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