My Fear of “The Big R”
by Fredricka R. Maister
Cancer just the word could spin me into ruminations of doom and gloom, pain and suffering, and possible death. Ironically, despite my very real fear of one day hearing “You’ve got cancer,” I never truly believed that I would ever be diagnosed with the disease. I was young, physically fit, and health conscious. I didn’t indulge in junk food, didn’t smoke or drink, and was born to a family with bad cardiac DNA, not wayward cancer cells.
Do I Know the Lady in the Picture?
by Pamela Estes
A girl with a short, choppy haircut looks back at me. She’s not young, not old, but dangling somewhere in between. Do I know her? Is she a part of my past, perhaps an old friend, or just someone I thought I once knew?
House Resolution 787 – Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day October 13
by Kathy Coursey-Boes
On July 19, 2009, at 6am, I drove with my 12 year old daughter Addie from Oxford, Georgia to Washington, DC, to join our group of breast cancer patients and family members. The Metastatic Breast Cancer Network would train us in the legislative and advocacy process. The drive was long and the day was hot, but it was important for me to be in Washington and have my voice heard. It was important for Addie to see me fighting on behalf of my beliefs and the needs of others. I was part of the group representing all of us with stage IV breast cancer and the issues that are unique to us.
A Few Minutes with Namrata
by Laura Shipp
Because of her family’s history of breast cancer, Namrata Singh Gujral had her first mammogram at age 25. For the next seven years, those regular mammograms came back clean every time. After all, she was young – too young to get breast cancer, she thought – and healthy. But the actress who is known for her titular role in Americanizing Shelley says an inner voice prompted her to be vigilant anyway. It’s a good thing she listened.
Sisters on the Journey
by Karen Sudduth
As my friend and I sat in that bistro, we shared more than French pastries. We acknowledged our vulnerability, and we shared hope. We were two sisters on the journey, nourishing our bodies and spirits with encouragement.
Bald Chicks Rule
by Mary Beth Hall
My new counseling job at the high school started in late July, just a few months after my breast cancer diagnosis. I could hardly keep my head up because of the radiation treatments, and I hadn’t even started working yet. I didn’t know how I was going to start a new job in this shape.
Men Don’t Have Breasts!
by Eric Dunlap
A year before my cancer diagnosis, after working in the yard, I noticed a spot of blood on my shirt. Thinking that I had scratched myself, I dismissed the occurrence. Later that day, another spot appeared. After looking at my chest, I determined that the blood came from the nipple, so I scheduled a doctor’s appointment.
A New Perspective
by Florence Ferreira
Three years ago, a doctor told me that I had three to six months to live. My breast cancer had spread extensively to my bones, my lungs, and my liver. Today, I am in stable condition. I was very upset at this doctor’s insensitivity for a while. How dare anyone tell me when I’m going to die? But looking back, his gloomy prognosis paradoxically gave me a new life-giving perspective.