One of the gifts I got in the Cancer Christmas I am forced to celebrate every day of my life is an oncologist named Ann Partridge.
Newly diagnosed in 2004, I searched for someone who could relate to me as a young woman with kids, a husband, ovaries that still worked–and a surprise diagnosis of breast cancer.
I was told there was a woman who was phenomenal at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, that she specialized in women under the age of 40 who get breast cancer. She’d been on the Today Show, she was affiliated with Harvard Medical School, she knew her stuff…
And it was Ann Partridge, MD, MPH. She took me through the drill of how to “be” a cancer patient, and I was beyond grateful for her support and encouragement, not to mention her medical ability.
That was 7 years ago.
Today, at my book signing– at the same hospital that I came for 8 rounds of dose-dense chemotherapy and 5 years of check-ups–I came back not as a patient but as an author. I was proud of myself and of all the ups and downs, highs and lows that I’d had to endure to get there.
And you know who else was proud of me?
Ann Partridge, MD, MPH.
She came down and hugged me and told me she loved my book, loved my work and told me to keep on keeping on.
As a former–and now current–breast cancer fighter, that means the world to me. So, though I planned to do it anyway, I’m going to keep on keep on.
After all, it’s doctor’s orders.
(Ann Partridge and Ann Murray Paige discuss ‘pink tips’ at the Dana Farber ‘pink tips’ book signing, Boston, MA. October 28, 2011.)