Browsing Tag

Breast Cancer

— Relationships —

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Did you know there are women who will try and steal your husband while you’re fighting breast cancer, struggling with surgeries and chemo, and working to maintain some semblance of normalcy? Before two of these women lunged for my husband, it never occurred to me I knew anyone like this: women with no moral code or concept of self-worth. Who does that sort of thing? 

A woman at my church and another woman I called a friend.

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— Life —

Brenda Coffee and Dr. Susan Love on the set of Girlfriends of a Certain Age
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This year Breast Cancer Awareness Month has taken a backseat to the senseless murder of Gabby Petito and whether we need a Covid booster shot, so think of me as the little voice in your ear: When was the last time you had a mammogram? Are you doing regular self-breast exams? If you don’t remember the answer to the first question, and you answered no to the second, then may I make a suggestion?

Your life and your family’s life is in your hands. What are you waiting for?

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— Style —

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The other day I was going through my closet, looking for clothes I already own that I can mix and match to make new outfits. In the process of trying them on and looking for things to pair together in other ways, I was reminded of when I bought them. 

Like the yellow, Chinese cheongsam blouse I bought in San Francisco, soon after I’d been chased out of a store on Stockton Street by a man wielding a meat cleaver.

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— Life —

PHOTOGRAPH BY BRENDA COFFEE ©2019
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October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Incase the universe thought it might have slipped my mind that 15 years ago I was diagnosed with this terrible disease, since then five of my girlfriends have been diagnosed with breast cancer as well. I understand their fears. I know how hard it is to think about anything other than cancer because we’re wondering if we’ll be here this time next year or five years from now. 

I also know when treatment is over, it’s sometimes difficult to get on with the business of living. 

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— Essentials —

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Isn’t it funny how things like smells and music can jog our memory and remind us of places we’ve been or experiences we’ve long since forgotten? Like every time I open the dresser drawers in the guest room, I’m reminded of my grandmother. Even after all these years the rose pattern on her drawer liners still smell like her favorite perfume, Elsa Schiaparelli’s “Shocking.” And today an online photograph of a room I’d never seen before struck a familiar chord. 

I knew it was related to a fabric I’d been seeking for over 10 years.

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— Relationships —

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Good friends are like portals to the past and the hands that help move us into the future. In the last week I’ve gotten together with a number of good friends. One I don’t see often, but when we do, we pick up as though one of us just stepped out of the room for a few minutes. 

No “Tell me what you’ve been up to?” We talk in shorthand and enter the conversation in midstream.

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— Life —

ME IN MY WIG, THE WEEK AFTER MY LAST CHEMO, APRIL, 2005.
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This week I had my annual mammogram. Unlike past years I wasn’t worried, but as we all know… Mammograms can change our world in the time it takes to “Inhale. Hold it. Don’t breath.” I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, and I’m an expert at reading every nuance in the voice and face of a mammogram technician.

This year my mammogram threw me a curveball.

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— Life —

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I remember the exact second I learned I had breast cancer. I’d just come out from under anesthesia and was laying on an operating table in the hospital. My husband and a friend were standing next to my doctor who was telling me I had breast cancer. Everyone looked solemn, sad and shellshocked. 

It wasn’t the result any of us were expecting.

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— Life —

ANNIE (LEFT) AND LULU, EIGHT WEEKS OLD, THE DAY I BROUGHT THEM HOME.
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Like many women who’ve had breast cancer, sometimes I think about why I’m still here. In part it was due to the type and stage of my cancer, my good physical shape and the great medical care I received, but I always come back to my faith in God and my determination to survive. And when I think about the word “survivorship,” and all the courageous people, dealing with their own set of problems, it may sound strange, but also I think of my 16-month-old puppy, Lulu. 

At birth, if you’d calculated Lulu’s odds of surviving, they would have been slim to none.

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— Style —

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This isn’t your typical Fashion Friday blog so don’t be alarmed… I’m not suggesting you go out and buy an outfit like the one I’m wearing. When I came across this old photo of me and couldn’t stop laughing, I had to share it with you.

Have you ever tried something on, hoping your spouse or girlfriend would validate your purchase?

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