding of her career.  She definitely did not have time for cancer.  “I’ve always been a busy kind of person,” Temple said. “In my busi- ness I did a little bit of everything for a few families. I planned events, I organized, I remodeled, I painted, [and] I decorated.” She knew when she took on the function that she would be a bit stretched while pulling together the Cecil B. DeMille-caliber wedding production, but she didn’t plan on having serious health problems. Temple had also taken on a big, albeit, joyful task.  She was offered the job of taking care of her longtime friend who had passed the point in her life when she was able to manage all of her own affairs, but did not want to move into an assisted living center or a retire- ment home. Temple stepped in. “I feel like it was my calling,” she said. “I wanted to make sure that she could live out her life in her own home.” In the new capacity, Temple took her friend to appointments with doctors, oversaw her household, made sure her house was clean, took care of meals and generally made sure her bills were paid and her checkbook was in order. As Temple juggled all of her responsibilities, was in the midst of taking care of her friend and planning the wedding of the century, she suddenly found one more big item had landed on her plate, and it was enormous. Temple went home one evening, and when she was preparing for bed, got undressed and noticed a spot of blood in one of the cups of her bra.  “Who puts that off?”  The reaction of everyone else was almost more frightening to Temple than what her own body was doing.  “Everyone seemed to be totally freaked about this,” Temple said.  Temple definitely did not have time for cancer. But there was another concern. “We had great insurance through my husband’s work,” Temple said, adding that her husband worked in the oil industry, but his job went away with the most recent oil bust. He soon found a new job but it didn’t pay near as well and the benefits weren’t there.  Temple was always an indepen- dent, generous woman who was used to doing kind things for others, but rarely did she let anyone do anything for her.  She found herself talking to a friend, a breast cancer survivor who told her about her health issue, then asked her friend if she had ever expe- rienced anything like that. Her friend said, “I haven’t, but my grandmother did. It was breast cancer. She died from it. You need to get that checked out, right away.” It was a sobering conversation. By then, the big wedding, Temple’s opus, was just two weeks away. “She had survived breast cancer and has made it her life’s mission to see to it that other women survive breast cancer, too,” Temple said. “I reminded her that I didn’t have insur- ance. She said, ‘We might be able to find you some help.’” It was that friend who found Careity and texted Temple the contact information. Still, she strug- gled to get up the courage to call. “I’m used to doing for other people,” she said, “I’m not used to asking for help.” Her friend continued to press her to call. “I kept saying, ‘I have this wedding to finish, then I’ll worry about the boob.’ She said, ‘Now. You need to take care of this now.’ Finally, I called. Beverly (Branch) answered. She asked me some ques- tions. I answered them. Then, she approved me over the phone. My jaw dropped.” Temple told Branch about the wedding she was handling and asked, “Don’t you think I could wait until I finish with the wedding?”  Without hesitation, Branch said, “No, ma’am.” Temple burst into tears. “I suddenly got so emotional that someone was going to help me,” Continued on page 51 47