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I am a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin & a best friend. I am a poet, a lawyer & a survivor. I've learned that God will give you a second chance.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Opposite Ends

On October 30, 2007 I sat in a surgeon’s office as she told me and my husband that I had breast cancer. Seven years later I found myself at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center with my friends Linda and her daughter Tina as we navigated our way through appointments and difficult conversations. I watched as both nurses and doctors explained options and prognosis in neutral tones; explanations that palliative care does not cure. It only delays the inevitable.

I was impressed by the neurological oncologist who gently examined Linda and then discussed what was happening. While his voice was calm his face betrayed his concern. He listened with his eyes when Tina and I nodded our agreement to one of his suggestions.
The team is made up of at least three oncology doctors, one who is the primary team leader. The team also consists of two oncology nurses. One nurse is a nurse practitioner who works with the primary oncologist. She also works with my oncologist, so I have known her for almost seven years. She sat with Linda; completely focused on her while she delivered the most difficult news. In the end we all knew that the decision to move forward was the direction we will go. We will continue with the next round of treatments.
Before the nurse practitioner left Tina asked her how she could possibly do her job every day. As she shared that every patient is different, every journey and outcome unique, I was struck by the fact that in that room, at that moment, Nurse had two of her patients with her. Patients who are on opposite ends of the spectrum.
Being involved in Linda’s life has changed me. I still love the pink ribbon and I smile at the “Save the Tata’s” teams during the Avon Walk because they bring hope. However, while my story is one of healing and hope, Linda’s is not. For me, it is no longer about saving a woman’s breasts. It is about saving a woman’s life.


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2 comments:

  1. Tears and prayers for Linda, her family and you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very powerful. Prayers for you.

    ReplyDelete