Posted by: 2in10 | 06/03/2010

powerful words (2)

Jenny, my pediatrician friend, was a tremendous help when I was having treatment for ovarian cancer Stage III 16 years ago. She and I were co-chairs of the Parents Committee of a youth orchestra that traveled internationally to perform. Our high-school age children were violinists in the orchestra.

When Jenny heard the odds 2 in 10 make it to five years, she said, “If one in ten makes it to five years, you have to be the one.” “How will I do that?” I replied. “I don’t know,” she said, “but I know you will figure it out.” 

Jenny can’t recall saying those words to me, but they fueled my campaign to get well and stay well. Perhaps there is someone you know who needs your powerful words to support her or his recovery — from illness, grief, or any kind of trouble.

Be well,




  1. A friend of mine who, like me, was diagnosed with breast cancer told me of the powerful impact a stranger’s words had on her when she first learned she needed to undergo chemo. The stranger, who was in the check out line at Dana Farber just behind my friend, said four simple words: ” You can do this”. These words from a stranger meant so much that five years post-treatment, my friend still talks about it.

  2. I too have experienced the power of words used to reframe the fear I experienced almost five years ago. I needed to have a melanoma removed from my face, and pre-surgery was obsessing on the thought that whenever I looked in the mirror for the rest of my life I and those I love would be reminded of my vulnerability and potential demise. “No” responded my friend Shellee “Your scars will be a symbol to you and all of us of your strength, resiliency and survival” I cannot claim to love my scarred face but I do love and appreciate the life I have been granted and refuse to see my scars as a sign of anything but strength.

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