Monday, September 12, 2016

For 1st time, mammogram doesn't scare survivor

Breast cancer anxieties of 'Rollercoaster' author's wife vanish — after only 23 years 

Cancer-free Fox and Weingarten
My wife, Nancy Fox, wasn't at all afraid.

For the first time in 23 years.

She'd previously been nervous each time she'd gone for a mammogram, fearful the test would show her breast cancer had returned.

This go-'round, just last week, no anxiety — probably because she'd been cleared by her gynecologist two days before.

The follow-up letter from her primary physician confirmed the good news:

"No signs of breast cancer."

The letter also reprinted a statement required by California law that her dense breast tissue "can make it harder to evaluate the results of your mammogram and may also be associated with an increase risk of breast cancer."

But even that didn't scare her.

Her current emotional stability and mine clearly are far from the emotions I detailed more than two decades ago about having to let go "of my anger at doctors for not having instant answers, at pharmaceutical companies for manufacturing life-extending but not necessarily life-saving drugs, at myself for not having a magic wand."

Yes, I'd initially been petrified "breast cancer would be my wife's killer," but I also was thrilled to note more than two decades later that "she's flourishing today, as am I."

Specifics on how I, Woody Weingarten, and my wife managed the ups and downs of the diagnosis, treatments and aftermath can be found in "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," my VitalityPress book aimed at male caregivers.

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