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Wed., July 6, 2011, 9:23 a.m.

Do it now!

Seven years ago this week I started treatment for early-stage breast cancer. Rebecca's post "Say it now" is a reminder for all of us - not just at retirement parties, or times of illness, but in the moments, as we experience those feelings - of affection, gratitude, asking for and granting forgiveness. Seven years ago my first thoughts were: "I have a young son, I cannot die from this disease, do what you must to cure this disease."  (A skilled and compassionate doctor did.)   The bittersweet dimension to our lives is that we do not get "do overs" like the mulligans in golf or dress rehearsals on stage.

Mostly, we get one shot, but when we do get a taste of a second chance - a cure to a life-threatening disease - the say-it-now urge is ever-present: enjoy each day, let the little stuff slide, laugh-laugh-laugh, be kind at each opportunity, say what's on your mind.

And so today, I say:  "Do it now!" Get your mammogram; hold the women in your life accountable for getting their screening tests. Because once this disease takes over, the second chances are gone.

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.