Thursday, July 31, 2008

Kid Fears: A Survivor's Story

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I never thought "I'm going to die"... I moaned "oh, this is gonna suck". And then I thought "well, at least I'll finally get my perky B's".

Maybe it was this kind of positive attitude that kept me going... and going... and going... to doctors, to labs, to surgeons, to "drip trips"(chemo), through scientific tunnels of treatment... I watched a whole season of Reno 911! on my ipod in waiting rooms, I pointed out spelling and grammatical errors on signage to hospital staff while on gurneys, and I pushed my morphine button like a contestant on Jeapordy in my hospital bed... and when the tube came loose and a puddle of morphine formed on the floor, you better believe I let them know damn well I wasn't going to pay for it.

Three years later, I still tear up thinking about those months, but I don't cry for myself. Sure, I recall painful moments and I feel my still healing muscles tense up, but I'm sadder when I think about all the people who aren't here three years later.

I am very vocal about early detection. I was 39 and it was my first mammogram.

I am on the board of directors for the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes (formerly the Ithaca Breast Cancer Alliance), and I have become a sort of touchstone in our community. I have been interviewed for numerous articles, I have been a guest celebrity judge for Cayuga Radio Group's "Ithaca Idol" at the Tompkins County Relay for Life... twice... and I had the honor of being the keynote speaker for the Relay for Life Kick Off Dinner... which happened to fall on my birthday.

For that presentation/speech, I decided to make a film about my experience at the Young Survival Coalition's annual conference. It is semi-autobiographical, but I was incredibly inspired the most amazing people I have met... young survivors.

Please watch this film, "Kid Fears: A Survivor's Story"... note that music does come in about 30 seconds in... and pass it on...

Thank you.

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