I'm finishing this week remembering Lauren. Who? Lauren Terrazzano. She was a journalist. She wrote a column in Newsday which is a Long Island paper. Lauren had lung cancer. She was treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering. She is how I found out about Kites for a Cure. Her writing transcends lung cancer. She wrote about the stigma but she also penned articles about the stupid things people say and Lance and Elizabeth and the wig guy whose name I was given when I learned I would need chemo and her husband's devotion as a caregiver and every single column is an excellent read.
I was in and out of every building at Memorial Sloan Kettering from July 18, 2006 when I had my surgical biopsy in Manhattan through October of 2007 when my reconstruction was finally complete. Lauren's columns began on September 5, 2006. She died on May 16th, 2007. I promise you will not be sorry if you take the weekend and read every single one of these columns.
This is an article written about Lauren in USA Today on April 22 shortly before her death. An obituary appeared in the Boston Globe.
I think her writing had such a tremendous impact on me because I was LIVING what she was writing and I was living it in real time. I could relate. It didn't matter that I had an early stage breast cancer and Lauren had a recurrent lung cancer. Cancer is cancer. Except we know for many, it's not. Lung cancer.... definitely not the good cancer and definitely the "you did this to yourself" cancer.
I cried the morning of May 17, 2007 when I picked up Newsday and brought it inside. And I saved the paper. Lauren humanizes lung cancer. I think of her often. I think of her as my friend even though I have no connection to her whatsoever. I just learned her father wrote a book which was released in October. It's downloading to my iPad as I type. Life, With Cancer
THIS is the face of lung cancer. This is a voice I miss and one that was silenced far too soon. This is why we MUST join forces so the day DOES come when there is #NoStigma.