Saturday, February 27, 2010


I remember the day that I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer on September 28, 2009 - a Monday, Yom Kippur, and 9 years to the day after Israeli leader Ariel Sharon took a walk on the Temple Mount - a day that many mark as the launch of a decade long Intifada or uprising by the Palestinians (I was there in Jerusalem that day when the rocks came lobbing over the Western Wall and the 8 years that followed). I remember all of it as if it were yesterday. A day after my diagnosis, Greg, my mom and I marched off first thing in the morning to meet a host of surgeons and oncologists ending the exhausting rounds at Georgetown University Hospital at 5:30 pm. That same day, September 29, Annalise, our 8 year-old had an important day herself and my sister Caitlin took her to the orthodontist to get her braces put on. I was not there. But on Thursday of this week, I was there when she got her braces removed and bought her her first pack of gum in 5 months. The next day I had my last taxol treatment - most likely my last chemotherapy. I posed as we walked out the door of the Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown for a picture with the man himself, VInce Lombardi - the quotable NFL coach who embodied the never surrender attitude that inspires me everyday. My blood counts had been "perfect", according to my friend and nurse, Beth, who declared it was the fastest return on blood counts from the lab that she could ever recall. Absolute neutrofil count of 4.3. We were off to the races. Greg videotaped our last session. There were a few tears at the end but mostly smiles as the entire infusion staff came up to hug me and sent me off with a standing ovation and cheers as I walked down the hall and out the doors. I held back my tears until I got to the elevator. So now Annalise has a new smile to match that of her mom's. Thank you all for all of your well wishes yesterday. We did it!