Before Kathy took the stage, Dr. Laura Liberman spoke. This is a video of her from another presentation she gave at MSK. She's very funny. She's warm. She's smart. Last night, she was wearing a spectacular hat. Watch the video. It's her favorite hat and as such, it makes an appearance in the video. It's called The Butterfly Hat. I know that will mean something to at least one person who reads this blog.
Last night, she was singing my favorite song. Lots of her conversation was about her cognitive issues. She brought the house down when she was exiting the stage. It was about her "craft" and on that stage, in front of all sorts of luminaries, she had to explain... CRAFT? What the hell is craft? She didn't attempt to disguise her words..... She just blurted it out.....
"Can't Remember A Fucking Thing."
The real highlight of my night was the reception afterward. I met someone with whom I've been tweeting and talking for months. The real world meet-ups? Nothing is more heartwarming than hugging someone in the 3D world. This was ever so special last night and it was even more special when I was introduced to HER friend..... another participant in the Visible Ink program. We chatted with Laura who could not have been more gracious and kind and genuine. Such a special evening.
Until...... It became the tale of two cities. New York and Los Angeles.
The bottom fell out as I was driving home. My phone chirped and I reached over to glance at the text message from our friend, Kathi. "Dr. Love has leukemia." I was positively destroyed to read those words. Suddenly, people who have made some rather obnoxious cracks about Dr. Love (including her unimpressive research) over the past week are sending thoughts and support her way? There seem to be sparks flying in the blog world and on twitter and quite frankly, I have little patience for any of it. Lines are being drawn in the sand all over the place and I'll repeat, I have no patience for any of it. Unrealistic expectations, low blows, personal affronts..... "my opinion is better than yours" ..... I'm so done with this portion of the bullshit.
I don't like the word survivor. Others do. I don't like the word warrior. My friend who died in January referred to me as a warrior in a text message she sent to me just months before her cancer metastasized. I softened my stance on the word out of respect and love for her. I can't erase the text messages as they are my last connection to her. She was trying to boost my morale during an exceptionally horrible time in my life. I was her warrior.
I refuse to embrace The Ribbon but I don't belittle those who do. I just hope that people are smart about how they choose to throw money at the ribbon. I hope I can shine a light where there was darkness. And still, I see people taking jabs at others. And then, I see others aligning themselves with the side they feel will emerge at the top of the heap when the dust settles.
Trust me. There is about to be a pink implosion and it's right beneath the surface. I refuse to participate. I will continue to speak my mind. I will speak my own truth. I will respect others. And frankly, those lines in the sand are beginning to feel a bit cliquish. I'm reminded of something I heard many years ago. "Women do such a disservice to each other." How can we ever accomplish anything if we continue this need to determine who is highest on the food chain. What the hell difference does it make? Aren't we all striving for the same goal?
If these words are making you uncomfortable, then it's likely you have a stick in your hand OR, you are feeling as frustrated and upset by all of this as I am. If you have no clue what the hell I am talking about, you are following your own truth. And to you I say, be you.
Me? I was riding high and then I came crashing down. That is classically my dad. "Life turns on a dime, Annie." And to that I say, "Yes, Dad. I know. You taught me well." And you also taught me to be true to myself and stand by my beliefs. I shall. More on that in the days ahead.....
I scanned through Podcast #2 on this list. It's called Mother-Daughter Conversations about Breast Cancer and it was released this past March. In other words, the information isn't outdated. Every speaker I listened to was nothing short of stellar. It's a long podcast but if you are interested in evidence based medicine and not the opinions being bantered about based upon "early indications in small studies," it's worthy of your time. In addition to the discussion about sporadic, familial and genetic breast cancer, Dr. Mark Robson walks us through the role of diet, exercise, drinking, smoking, birth control pills and soy intake as it pertains to breast cancer "prevention." I don't believe he used that word because a GOOD doctor will not mislead a patient. You might be surprised at what he has to say. He doesn't hypothesize. He simply states what is KNOWN. I like that.
As for this second recommendation? I was in the auditorium as this podcast was being taped. Dr. Larry Norton is discussing Advances Toward the Cure and Prevention of Breast Cancer. His presentation was just a couple of months ago and I love his style.
I haven't had the opportunity to go through some of the other podcasts but these two are wonderful. I think it behooves each of us to remember that regardless of all of the static and the hype, we need to fine tune the channel so we can HEAR what is being said by those whom I believe to be among the finest doctors and medical professionals in the world.
I love my news feeds. I love reading the early studies so I can stay ahead of the curve and discuss what may be right around the corner when I'm with my doctors but mostly, I rely upon what is proven. Speculation has no place in evidence based medicine.