Editor’s Note: I first posted Laurie’s story last year during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I thought her courageous story was one that should be shared with as many women as possible. I’m re-posting it this year as encouragement for anyone diagnosed with, or being treated for, breast cancer. In her blog, Not Just About Cancer Laurie talks candidly about “what happens when you are 38 years old, write for a living and are diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer.” She wrote this post on August 3, 2007, an hour before she turned forty… Continue reading Not Just About Cancer: A survivor’s story
I first read Laurie’s story on Blogher after she’d responded to The Women at Forty’s Five Questions challenge. I immediately visited her blog, Not Just About Cancer where she talks candidly about “What happens when you are 38 years old, write for a living and are diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer.” Laurie’s graciously agreed to share one of her posts with Women at Forty. It was written on August 3, 2007, an hour before she turned forty…
In an hour, I will be forty.
The celebrating began in early July and I have been very, very spoiled.
Life is good and I have more reason for hope than I have had in a long time.
But I would be lying if I did not admit that this birthday is a bit tinged with sadness.
My life, at forty, does not look the way I thought it would. Cancer has irrevocably changed me and the choices I will make. My expectations and aspirations will never again be what they once were.
So, yes, I’m a little sad.
But I have, thus far, defied medical expectations and I am determined that I will continue to do so.
I have a beautiful family and a community of friends who have, in turn, exceeded my expectations of love and friendship.
I am feeling more creative, inspired and confident than I have since childhood.
And it feels like more good things are just around the corner.
I need to indulge this sadness, to give it voice, and as I write, it dissipates.
Tomorrow, we head to one of my favourite places in the world, where I will be reunited with my nine-year old, who I have not seen in almost two weeks (he has been hanging out with his cousins).
I have missed him more than he has missed me (which is as it should be) but I can’t wait Continue reading bittersweet milestone…
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of breast cancer survivors and the loved ones we’ve lost, Women at Forty will display our special pink logo throughout the month of October.
Forty is the year women are encouraged to get their first mammogram. I’m gearing up for mine, and am curious about other women’s experiences. I’ve heard horror stories about the discomfort and pain involved in getting a mammogram, but I’ve heard far more stories about how having one ultimately saved someone’s life.
Mammograms are about as comfortable as a visit to the gynecologist, but ladies, it’s something we’ve got to do for ourselves and the people who love us. If you’re uninsured, like so many of us are, and worried about the cost of a mammogram, the United Breast Cancer Foundation (UBCF) links women to free or low cost breast screenings and follow-up care at their local hospitals and health centers. To find out where free screenings are in your area, visit the Free Breast Cancer Screening page on the (UBCF) website.
If you’ve got a personal story about getting your own mammogram done, surviving breast cancer or living with loss after a loved one has succumbed to breast cancer, please share your stories with us. You can submit your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to acknowledge a survivor or lost loved one, please give them a Women at Forty shout in the comment section of this post. We’ll feature your stories and tributes throughout the month.