Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Cover Girl

Have you seen the Newsweek cover story written by mantle cell 
lymphoma survivor Jonathan Alter?

After a friend sent me the link, I tore into the page-turner of a story
with the same vigor that I used to rip into the delivery pizza two nights ago.
Engaging style. Fascinating content. Good use of tension.

And then it hit me. This wasn't just Alter'sstory; it was mine. Yes, every
cancer patient's story is unique, as Alter out, but the similarities go
way beyond the fact that we both have the same rare form of cancer. As writers,
we both approached the diagnosis in the same ferocious way of researching, second
guessing and escalating.
We both were lucky enough to have connections to get
appointments at a top-rated cancer center. We both turned to blogging for
support. He endured an autollogous stem cell transplant as I likely will.

After three pages, I couldn't keep reading. I sobbed. I hyperventilated. I cursed. I didn't
want this to be my story.

But it is my story. I took a break, gathered the mail and opened cards. I came back and
finished reading because I want my story to end just like Alter's - filled with hope and
optimism. I especially
needed to be reminded of the quote from Shawshank Redemption
(one of my favorite movies): "You can
get busy living, or get busy dying."

For both Altler and me, it's no contest.


SAMO Calling said...

Yes! After I posted you about the article I read it and thought the same thing as you. It was your story and your approachs are the same.

Susan Carrier said...

Thanks so much to you (and Judy) for pointing out the story.

Janet Aird said...

Wow Susan - amazing story - yours and his. Are you going to write him?

Karen said...

What a great story! I had no idea he had the same type pf cancer. I'm sorry it was so tough for you to read, though. :-(

Maybe you should try contacting him? It sounds like the mantle-cell community is very resourceful!

Rich said...


I am passing on (below) one of my favorite short poems by Emily Dickinson because I know you always will have hope as well all should. Sending you my best wishes.
--Rich Memec

“Hope is a thing with a feather
that perches in the soul
and sings the tune
without the words
and never stops at all.”
--Emily Dickinson

Debbi said...

I'm so glad you're up to blogging and keeping such a wonderful journal of your progress. I know after working with so many patient survivors/speakers at City of Hope for several years, that some days don't feel like progress, but they are! Drs. Snyder and Forman are incredible and the nurses at COH are the best in the world. xoxxoxoxo

Debbi said...

Drs. Snyder and Forman are incredible, so I'm glad they're looking out for you! Every patient speaker I worked with at COH said the nurses have a special gift, going above and beyond as routine.
Glad you're home now and getting some family TLC.


Judy said...

I knew you'd find the information valuable. I'd have to say Newsweek's timing was stellar.

Since this guy is a Newsweek correspondent maybe he could put you in touch with a Mantle Cell group to share experiences. The magazine's main number is (212) 445-4000. The writer again is Jonathan Alter. His email is jalter@newsweek.com.

Go get him, girl!

cricket said...

Cricket here, chirping for you in your darkest night and standing behind the scenes during the day, waiting to help you whenever you need me.

The parallels with Mr. Alter don't end with the ones you listed...You also are staying in touch with your professional life, and like him, you have family and friends visiting you in da big house.

Now we don't know him personally, but knowing you and the people you draw to yourself, I'd say your family/friends support network just HAS to be more spirited, enthusiastic, and downright ADAMANT about getting you through this and back to your sparkling healthy self.

Lots of love and continual prayer!