Last week, I attended the funeral of one of my classmates who traded this life's battle with cancer for eternal peace. Then, last night, I saw where another young lady who graduated three years after me made the same transition. As scary as the thought of cancer may be, an even more disturbing thought is how many of us find out we have the disease when its in its final, most aggressive stages.

People often ridicule men for not going to the doctor often enough, but one fact which often goes overlooked is that single mothers often fail to make visits to the doctor. According to The Atlantic, women have a number of reasons why they fail to have regular checkups including costs, problems paying medical bills, currently paying off medical bills, issues with taking time from work, and problems with child care.

For the past few weeks, my mom has been pushing me to go to the doctor for a checkup. Most of us don't neglect our annual visits, as if having everything together "down there" indicates complete health. We'll disregard our cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar content, digestive issues, poor circulation, etc. until our systems shut down although preventive measures can be taken.  When my mom asked me about going to the doctor, I thought my reason for not going was very valid, but she made a point that was even more valid: "You have to take care of yourself so you can take care of your child."

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In recent years, more of us have begun exercising; and that's GREAT.  But even with alterations and lifestyle changes, it's equally as important that we get our checkups and avoid those "silent killers," which hit without obvious warning.