Author Archive

What, Me Worry? And Worry, and Worry

By on March 29th, 2012 Categories: The Breast Cancer Journey

I know a woman who has lived more than 30 years after a diagnosis of estrogen-negative breast cancer. When I asked her recently if she still worried about it returning, she said, “Not really.” I love that the fear eventually goes away, but I hope it is far sooner than 30 years, as by then I will be 90 and, at the rate I am …

Holiday Stress + Breast Cancer = A Challenge

By on December 22nd, 2011 Categories: The Breast Cancer Journey

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, croons Andy Williams over the store’s loud speaker. Really? I think. I’m sure the retailer wants me to agree with Andy, which might mean I’ll toss some more goodies into my cart. But I am not convinced. Buying stuff does not equal happiness, nor does piped-in music mean all is wonderful. I leave the store …

You CAN Survive Triple-Negative

By on September 28th, 2011 Categories: The Breast Cancer Journey

Triple-negative breast cancer has caught the attention of major researchers throughout the world, which is a great thing—it means that we are learning more and more about how to prevent and treat this illness. The downside of the research popularity is that the media and medical journals have developed depressing and frightening catch phrases for it, such as deadly, particularly aggressive or, my favorite, a

Body to Pat: Pay Attention

By on July 6th, 2011 Categories: The Breast Cancer Journey

For most of my life, I have been oblivious to myself. Sure, I was pretty confident about who I was; I knew I was smart, capable, funny, but I knew this on an intellectual level, not an emotional or, most important, a physical one. In the 15 months before I was diagnosed, I had four bladder infections. Intellectually I knew something was wrong with my …

Don’t Define Me By My Cancer

By on May 3rd, 2011 Categories: The Breast Cancer Journey

People who have lived through cancer just want to get on with their lives — head into the future like everybody else, free of cancer, free of its memory. That’s why the labels others affix to us can make us especially testy.

Take, for example, the label survivor. Please. It look me a while after diagnosis to understand why this word annoyed those who …

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