Prostate cancer, The U.S. Coast Guard and my mother the “Spar.”

Circa 1940 LaGrange High Granger School Annual-Jennie Cooper Davis: Calm as a Hurricane.

Okay so  a high-ranking official in the Coast Guard is found to have cancer and has plans to have surgery at Bethesda Hospital. I don’t know this but they probably don’t do the robotic method there…that’s just a side note…it is of no consequence. It is still news, somehow and some way famous people who get prostate cancer is news, and because one in six men will get prostate cancer it will always be in the news. It is not a matter of who it will be, but when. Bill Clinton next? Bill O’Reilly? Doesn’t matter, however the fact that the Coast Guard guy is now dealing with it made me think of my mother and the picture above as I am always trying to think of ways to include my most wonderful mother in every aspect of my life. Want to steal my millions…hint…..use JennieCooper as the password. Here is the story then a bit more about my mother and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Coast Guard commandant treated for prostate cancer

The Associated Press

Monday, April 23, 2012 | 7:57 a.m.

The head of the Coast Guard is undergoing surgery for prostate cancer at Walter Reed military hospital in Maryland.

Cmdr. Chris O’Neil says Adm. Bob Papp was being treated Monday for early stage prostate cancer, which was detected during a routine screening. (Author’s note: Why was he screened. I thought that was bad.)

Vice Adm. Sally Brice-O’Hara, the agency’s vice commandant, is in charge of the Coast Guard while Papp recovers from surgery.

Papp became the top Coast Guard officer in May 2010. He succeeded Adm. Thad Allen, who led the U.S. response to the Gulf oil spill.

So my mother was born in LaGrange Georgia, her father was a WWI vet in the Navy and played football and received a degree in pharmacy from the University of Georgia. She loved her mother but adored her father. She was a Helion in high school so they send her to an all girls school in Montgomery, Alabama…Huntington. I have a school annual from there and there is a picture of her playing tennis and another of her in a dorm room smoking.

Much to the chagrin of her parents she quits college (she denied that she had bad grades, but she denies everything including that she did not make the Edwards Lemon Meringue Pie despite the fact that I found the package hidden in the trash) and joins the Coast Guard shortly after Pearl Harbor was bombed. That along with many others at the time really “pissed her off.”

She gets to go to New York and sees Frank Sinatra live and then to Charleston and then to St. Petersburg, Fla where she meets her husband, James Rushton McHugh a Navy Pilot. The above picture is in St. Petersburg.

“I loved every minute of it John. You know of all the women armed services the Coast Guard girls were the only ones that got silk panties, all the others got cotton,” she’d tell me.

Oh yea she loved it and loved the Big Band era and loved Glen Miller and especially “In the Mood.” It was watching my mother dance to “In the Mood” in our kitchen on 103 North Lewis St that I realized she must have been one cool, fun and love of life person. I felt that I was a bit precocious in realizing that in high school acknowledging that the young don’t grasp that older people were once young and were exactly like them. Thing “Veronica” by Elvis Costello. I think I have mentioned that before.

To be continued…….

2 Replies to “Prostate cancer, The U.S. Coast Guard and my mother the “Spar.””

  1. Dr. McHugh,
    I know when Walter Reed Hospital was in D.C., before it merged with Bethesda and moved to Maryland, they did do robotic surgery for prostate cancer, so I’m guessing that technology moved with them. I had open RRP there three years ago (at age 49) and robotic was a choice, but my surgeon thought open was better given the nature of my diagnosis. By the way, Walter Reed has an excellent clinic for the newly diagnosed – over a couple of days patients and their spouses get to meet with surgeons, radiologists, specialists from the ED clinic, and a long session with a nurse who goes over what to expect from treatment, post surgery care, catheter care, etc. Very helpful. It is run by the DoD Center for Prostate Disease Research; is their address. Thank you for your site.


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