Living with Advanced Disease
I very much like this essay from The New York Times. It is direct, in your face reality about metastatic breast cancer, and, from where I sit, this is a view that is too rarely expressed. Here is an excerpt and a link to read it all. Please do.
A Pink-Ribbon Race, Years Long
By RONI CARYN RABIN
Published: January 17, 2011
By the time Suzanne Hebert realized that her doctor was wrong and that the hard lump in herbreast wasn't a normal part of breast-feeding, the tumor was the size of a stopwatch and the cancer had spread to her spine.
Still, Dr. Hebert, an optometrist in South Windsor, Conn., went to her first support group meeting thinking that as bad as things were, at least breast cancer was not an obscure disease; she would not be alone.
But the room was filled with women who had early localized cancers. Some had completed chemotherapy years ago; they were "survivors." When one newcomer asked Dr. Hebert for her story, she couldn't bring herself to tell the truth.
Although great strides have been made in the treatment of breast cancer, recent events, including Elizabeth Edwards 's death last month and the government's decision to ban the drug Avastin as a treatment for metastatic breast cancer, have drawn attention to the limits of medical progress -and to the nearly 40,000 patients who die of the disease each year.
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