When l read the terrible news on Dr Susan Love‘s Blog that she has leukemia, I was shocked. I just couldn’t believe that such a great person like Susan could have this terrible disease. She is so dedicated to her work and I am so honored that she has come to so many events that I have also gone to.
My favorite event was when the BCCRF (Breast Cancer Care and Research Fund) headed by Michele Rackoff organized their first summit Saturday September 4th called “Taking Action to End Breast Cancer-A Women’s Conference” in Manhattan Beach. The speakers were Dr. Leslie Bernstein (Epidemiologist & Researcher), Dr. Lupe Salazar, (Medical Oncologist & Immunologist), Michele Rakoff (patient advocate) and Dr. Susan Love. After they spoke Susan had a book signing and my friend took a photo of us.
After that we had a lovely luncheon and Susan sat at my table as we all discussed breast cancer. She was so fascinating to listen to and I really appreciate they way she spoke with us in such an inclusive way. I asked her some questions and her brilliant mind had me mesmerised by everything she was talking about. We talked about the slash and burn approach to breast cancer, whether we are using the right treatments, and how we are going to change the conversation so that we finally make progress in ending this disease. Susan is also so down to earth. We also talked about her Army of Women. I just finished participating in one of her Army of Women Studies the day before she announced her illness.
Susan started her treatments in the hospital on Monday, June 18th. Leave it to her to say to her friends on Facebook “I have signed up for a free month of Amazon Prime and streaming Netflix …. I start treatment Monday and face 4-6 weeks in a hospital room! But will have wifi….so stay tuned”! She is such an all around giving person of her time and energy. She has so much grace and cares so much about breast cancer. Her book kept me company while I had to learn what I was facing when diagnosed, had surgery, did chemo, radiation and then had my recurrence. I also looked up everything for my friend Lila who died in January from breast cancer when she had her recurrence in 2009. In fact I made sure I got the latest edition to try to find any bright spot I could about her disease.
I just keep wishing I could do something for her. Of course I have said every prayer I can think of and I am also frightened. I know that she will fight this and keep her awesome personality throughout all of her treatment. But still this kind of treatment is heavy stuff no matter how strong anyone is. Leave it to Susan to have such a bright attitude. Today Susan said, “Day 3 So far so good…doing laps around the floor and found an electronic piano to practice!” She has such great wit.
I have decided because she is going through this with so much positive energy that I am going to follow her lead. Her bravery, humanity, and humor is so inspiring. Keep it up, Susan and thank you for being in our lives. My prayers and thoughts are with you and the rest of your family.