Wednesday, October 24, 2012


One of my colleagues - someone I also consider a friend - has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

She is fairly hopeful; it's a non-aggressive form and was apparently diagnosed early. She's decided to do chemo for it. (Not sure if she has had/is having surgery....I don't think she has, at least, she hasn't been out any length of time).

She came in this week with a wig. It looks much like her natural hair but the coloring is subtly enough different that I knew. (I didn't say anything. I never know whether or not to say anything. I tend to come down on the side of "let the other person bring it up if they want to." I know when my dad had cancer he did NOT want to talk about it, except with his doctors). She's started the chemo and has started losing her hair. (I know, people say "it's only hair" but I can see how that would be unsettling to traumatic to a person.)

She says she's counting the weeks until January, that's when she's done. But it's going to suck for her - she teaches a heavy load and a couple of the really important classes in the department, and her specialty is such it would be hard for someone to cover for her if she was feeling too unwell to teach. (Then again: I think I would rather go to work and teach if I at all could, rather than sit at home and think about what was going on in my body). At least she has got less of a load of committeework, and she's close to retirement, so she's not really doing research - so she can focus on teaching and on getting better.

But yeah, cancer can F off and die. I know way too many people fighting it right now.

1 comment:

Dave E. said...

I'm sorry to hear about your friend. Every case is different, of course, but my mom went through a lumpectomy, radiation, and chemo roughly ten years ago and is still cancer-free at 77 now. She went through the hair loss and wig phase and it was tough, but not the toughest thing. Treatments have advanced even more since then, so I hope your friend is as fortunate as Mom was.