Monday, October 18 is my son’s Albert and Lennon’s 15th birthday. It’s only fitting that they be born during breast cancer awareness month because it was their birth that actually made their mom. my wife Deneen aware that she had it.
We found out my wife had cancer when she went for her 6-week postpartum exam. On December 28, 2006, after several weeks of testing and biopsies, she was given the diagnosis of invasive ductal Carcinoma.
In January of 2007, she had a lumpectomy, and then a port for chemotherapy was implanted on February 13, 2007. She began aggressive chemotherapy the next day, on Valentine’s Day, which is also her birthday.
After chemotherapy, she needed a year and a half of a drug called Herceptin, which was given through the port. You may have heard of the drug since it was the subject of a movie on Lifetime called “Living Proof.” Harry Connick Jr. played the role of Dr. Dennis Slaman, the scientist who discovered the drug.
In September of 2007, she started a 5-year course of an oral drug called Tamoxifen. In June of 2008, on our 10th Wedding anniversary, the port was removed. After 5 years on the Tamoxifen, another oral drug was started, called Femera, which she took daily for 5 years.
As a husband watching this happen, you feel so helpless. You’re supposed to be the protector, but there’s nothing you can do. I tried things like sitting in a dunk tank and walking the streets in a dress to raise money for Eagles Tackle Breast Cancer. Believe me, Deneen looks much better in the dress than I did!
Deneen also looked great as she took her cue from Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell on the steps of the Art Museum to cut the cake which began the 2009 “Race For The Cure” and spoke about her journey on CBS 3.
But it was our children, Lennon and Albert who actually saved her life because had she not had them, we never would have known.
I’ll never forget what the late legendary WPVI sportscaster Gary Papa, whose life was later taken by prostate cancer, said to me while covering my dunk tank event, “She gave them life and they turned around and gave it right back to her.”
There are so many stories that you hear during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. May yours have the same happy ending as ours. Looking forward to the day when everyone will.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve’s own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.