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Leaning on one another

You never know when you will need an additional shot of support, from your husband, wife, kids, family or friends.

While that support is always a good thing to have, there are times when the expectation for support might be too high, or the ability to provide it might be missing.

Neither of those things were the case for Janet and James Day, however, who had little problem showing plenty of support for one another when Janet was diagnosed with breast cancer on Feb. 28.

“The doctor broke the news to us,” James said of the meeting. “We kind of had it in the back of our minds. Janet had noticed a lump around the beginning of the year, and it continued getting bigger and bigger.”

While the two harbored that suspicion, there was still a shock hearing the news.

“I think we were braced for it a little bit, but when you actually hear it, the words still get you,” James said.

“Your life changes in that very moment. A million thoughts went through my head.”

Support began before they even left the doctor’s office, Janet said.

“Even though I was the one who was going to go through it, my very first instinct was for my family,” she said. “I just wanted to protect them and ensure that they would be alright.”

She had plenty of reason to feel that way.

“I had an older sister that passed away from cancer at 32, and now here I was going to have to tell my parents that another daughter had cancer, too.”

The couple opted to wait a couple days to tell family and friends, and when they did reveal it, they did it with strength and determination.

“We never expressed doom and gloom when we talked about it,” James said. “We never considered ourselves victims.

“We understood that this was something that we could get through, as long as we had a positive outlook, positive friends and family, and constant faith.”

And then there was that ‘S’ word.

“His support was extremely important,” Janet said of her husband of eight years. “To have a husband who I knew would still love me, no matter what happened, that helped more than I can say.”

Both will caution you, however, that in spite of the faith, positivity, understanding, and yes, even the support, there were scary moments.

“My scariest was during one of my earlier check-ups, before I even knew I had cancer,” Janet said. “I heard one of the nurses mention the word biopsy, and I think it was then that it kind of became real to me.”

“I think the scariest thing for me was that, as a man, I always want to love and cherish her, but I also want to protect her. I think every man feels the same way about his wife,” James said. “But with this, I literally had no control and I felt helpless, unable to protect her from it.”

Janet wound up having a double mastectomy, and hopes that her surgery has taken care of the cancer once and for all.

“I still have some radiation treatments that I need to go through, but I have been told that I have a 98 percent chance of survival,” Janet said.

As for advice, Janet offers some that comes as little surprise.

“All women need to have their annual mammograms, and they should not wait until they’re in their 50s to do that,” she said. “Start much earlier.

“I would also suggest that women have 3D mammograms, rather than the traditional ones. They can spot things in the 3D mammograms that might not get caught in the regular ones.”

James adds that, from the man’s perspective, support is the key.

“Just be supportive, whatever that means to who you are with,” he said. “Listen and don’t over react.

“Always remember that the person still needs to live. Every day does not have to be consumed by cancer. Try to do as many normal things as possible.

“Be aware, but keep living.”

Girl Scount Troop 4663 had a great time with Connersville Police Officer Clint Brown Thursday evening learning about peer pressure and Halloween safety. The troop was able to talk to the police and learn about their police cars.

Halloween safety

Food being given to military and families

The Fayette County Food Council has partnered with AMVETS, VFW, American Legion and Gleaners to help bring food to families.

A total of 1,274 family meal boxes from a USDA grant that the FCFC has been working on will be provided.

On Oct. 21, at noon, the distribution to veterans and their families will take place. Any branch of the military, including sons and ladies auxiliary, will be eligible.

Those interested must present a military ID or membership card of the AMVETS, VFW and American Legion to be able to receive a box of fresh produce, meat and dairy products.

Pickup will be at the old Kmart Parking lot.

Delivery will be available for homebound veterans. This event will be open to surrounding county veterans as well.

If you would like to be on a list for delivery due to lack of transportation please contact your local military organization.

Anyone with questions can call 765- 821-1986.

AP-NORC poll: Voters see the nation as fundamentally divided

NEW YORK — The overwhelming majority of voters believe the nation is deeply divided over its most important values, and many have doubts about the health of the democracy itself. And supporters of President Donald Trump and Joe Biden alike think the opposing candidate will make things even worse if elected, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Overall, 85 percent of registered voters describe Americans as being greatly divided in their values, and only 15 percent say that democracy in the United States is working extremely or very well. The poll shows voters overall are especially pessimistic about the impact of Trump’s reelection: 65 percent say divisions would worsen if the Republican president were reelected, a number that includes a quarter of his supporters.

Thirty-five percent of voters believe Biden would divide the country further should he win the presidency. More, 47 percent, think the country would be unified if the Democrat were elected.

“Somebody’s got to unite our country,” said Gary Conard, a 64-year-old Republican who lives in Clever, Missouri. “I just think our society is confused and in trouble.”

The poll offers a window into the depth of the division and chaos shaping the American electorate less than three weeks before Election Day. Voters are sharply divided over several major issues based on their partisan lenses, including their personal safety during the coronavirus pandemic, the value of diversity and the health of American democracy.

The cavernous rift represents a daunting challenge for the winner of the November election, as voters from each side seem to agree only on one thing: the extent of their divisions.

Fully 88 percent of Biden supporters and 80 percent of Trump supporters view Americans as greatly divided on important values. Supporters for both candidates think a win for the opposing side will worsen those divisions: 76 percent of Trump supporters say this of Biden, and 91 percent of Biden backers say this of Trump.

About half of all voters say that democracy in the United States is not working well, and about another third think it’s working only somewhat well. Roughly twice as many Biden supporters as Trump supporters have a pessimistic view of the health of democracy. Still, 3 in 10 Trump supporters say democracy isn’t working well. And at least 8 in 10 on both sides say the other candidate’s election would weaken democracy.

While Republicans fear the possibility of what Trump predicts without evidence will be a rigged election, Democrats are worried that inconsistent election laws, voter intimidation and Republican lawsuits will make it more difficult for their supporters to cast ballots given heightened health concerns during the pandemic.

The poll finds fewer than half of voters say they are highly confident that votes in the election will be counted accurately, but more Biden supporters than Trump supporters say that, 53 percent vs. 28 percent.

There also are dramatic differences in concerns about the pandemic – and views of Trump’s response to it – based on political leanings.

Nearly 6 in 10 Biden supporters report being very worried that they or someone in their family will be infected with the coronavirus, compared to just about 2 in 10 Trump supporters. Close to half of Trump supporters say they are not worried.

Linda Railey, a 73-year-old Republican who lives in rural Alexander City, Alabama, said she’s not worried about the pandemic because she and her husband are taking precautions like washing their hands, limiting contact with other people and wearing masks when they are in public. They only go to the grocery store and church, she said.

“I worry about it for other people,” Railey said, noting that she lives in a rural area about 15 minutes outside the nearest town. “We stay home as much as we can.”

And as the nation struggles through intense clashes over civil rights, the poll highlights different views on the value of diversity.

Half of Trump supporters said that the nation’s diverse population “of many different races, ethnicities, religions, and backgrounds” makes the country stronger. About 3 in 10 Trump supporters said such diversity doesn’t strengthen or weaken the nation, while about 2 in 10 say it makes the country weaker.

Among Biden supporters, 75 percent believe that diversity makes the country stronger.

Overall, Biden has an advantage over Trump as the candidate trusted to handle the coronavirus pandemic (52 percent to 28 percent), race relations (53 percent to 28 percent) and Supreme Court nominations (45 percent to 34 percent). Biden and Trump are competitive on the economy, gaining the trust of 43 percent and 42 percent, respectively. But each camp overwhelmingly trusts its own candidate over the other to handle key issues.

Noah Talbott, a 22-year-old unaffiliated voter who lives outside Richmond, Virginia, and works at Chick-fil-A, criticized Trump’s leadership on several issues and blamed him for exacerbating political and racial divisions.

“I wouldn’t say I’m proud to be an American right now,” he said. “We’re way too divided.”

Talbott didn’t vote four years ago but said he would vote for Biden this fall – a decision he described as “more of a vote against Trump” than for his Democratic challenger.

For all their differences, the poll found that both Biden and Trump supporters are about equally engaged in the campaign.

Conard, of Missouri, said he doesn’t see an end to the divisions plaguing America, but he said it’s in Trump’s best interests to unify the nation.

He plans to vote for the president on Election Day, believing that Biden has already had a chance after spending almost a half-century in Washington.

“One man had 47 years and he didn’t get it done so you’ve got to look somewhere else,” Conrad said. “Trump wants the country to do well. For it to do well and for him to look good, he’s got to bring people together. And he can do it – at least, I hope he can.”