When I got to church this past Sunday, someone from the choir hit me up to contribute to a breast cancer walk. She is a breast cancer survivor; I always comply.

That afternoon, the Wife and I go to a potluck party celebrating the end of the medical treatment of a friend of mine of 30 years and her “return to the world”. I had found out about her diagnosis of breast cancer on February 1, right after my mother had had a stroke. The lump in her breast was discovered during a routine mammogram, something she had not had in several years. She had surgery “on the coldest day of the year,” she wrote in the invitation, followed by the “part-time job” of chemo, then radiation.

At the party, she did the big reveal, as she took off her hat to reveal her hair of “about 1/2 an inch long which is about three feet shorter than it used to be!” She practically insisted that everyone touch her hair, which was like a baby’s hair, or maybe a kitten’s fur. But it was nice. She and I talked a bit, mostly about how poisonous the post-surgical treatment was, but of course, everyone wanted a chance to visit with her.

An interesting paragraph from the invitation:
If you want to learn more about cancer and the history of cancer treatments, I strongly recommend the book, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. It reads like a mystery novel and is written by an oncologist [Siddhartha Mukherjee]. Reading this book made me appreciate the incredible, amazing amount of work that has gone into researching cures for cancer. Such as – did you know radiation was used for the first time in 1896 (that is not a typo!)? Or that mustard gas lead to chemotherapy?

The Wife and I had to return home to care for the Daughter after a couple hours, but we both had a splendid time.

2 Responses to “A Real Red-Letter, Pink Ribbon Day”

  • Lynne Jackson says:

    Aww, Roger, you wrote about me!!!! Thank you for the nice blog post. It was good to see you both!

    Please tell all of your friends who are women or who care about women to get their mammograms! Finding cancer in the early stages leads to more cures. Everyone should take whatever screenings available for cancer.

    Cancer is a dreadful disease. But, we are fortunate that there are treatments out there (harsh though they may be) and people can go back to living.

    Just think – if more research was done into cancer and cures for cancer, more people could have really cool scientist jobs, and when cures are found, more people with cancer could live longer, better lives. Maybe I should send this idea down to the Occupy Wall Street people to add to their list of requests. There is soooo much work needed in cancer research and treatment. I think we should spend money on that instead of war.

    My diagnosis is NOT a secret! I am happy to speak with other women facing treatment for breast cancer. I spoke with several women before my treatments and it was very helpful.

    Thank you, Roger!
    Lynne Jackson

  • Good to hear positive stories about cancer. I have a friend who is going through his fourth course of chemo and it is bloody. I’m not sure I’d have the courage.

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