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Cancer survivors bond over popular play

Friday, February 24, 2012

Besides support groups and online forums, there are many other venues through which cancer survivors can meet up to discuss their journeys through chemotherapy, radiation and surgeries like breast reconstruction. One of these, according to an article recently published by the New York Times, is the play Wit.

Writer Ruth Pennebaker recounted meeting up with blogger and author Jen Singer to see the latest Broadway theatrical production of the play, starring actress Cynthia Nixon.

Singer, who survived having a tumor in her lung the size of an orange, recounted numerous stories of how women with cancer overcame their illness with grace and composure, Pennebaker wrote. These included anecdotes of wig parties and of a native-tissue breast reconstruction in which the tattoo on a woman's rear end is relocated to her chest.

On her blog, Parenting with Cancer, Singer has published any number of similar stories about the unusual circumstances in which cancer survivors may find themselves. One notable post, for example, described a woman who had never found a way to tell her two youngest children that she'd suffered from breast cancer, even though she'd had a mastectomy and TRAM flap breast reconstruction.

In the new article, Pennebaker wrote that the Broadway play provides yet another way for survivors to bond over the experience of overcoming cancer. She added that production was especially meaningful for her and Singer, who underwent similar experiences during chemotherapy and recovery.

"Oh, sure. To others it might have been just a good play," Singer concluded. "To us it was a catharsis. After few brief hours together I could swear Jen and I have known each other forever."

For women who are looking to connect with other breast cancer survivors in their area, the American Cancer Society provides several links to agencies that organize support groups all across the nation: http://www.breastcancer.org/questions/support.jsp

Sources:

Pennebaker R. Survivors Bond Over a Grueling Play. New York Times. February 16, 2012.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/17/theater/cancer-survivors-see-the-play-wit.html Accessed February 21, 2012.

SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Breast. National Cancer Institute. http://www.seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/breast.html Accessed February 21, 2012.

Singer J. Is Keeping Cancer A Secret A Big Mistake? Parenting with Cancer. July 11, 2012. http://parentingwithcancer.com/2011/07/11/cancer-secret/ Accessed February 21, 2012.

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