Our Heroes
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Mary Parker, Regina Kelder

From Songs and Sayings, to Poems and Roller Coasters

The brave women from our Breast Cancer Roundtable, now in its 7th year, describe the different ways that define their cancer journey

As a science blog, we spend a lot of time discussing the latest and greatest in cancer research, but we don’t always think about the patients impacted by disease. The roundtable, begun seven years ago, helps keep this real for us. Over the years the discussions have circled around health insurance, treatment options, family support, clinical trials, the ever-present fear of relapse, learning to laugh again, COVID-19, and many other topics. Over the years, we have also lost two roundtable members, a reminder of how deadly this disease is. In 2021, estimates are that close to 44,000 women in the US will die from breast cancer.

In addition to three of our roundtable regulars—Rachel Kiserow, Susan Desmond and Nancy Sullivan—one newcomer, Jilliane Molloy, diagnosed in her 20s, also joined the group. This year, for the first time, we decided to include brief interviews with each woman, asking them for one example -- a movie, a play, an essay, a picture--that defined their cancer journey and why it resonated with them so strongly.

We hope you find their stories compelling, and for women going through the same thing, please share your stories in our comments section or by reaching out to [email protected].