Beating the Odds – ep.112

Breaking Inequality Barriers in Sports – ep.111
October 19, 2023
 Building Successful Teaching Models – ep.113
November 2, 2023

According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime with Black women having a 41% lower chance of survival than any other ethnic group. On this episode, I am joined by three inspirational breast cancer survivors Glynis Dove, Mateenah Floyd-Okanlawon and Marguerite Toliver who fought to overcome the challenges of their prognosis and now share their unique survivorship journey to advocate comprehensive healthcare practices and the deconstruction of racial and ethnic disparities in breast cancer.

Melyssa Barrett:  Welcome to the Jali Podcast. I’m your host, Melyssa Barrett. This podcast is for those who are interested in the conversation around equity, diversity, and inclusion. Each week, I’ll be interviewing a guest who has something special to share, or is actively part of building solutions in the space. Let’s get started.

All right, so since this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to have some fabulous women come on and talk about breast cancer. And we know breast cancer disparities among African-Americans are a significant public health concern, and it can refer to things like differences in incidents, mortality rates, access to healthcare, services, as compared to other ethnicities or racial groups. And so first, I want to welcome you all to the Jali Podcast. I am so honored and grateful to have all of you here. I have the pleasure of having such a wonderful network of women that I can call my friends, and I am appreciative that you all have agreed to join me for this conversation, and I really hope that this podcast will help somebody.

So I’m happy to introduce all of you to these three remarkable African-American breast cancer survivors. They are phenomenal and fabulous, and they have all battled breast cancer. And I just want to ask you all, so that people connect your voices to who you are, if you would introduce yourselves, and then we’ll go around and maybe talk a little bit about your journey. So shall we start with Glynis?

Glynis Dove:  Good afternoon. My name is Glynis Dove, and I am a 31-year breast cancer survivor.

Mateenah Floyd-Okanlawon:  My name is Mateenah Floyd-Okanlawon, and I’m a two-time breast cancer survivor, and I just finished treatment, so finishing a second bout.

Melyssa Barrett:  And Marguerite.

Marguerite Toliver:  Hello, I’m Marguerite Toliver, and I’m a three-time breast cancer survivor. And I will get into more details about the three times later. Thank you.

Melyssa Barrett:  Wow. I have goosebumps right now because I’ve known you all for a long time. And some of this information is even so new to me. Like three times? I’m like, I knew you were a breast cancer survivor, but twice and three times and a 31-year survivor? Oh my goodness. So with that being said, I would love it if you would maybe talk a little bit about your journey, and maybe we’ll start with Glynis again, since she’s the 31-year, and maybe you could talk a little bit about your journey and then we’ll kind of circle the virtual room.

Glynis Dove:  So my journey started in 1992. And at the time, well, all of us know, mine came about because I used to watch the soap operas all the time, The Young and the Restless was my favorite one. And at that time, Mrs. Chancellor was going through breast cancer, and they were doing the whole thing live so much. And so they were showing you how to do the breast exams, the whole nine yards. And so I just happened to do the same thing, and felt a lump. And I thought, “Oh, this is weird.” And so in retrospect, I had been feeling a lump for a while, but didn’t realize that’s what it was, because at the time, I had one of those pads on my bed that was the waffle mattress. So I just thought it was one of the waffles of the mattress, not that there was a lump on me, that it was the mattress.

Okay. So fast-forward, I go and I get my diagnosis. Well, at that time, the tumor or this lump was the size of a lemon. So doctor told me, he goes, “Oh, we’re going to try something different.” So I did several rounds of chemo first to shrink the tumor, then he did the mastectomy, and then I had a couple rounds of chemo afterwards. I never had to have radiation, but I did have chemo.

Melyssa Barrett:  Okay. Mateenah you want to go?

Mateenah Floyd-Okanlawon:  We couldn’t get through this without that. Anyway, I found lump and mind that breast. And when I was of childbearing age, I had lumps, but they were cysts. And so I wasn’t worried about it because I figured, well, it’s just another cyst, it’s popping up like 50 years later. But it was a cysts, non-the less and my denial. I don’t have anything more. That’s what I thought. And so when I went to the doctor, Dr. Brown, when he did the exam, and I didn’t like that. And then he suggested, “Well, we better get an ultrasound.” And so when we got the ultrasound, being a registered nurse, retired, I peeked over at the machine to see what the person doing the ultrasound, and what she was seeing. And I saw tumors in there. And I said, “They look kind of the irregular. That’s not good.” And sure enough, the doctor, when I got back into the examine room, he said, “Okay, let’s do a needle biopsy.”

And so we did a needle biopsy. And then the radiologist who did the biopsy said, “Well, results won’t be about for a week. So when you come back to that appointment, usually you bring a friend or relative to it with you.” It’s about me going alone. That really made me scared because why would I need a friend or a relative with me if he was just going to tell me it was another cyst? So that’s when it aroused that. I further descended on the journey to death.

Melyssa Barrett:  Wow, okay. Margarite?

Marguerite Toliver:  Okay. My journey began many, many years ago. Actually, I’m 81 right now. And my journey began when I was 22, when I first had my surgery for breast cancer. But I must say, it started when I was 15. My brother happened to notice. I was in a sweater, and I must have had a small stature, but I had rather large breasts. And my brother noticed one breast was larger than the other. And he said, “What is the matter with you? Why is one breast larger than the other?” So I ran downstairs, had my mom look at it, and she panicked because she didn’t know what was going on. So she called my aunt, who had six girls. And they took me to the doctor immediately and he said, “Well, she has excess breast tissue and she’s developing, and so there’s nothing to worry about.”

So several years later, I think probably when I was about 18 maybe, we went back to the doctor and he said, “Oh, there’s nothing there.” Well, when I was 22, I went in to see a new physician for something else, and he said, “Do you have any other problems?” I said, “Yes. Would you check my breast?” So he looked at it and then he said, “How long has this been like this?” I said, “Since I was 15.” So he had a puzzled look on his face, and this was in 1964. So at that time, I didn’t even think anything about cancer. So he brought in his partner who was another position to take a look at it. And after they consulted, they told me, “We need to take you in for surgery right away. This needs to come out.” So at 22 years old, I was, say dummer, as far as cancer. So I didn’t even know, and I’m going, “Okay, let’s take it out.”

So when they took it out, afterwards, I found out they had found the cancer cells. And they were so defined, and there was such a large margin. He told me that he took the tumor out and it was the size of a fist. So fortunately for me, I didn’t have to have a radical mastectomy, which is what they were doing at the time in 1964. And he said the margin was so great that he felt I was so young that they didn’t have to remove my breast. So that was the beginning of my journey. And then in 1999, I was scheduled for my regular mammogram. I always had it in January, so that I would never forget. And I went in for my mammogram, and they wanted to take more pictures. They kept bringing me back in and I’m going, “Oh, something’s wrong.” You have a sense that something is wrong, because you know what is normal for the mammogram.

And I left there, and they said they would have the results out. Well, I got the results, and it was cancer in the left breast. The first time it was in the right breast. So I left there and I said, “Okay, it’s cancer.” And it was, so after talking with three different surgeons about the options that I had, they could do a lumpectomy, a partial mastectomy or full mastectomy. And weighing all the options and getting all the information, I decided on a partial mastectomy, which means they take more tissue of the breast than they would with a lumpectomy. So I opted for that, and I said to myself, if it comes back again, I’m definitely going to have a bilateral mastectomy.

And then radiation was recommended at that time because of the grade and the level. And I made a decision not to have the radiation because I knew if it were to return, I was going to have the mastectomy. And mastectomy, after radiation… I knew I was going to have a mastectomy, but I had also considered reconstruction. And I know it’s difficult many times to have reconstruction after radiation because of the lathering of the skin. So I made that decision, but not without consulting my physicians and others about what I could do. So three years later, breast cancer was in the right breast again. So it was a no-brainer at that point I knew what I was going to do, and I knew I was going to have the bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction, which is what I did.

And as I said, I was 22 years old when I first had breast cancer, and I’m 81 now. So we can survive breast cancer. And this is what we want everyone to know, that I had a full life, I had a career, I’ve done everything. And when it returned, I always tell everyone, I never cried one time with the diagnosis. But that is my makeup. I just know you have to take care of business. But the most important thing is early detection, and we can talk about that later. But you have kind of a background on my history and why I had three time breast cancer and mastectomy and reconstruction.

Melyssa Barrett:  Wow. And so it’s interesting because you talk about when you went at 15 year olds, old to the doctor, and I wonder if any of you had, because they talk a lot about just the delays in diagnosis and how that potentially impacts mortality rates and all of those things. You specifically, Marguerite, mentioned the delay. From 15 to 22, and it’s like, “Oh, we got to get this out.” Did you all feel like you had any delays? And I know, Mateenah being a nurse, when you look over and actually saw the image, you probably knew what you were looking at, but most people probably don’t. Do you feel like there were delays in any of your diagnosis at all?

Mateenah Floyd-Okanlawon:  There was no delay. If there was any delay, it was me and denial in getting into the doctor. I could have gotten in there quicker than I did. But I did get in there early. My cancer was at stage two. And so that’s still considered fairly early. It’s not considered late. And so you are out [inaudible 00:14:44] your prognosis is pretty broad, like there’s [inaudible 00:14:49]. That means that it has not escaped into the other parts of the body.

Melyssa Barrett:  Okay. So Glynis, and I don’t know what stages were each of you in when you were diagnosed, if you don’t mind me asking.

Glynis Dove:  Now, see for me, I don’t know because I didn’t want to know. I’m one of those. I told the doctors, “Do what you have to do. Don’t tell me anything,” because I’m also one of the ones, if they tell you, “Your arm’s going ache,” then my arm aches. So, “Just don’t tell me anything. Just do what you have to do.” So for the longest time, I didn’t know. And when you talk about was it delayed or not, I was never aware that I had two bouts of cancer. I always thought it was just the breast cancer, and then I had a hysterectomy the following year, never knowing that I had cervical cancer. They just told me, “Have a hysterectomy,” because I guess I didn’t want to hear it. Anyway.

Melyssa Barrett:  Maybe they told you and you just didn’t listen.

Glynis Dove:  No, they never told me. And actually I probably still would’ve never found out because like I said, I’m one of those bad patients. I don’t ask questions, just do what you have to do. I was a Kaiser patient. And so Kaiser, for the longest time before the hospital here in Modesto was built, they contracted out. So I had a regular doctor in Modesto. And then when the Kaiser hospital was built, then I had to leave him and go get a Kaiser doctor. So he gave me all my files, and I happened to read it. And I’m like, “What’s he talking about I had cervical cancer? What’s he telling me?” All this other kind of stuff. So that was me. I don’t know.

Melyssa Barrett:  Oh my gosh, that’s incredible. These stories, it’s amazing to me because I feel like, for so long, we don’t necessarily tell our stories. And I know this is very personal for people as well. And so I just appreciate hearing some of these stories because I think sometimes, you feel like you’re the only one going through something. And just to be able to hear somebody else and go, “Well, I didn’t know this or I didn’t know that,” but to be able to turn yourself and create some action and really grow as you continue to age, to really understand. So were there specific challenges you guys faced in terms of your treatment and recovery, and how did you overcome some of those? Because I know some of you were talking about radiation and surgery. That’s pretty invasive.

Marguerite Toliver:  Well, it is. But at the time when I first had it in 1964, people were not talking about cancer. The word wasn’t even being used. My aunt who helped raise me, she died from breast cancer, but I never knew anything about why she was ill. And my mother and aunts, they would not talk about it. I just happened to overhear a conversation when they said she had died from breast cancer. And that was an awakening for me. However, when I was diagnosed, when I had the surgery in 1964, I started talking about breast cancer. And my family members would say, “Oh, we don’t talk about that. We don’t want people to know.” But being the outspoken person that I’ve always been, I said, “Oh, I’m going to talk about it.” And my mother, she was very reluctant for me to talk about it, but I continued to talk about it. And that’s before mammograms became the standard. So it was constantly checking.

And then when mammograms became the standards, I started getting the mammograms, and then I added that to my repertoire. “Okay, you need to get a mammogram. You need to check your breast regularly.” Because when I was 15, it was a large tumor. But from what I gather, and back at that time, the tumor did not have the cancer cells. It was just serendipity that I had to have the tumor taken out, and they discovered the cells were developing at that point. So that was the early stage. The cells had not been there since I was 15, but we don’t know when they started. But I was able to get it at the right time because my doctor said, “We took it out just at the right time. It had not started to spread.” So my journey began after that. And I have been an outspoken proponent of taking care of yourself, making sure that you do your monthly checks, you get your annual mammogram.

Mammograms do not detect all breast cancer. In fact, most of it is detected by self-examination. But it is the extra tool that we have that we should be using to make sure that we find the cancer in an early stage. The earlier, the better. Many times, especially with African-Americans, we delay getting treatment. And so therefore, we have more problems and it advances much faster because we delay getting treatment. And that has been my motto. Early detection is the key. So I just shouted from the rooftops, and I’ve been doing that. But then my mom developed breast cancer, probably 12 years after I did. And then I found out that all of her sisters had breast cancer, which I never knew. Then I found out there was breast cancer on my dad’s side. So this is something that I feel strongly about, and I never stopped talking about it. And I don’t just talk about it during October, which is breast cancer awareness month. I say every month for a woman is breast cancer awareness.

Mateenah Floyd-Okanlawon:  I would just like to add that Marguerite not only talks the talk, she walks and walk. She has been an advocate and assistant to many cancer patients, helping them in one way or the other. And with me in particular, she created a spreadsheet that allowed my friends, my family, to help out, to help me out by being with me, by giving me a ride. I never drove myself to an appointment. I always had somebody drive me to an appointment thanks to Marguerite’s spreadsheet. And so that really helped my morale because I always had somebody to talk to and somebody to visit with. And so I’m really grateful for that. And I think that when you get cancer, you really come face to face with your mortality, and it kind of toughened you up in a way. But I am one too. Like Marguerite, I talk about it to everybody. I tell everybody, “I want the doctor to tell me everything,” and that’s probably because I’m a nurse. I don’t want anything hidden. And I tell everybody, because I want everybody’s prayers. I want everybody’s good wishes and that kind of thing.

And I think that the more we talk about it as African-American women, that other African-American women will see that you can’t help by being afraid, but you have somebody. You’re not alone. And if you get them early, that really is not so bad. I watched my brother suffer. Two brothers suffer from lung cancer. My mother, she had pineal lung cancer and succumbed to that. And my maternal aunt had breast cancer. She lost both breast and succumbed to breast cancer. But that was winning back in and today, cancer does not have to be a death sentence. And the early detection.

Glynis Dove:  What I was going to say is that now for me, I was diagnosed when I was 38. So at that time, I had never had a mammogram because the standard was age 40. At age 40, you start doing your mammogram. So I had never had a mammogram. And then the other thing that was unique is that when you go to the doctor, they always ask you if there’s history of breast cancer in the family, but they never tell you that you can be the one to start the history, which happened in my family. I had a breast cancer. And then the following year, a maternal cousin, it’s my mom’s brother’s daughter, had cancer. And so far, that’s been it in the family, thank goodness. But like I said, they never tell you that the history, that you can be the one starting the history.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. Oh, that’s a great point. Let’s pause for a moment. We’ll be right back. I love the fact that we talked a little bit about just the support system that you have as you go through this, because Marguerite said it well, it’s like you face your own mortality. And so how important is it, and are there things that you all do that are helpful? For somebody who doesn’t have it and maybe just wants to support you, what would you say to those folks? How can we help?

Marguerite Toliver:  Well, I feel that everyone needs support. As I started my journey, I didn’t have any support, but I feel so strongly about things that I knew I could make it on my own at that time. However, most people can’t, and you do need someone to support you, because as Mateenah said, it does not have to be a death sentence, but delay can increase those chances. So the earlier you get it, you need to have someone with you when you see your physician, first of all, because it’s a blur when you get the diagnosis. And so you don’t know what is happening. So someone needs to be there to support you. I remember being with a friend, and she was diagnosed. I took her to her appointment and she was diagnosed with breast cancer. But I had to relay the information to her family. So I was recording everything that the doctor was saying, and he was extremely helpful in helping me understand what information I should [inaudible 00:26:57].

And this is something that I do with every friend, patient, stranger or whomever, that I will go with you and I say, “Please, always have someone because you don’t know what is being said. It’s a complete blur.” And the other thing I always say to everyone in the very beginning, remember, we have all kinds of cancer. But once we’re diagnosed with breast cancer, women, for some reason, they take it harder than any other diagnosis, because we look at our breast and we feel that’s part of our femininity. But believe me, my motto has been, my breasts does not define me. Whether they’re here or not, I’m going to be Marguerite, and I’m going to live my life to the fullest. So having a mastectomy is not easy. However, if it’s what it’s going to take to save your life, then it becomes a no-brainer. So the support system is most important from the time you get the diagnosis all the way through treatment.

And I’ve been through it with my closest friends, strangers. I’ve been on television and radio and different panels, and I always get calls from strangers. Even a couple of times I got calls from men who were having other types of cancer, just saying, “What can I do?” So therefore, having a support system is very important, and I will be with you all the way through everything. And as Mateenah said, I started creating this spreadsheet some time ago. But before, it was just getting family together, getting friends together, and letting them know what to do. But the spreadsheet really helps a lot.

And I should say, I have a friend who’s in Oregon now. She was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year, and she decided, “I’m not going to do anything about it.” She just didn’t want to go through it. And I just stayed on her. “You have to do something about it.” She didn’t have any family here in California. I said, “You need to go back to Oregon where your family is.” It took a lot to get her back there, but she was able to go back, get her treatment, get her to surgery, and I was able to create a spreadsheet for her family and friends, because they didn’t know what to do. But with the spreadsheet, I said, “You just have to be there supporting, 100%. There are going to be highs and lows. But nevertheless, we can get through it. It’s not easy. And I don’t ever say it’s easy, but we just have to have someone there for us.”

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah, that’s great. Now, as you have gone through this, and we talk a lot about mental health now as well, and obviously you’re going through such a physical trauma, I’ll call it, as you were being treated, how do you maintain your own mental health as you’re going through something like this?

Glynis Dove:  For me, I was at my doctor’s office, got my diagnosis, I left his office. And within a block or two, was my church. And so I went in, and talked with one of the pastors. I’m trying to think if I cried. I don’t think I ever cried. I laid it out to him what was going on, and he prayed with me. And it was like a weight, a spirit was lifted off of me. And after that point, I never worried again. It was kind like, “God has it.” I never worried about it again.

Marguerite Toliver:  And that’s great, Glynis, because how do you take care of yourself? You were asked the question. Well, I’ve always taken care of myself. But I believe in prayer. I believe in meditation, and I believe in yoga. Those are the things that center you. That gives you the proper perspective on how you’re going to get through a day at a time. We don’t look at a week, a month, or a year. We look at a day at a time. How am I going to get through this? And those things really help you, and really taking good care of yourself. When you’re going through chemo and radiation, it’s hard to think, sometimes. But once you center yourself and say, “This is the journey that I’m going to have to go through,” make sure its self-care that you have. And it’s hard so times, but you really have to push yourself because we have strength that we never know we have until we’re challenged, and then that inner strength comes out, and we all have it. So taking care of yourself is one of the most important things.

Mateenah Floyd-Okanlawon:  And again, I would just say, just grab that fear that comes up in you and take yourself to the doctor, tell a friend, because I did everything right. I wasn’t overweight, I didn’t drink alcohol, and I nursed fine babies. That was supposed to be the things that you do to prevent breast cancer. And not only did I prevent breast cancer, I got it twice. So to me, that just shows you that you need to keep those checks. Do it on a regular basis. Don’t get afraid to touch yourself and feel your breasts because you know yourself the best, and you can tell quite early when something is going all aright. But you have to know what’s normal for yourself before you can know what’s abnormal. And that helps you get in there. Well, don’t be afraid. Grab a friend, grab a girlfriend, your husband, anybody, and get in there and get [inaudible 00:33:29].

Melyssa Barrett:  I love it.

Marguerite Toliver:  And I have to give a shout-out to Mateenah. I was with her when she got her first diagnosis for breast cancer, and I went through all the sessions with her. But the main thing about strength is that Mateenah is a very centered and calm person. And we would sit in chemo, and we would have lunch. We would do everything that we needed to do while she went through her treatment. But mostly important, I was going to do the Avon Cancer walk in San Francisco. It’s a two-day walk, walking 39 miles in two days. And I had planned to do that. Mateenah was in her last chemo treatment. And she was sitting in the chair and I was sitting next to her. And I said, “Mateenah, I’m going to do the cancer walk in July.” She said, “What is that?” And I told her. I said, “It’s two days walking in San Francisco and the cities around it.” And she said, “I want to do that.” Now, she has needles in her arm going through chemo, but she said, “I want to do that.”

So this was in January, and the walk was in July. So when she finished her treatment, she talked with her doctors and she got herself together. She did everything she needed to do to get her body in shape. And in July, Mateenah and I walked in San Francisco, up the hills, down the hills through Sausalito and the City of Puerto Madera, and we did that in two days. We walked 26 miles the first day, and 13 miles the second day. This is the inner strength that you pull out and say, “Cancer will not beat me.”

Melyssa Barrett:  Wow, that’s phenomenal. I can’t even imagine walking 39 miles without having battled cancer.

Mateenah Floyd-Okanlawon:   San Francisco.

Melyssa Barrett:  My goodness. Wow, that’s inspiring. That really makes me think about my own health checkups and what I need to be doing to make sure I’m taking better care of myself. Well, I know we’re probably coming to the end of the podcast, but I did want to just ask, I probably could talk to you all forever and ever, because I just love all of you, and so appreciate your friendship, is there anything that you, maybe a message or a call to action that you want to tell people? You’ve talked a lot about early detection. Is there anything else you want to talk about to just promote awareness and help people who might be either going through it or maybe their friend is going through it?

Mateenah Floyd-Okanlawon:  I just want to say that the person who is responsible for the pink ribbon, her name was Charlotte Hansen. And I believe this occurred in the ’50s. She had several family members and friends who succumbed to breast cancer, and she found out that the government did not allot very much like 1%, 5%, something like that to breast cancer. And so she created this ribbon, and it was a sermon color. It wasn’t pink.

And so she sent it to her friends and said, “You write to your congressman and tell them to allot some more money for the breast cancer.” And Estee Lauder, I believe, had had an event on cancer. And so she wanted to use that ribbon to promote awareness, and Charlotte did not want it commercialized. She said she wasn’t interested in that. And so Estee Lauder consulted a lawyer who said, “Well, go ahead and make the ribbon another color.” So they made it pink. So that’s how they got the pink ribbon. And we got October, I believe, when Betty Ford who [inaudible 00:37:47] got breast cancer, and I think we got the month block because of [inaudible 00:37:51] promotion breast cancer.

Marguerite Toliver:  I just like to know how things got started.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah, that was great. I’m glad you mentioned the history on that.

Marguerite Toliver:  One thing I’d like to add is a lot of women say, “Oh, I forgot to get my mammogram. I didn’t do this.” Set a date. Whether it’s your birthday. Mine was always set for January because I got my physical and everything I needed to do in January. This is why in January, I knew I had breast cancer because I did not miss that mammogram appointment. And so therefore, whatever you can do to not miss it, is to set a specific date that you can remember. “On my birthday or a week before, I’m going to do this, this, and this, and make sure the mammogram.” But also make sure you do those monthly exams.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes. Glynis?

Glynis Dove:  Like I said, I think you were saying, what can someone do to support us? What would make me happiest is if everyone would go out and do their breast exams, do their mammograms. That would make me ecstatic. Everyone does that.

Melyssa Barrett:  Well, and let me say, we were supposed to have Tash here, Latasha Walden, and she had a meeting at the last minute and that she couldn’t make it. But she did want me to mention, and I want to give her a big shout-out, because she is our fourth cancer survivor who was diagnosed at 51, and she was one person that always took care of herself. She was in a high stress job though, and she said it kind of took her by surprise. And so for her, she was talking about everything happened so fast, and they could see a problem during her mammogram and did a biopsy that day, a lot of similar stories there. And then she ended up having a lumpectomy at stage one, and would have to be seen by her oncologist for like five years and take medication.

So she’s now been clear of cancer for five years, and now has no medication. She does get her 3D mammograms yearly, she said, and her advice is to just advocate for yourself. Women need to advocate for yourself, and certainly men as well. But if you have dense breasts, you need to demand to have a 3D mammogram and diagnostic. That was one thing she really wanted to mention. She’s very focused on her health now, nutrition, exercise, taking care of herself. So again, going back to that self-care, let’s take care of ourselves, ladies, and I’m talking to myself first, because I’m the first one who probably is not doing the best to take care of myself.

So thank you guys all for being here. I cannot thank you enough. I truly am honored, and thank you for having this wonderful conversation with me on such a topic. But I do pray and hope that somebody can be inspired by the stories of you phenomenal women, who continue to go through it, and not only go through it, but really advocate and turn around and help somebody behind you. So thank you for all you’re doing. I’m still shocked that Marguerite is 81. She keeps saying she’s 81, I’m like, “Whoa.”

Mateenah Floyd-Okanlawon:  I’m shocked too.

Melyssa Barrett:  But thank you guys all so much for all you do, and I just really appreciate you all. So hopefully we will see more people that will advocate for themselves. Get out there, make sure you have early detection, grab a friend and just make sure you have the support you need as you go. So wishing you the best here from the Jali Podcast.

Marguerite Toliver:  Thank you.

Mateenah Floyd-Okanlawon:  Thank you.

Melyssa Barrett:  Thanks for joining me on the Jali Podcast. Please subscribe so you won’t miss an episode. See you next week.