Beware of ‘check engine’ light


It’s a word no one wants to hear.


It comes in many forms and invades your body at any time.

I should know.

I’ve lost relatives and my brother to cancer.

I have one cousin, my age, who has undergone four surgeries to remove masses outside the stomach area. Each time, she’s responded to chemotherapy and is still with us today.

I admire her strong faith, courage, dignity and ability to fight with every fiber in her body.

She, in my mind, is a hero.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

There are numerous organizations that use generous donations to fund cancer research, most notably St. Jude Children’s Hospital, the Kay Yow Foundation, Susan G. Komen Foundation and the V Foundation.

Technological advances allow doctors and researchers to study cancer and hopefully develop a cure. The disease causes distress among family and friends every day.

My primary physician reminds me at each appointment that my “check engine” light can come on at any time. Though I don’t want to admit it, they’re right.

I’m stubborn and I shouldn’t be.

Anyone reading this column is encouraged to check your “engine” the next time you have either a regularly-scheduled appointment or a physical.

Ask questions if you’ve experienced something out of the ordinary.

If you’re scheduled for a particular test, please get it done.

Don’t just wait until October when cancer awareness is at the forefront.

No one is invincible.

Rudy Coggins is assistant editor of the Mount Olive Tribune. He can be reached at


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