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February 2017

Breast Cancer: Tragedy, Followed by Discovery, Then Played Forward

Breast Cancer: Tragedy, Followed by Discovery, Then Played Forward

This short article, sent anonymously by a gynecologist to the periFACTS OB/GYN Academy, describes one man’s journey to discovery.

I am a physician, a husband, a father, and a grandfather. Many years ago, at the age of 43, my former wife was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer and died at age 47. Our journey began the day before Valentine’s Day when her mammogram was scheduled. I had ordered flowers to be delivered the next day. What should have been a perfect Valentine’s Day instead was filled with phone calls to a surgeon and an oncologist regarding how to manage breast cancer. While outsiders might have felt sympathy, sadness, even pity, could they really understand the significance of those next four years? The path my wife and I took can truly be appreciated only by those who have traveled it.