I remember hearing in 1976 about Betty Rollin, a TV reporter who had written a book about her experience with breast cancer called, First, You Cry.
I was in my 20s, and a new mom. In fact, my daughter Becca turns 31 today and I remember watching book-tour type interviews with Ms. Rollin as I rocked Becca to sleep. (Happy Birthday, Becca!)
Then 8-10 or so years ago we heard about Katie Couric’s husband — dead at 40 something of colon cancer. So what does Katie do? She has a colonoscopy with TV cameras rolling so others will see that it’s not so bad — but it certainly does so much good.
Fast forward all these years — and news in the past few months about both Robin Roberts, ABC’s Good Morning America host, and now Hoda Kotbe from NBC — breast cancer, and sharing their stories to help other women.
How powerful! These four brave, strong women, sharing their experiences so others can learn, and eventually, be saved from the horrors that later stages of cancer can bring. They share the medical, the emotional and everything in between. And there are others, people in the limelight who use their own experiences to help others.
I feel a bit of a kinship. My disease may not have turned out to be cancer, but my reaction has been the same. To share, in hopes that others won’t suffer.
The strength of women astounds me sometimes. It’s patientude for sure. I’m proud to be counted among the strong ones.
And my very best thoughts and wishes go out to Robin, Hoda, and all you women who are out there, today, using your incredible strength to carry you through the emotions and treatment, while you hold the hands of others who must follow in your footsteps.
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