WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2015

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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and cancer. In the waiting room on my first day, I ran into an old friend who was also starting radiation. We had the good fortune of going through this portion of our cancer journeys together. I learned much from being with her, and from others who showed up around the same time as we did every day, who were working overtime to find the bravery, energy, and positivity to get through their treatments and embrace whatever life held on the other side. I'll never for- get the notes that former patients left for us that read like liturgy: "I just finished seven long months of treatment and you will be here one day, too." "Be strong." "How big is your brave?" "I have plenty of hope. I just need a cure." And a personal favorite, "Cancer, I hate you more than the Yankees." * * * It's almost Breast Cancer Awareness Month again. Radiation is now behind me and I have just completed the first six months of a five-year run with an estrogen-suppressing drug. The cancer I had feeds on estrogen, so we are cutting off its food supply. While about half of women undertaking this hor- mone therapy tolerate their rapid reduction in estrogen well, the other half are often brought to their knees. I am one of the latter. Just when I was ready to give up on it, a friend of mine cautioned me that she wished she had stuck with it; her breast cancer came back four years later. So I'm still pill pop- ping and actively finding ways to reduce the symptoms. This unexpected journey has been a bigger deal that I ever imagined. We are still manag- ing the effects of the treatment — and bene- fitting from the gifts — almost a year later. For starters, I am cancer-free! We've also tasted the energy that is unleashed in accept- ance, the strength that comes in community, and the comfort that comes from a highly competent medical team that really cares. These benefits continue to infuse us with newfound resources that will accompany us into the future, wherever it takes us. An Unexpected Journey 110 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 5

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