Sunday, September 21, 2014

Profile of a woman dying of breast cancer

·         I am every woman. There are parts of me that are you.
·         I love my family more than anything and they love me. Or so they say.
·         I am neither young nor old. I am unlikely to ever see retirement age and will never use my retirement savings.
·         I am neither rich nor poor, but closer to rich than poor due to a lifetime of working and saving.
·         I am 5 ft. 6 in. and have never weighed more than 115 lbs. except when I was pregnant. After each pregnancy I was back at 115 lbs. by my 6-week checkup.
·         I had four normal pregnancies and gave natural birth to four healthy children. I breastfed each baby for 18 months.
·         I have never smoked and drank very little alcohol (about a glass a month) and none in the last two decades.
·         I never went on the birth control pill because there was a study published in the 1980s that it was associated with breast cancer. See above for four children.
·         I have been a vegetarian almost all my life and a vegan for the last decade.
·         I have run and walked 50 – 60 miles a week almost every week since I was in high school, even up to the day my babies were born and a few days later.
·         Most of my shoes are running shoes.
·         I floss my teeth twice a day.
·         I am a terrible dancer and cannot sing in tune.
·         I have no sense of direction and will get lost anywhere. Getting lost is my special skill.
·         I cannot draw and am in awe of all who can.
·         I’m allergic to anti-cholinergics and dairy.
·         I have been prepared to die for my beliefs.
·         I care very much for the mentally ill. I give a dollar to all homeless people who ask. I keep a stack of dollar bills for this purpose.
·         My students call me the department mom.
·         I am a card carrying member of the ACLU. Although I don’t support all their causes, I feel that someone should.
·         I can hold very hot things and I stop watches that I try to wear.
·         I have hundreds of thousands of photographs of my family and trips.
·         I have had four different first languages. I learn and forget languages very easily.
·         I have traveled a lot.
·         I have two master’s degrees and a PhD. I am a scientist.
·         I have had three completely different careers.
·         I love JK Rowling, Jane Austen and Alexander McCall Smith.
·         I read about one book a week.
·         I covered up my radiation tattoos with tattoos of a four-leaf clover (my four children), a stylized deathly hallows, an owl and a dragon.
·         I cry easily when you tell me a sad story. I faint when I see someone in pain.
·         I hate scary movies.
·         I am very loyal and find betrayal unforgivable. I can hold a grudge for a long time.
·         I laugh often and loudly to the embarrassment of my children.
·         I am dying even though I did everything I knew to prevent this disease and then its recurrence.

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