Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The Conference


Two Fridays ago I was sitting in a room with 50 other black women who had all had breast cancer. Many of them had had triple negative cancers, and still others spoke of battling the disease more than once. One woman survived breast cancer but was recently diagnosed with another. I wept for her, a stranger.

One of my doctors put the conference together. I like her- she's a quirky researcher type-A type. Funny, a little cynical, a little awkward, an adoptee obsessed with genetics. This is the type of researcher I want in my corner.

{pants- talbots; top- hype}

I left even more sure of what I have to do.  If you have been reading here for any amount of time, you know that I don't get overly sentimental about much.  But there was something in that room: kinship, kindness...but also fear. And that is what I won't live with.

There was a woman there whose husband also attended. I will never forget her story: got cancer. battled cancer. beat cancer. And then, because of a thorough doc, found cancer again even though nothing unusual showed up on her mammogram. She said, "My husband has been my rock...he's been to every appointment, every mammogram, every treatment with me. I could not have done this if it were not for him." 

I was touched. As she talked I realized something else- that thorough doctor?  She's my surgical oncologist too. 

I'm glad I went.

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