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Health + Wellness
The news about breast cancer is better than ever, including targeted treatments, more options and better outcomes. Area women talk about their experience.
The chance of a woman in this country having invasive breast cancer is about one in eight. Those are women diagnosed with breast cancer. How many don’t have the illness but are still touched by it? Think of the husbands and children. Healthy or at risk, breast cancer to a woman can feel like a time bomb. This is familiar, well-versed ground, at least now it is. Some women are of a generation who didn’t say the word “cancer” or “breast.” All was conveyed in hushed tones and internalized. A family secret. A fight brought it out into the open; a fight by people tired of seeing people they love suffer. Now people demand research, treatment options, support, and, as much as anything, the opportunity to talk about their experience — to be heard. The words, certainly, are no longer whispered behind cupped hands, but, rather, displayed on magazine covers; and the topic often becomes the center of conversation in any group of women. And everyone, not just those most directly affected by breast cancer, raise funds. Among the most notable fundraisers, of course, are the walks and runs and elegant galas and black-tie events; but now, cleverly to some, […]
One month out of college, my old bedroom became my grandmother’s. It was the one room on the main level of the house that could be transformed into a bedroom — and it had been recycled many times: my brother’s room, then an office, then my teenage bedroom. When Grandma fell ill, she moved in. It was a natural move in many ways; most important, perhaps, is that my whole family is in the medical profession. Except for me, the baby of the group, slinking off to the library to read John Updike or Flannery O’Connor. What did I know about injections and hospital corners? But this time, it was my grandmother Helen. The woman who baked me tinfuls of Scottish shortbread and slipped dollops of cream on top of my cereal. The woman who turned to me, with waist-high children surrounding her, and replied to my eager calls of “Me too, me too!” with a gentle hand under my chin and deep loving look in her eye, “Of course, you too, my little chickadee.” Here she was in a hospital bed in my old room. She had suffered a stroke that left her paralyzed on the left side of […]
Westport Magazine looks at the generation taking care of their aging parents, from health-care concerns to financial decisions.
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