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What I Learned from Breast Cancer

Three strong women, three unique journeys. Excerpts from the essays by our runners-up.

The Friend Who Came and Went
"Wanna see my scar?" Shelley asked suddenly.

"I'll show you mine if you show me yours," I answered.

We lifted up our shirts and stared at the mirror images of our mastectomy scars. Another person might have looked and quickly averted her eyes. But we knew that our scars deserved more than a fleeting glance. At that moment, we weren't just looking at each other's scars. We were looking into each other's hearts.
-Sheryl Kraft, 53, Wilton, CT

Code Red
The day of my first chemotherapy treatment arrives. Blatant in my show of false courage, I put on my red cashmere sweater, brush my long hair until it gleams, and paint my lips with my favorite Chanel lipstick. I'm going in style. I wonder how the chemo will affect me. What will it feel like as it courses through my body? How sick will I be? When will I lose my hair? Will I lose those 10 extra pounds? I'm about to get all the answers, and then some.
-Nikki Marchesiello, 62, Corte Madera, CA

Comfort for a Cause

For more inspiring stories about breast cancer (including the complete essays from our runners-up), check out A Cup of Comfort for Breast Cancer Survivors. For every copy purchased, the books publisher, Adams Media, will donate 50 cents to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.


Originally published on September 22, 2008


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