The Survivor Monologues
I can’t say when a magazine has ever made me weep, but yours did [“The Survivor Monologues,” May 28]. My mom had just celebrated her 60th birthday when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I spent the next eight months caring for her in a whiplash of good and bad diagnoses. Her last two months were spent in a home-care hospice. Rose Tisnado’s story felt all too familiar.
—Kim Newman, Manhattan
Many thanks to Jon Gluck and staff for producing “The Survivor Monologues.” You’ve created a durable issue of inspiration and hope.
—Darryl Mitteldorf, Manhattan
My sister is a three-time cancer survivor, as is my mother. My aunt died of cancer. I volunteered at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for five years. You want to take the pain away, and you can’t. Thank you for this issue.
—Joan Tancer, Manhattan
Some part of me could not endure reading another article on cancer, this insidious disease, which has become a part of my life for the past five years. But having read each story and scrutinized all the photos, I thank you for presenting the full reality of cancer survivors. While I know how the deck is stacked, this aging baby-boomer takes great pleasure in all life has to offer for the time being.
—Linda Katz Hammerman, Cheshire, Conn.
My family has called me “radioactive dad” for the past month. As a survivor— I had my second birthday on Thursday, May 17—I recognize the emotions, the decisions, and even the complex dynamic between Jon Gluck and his wife from the day of diagnosis throughout his illness.
—Tim Hopper, Manhattan
Rarely does an article engross me as did “The Radioactive Dad” [May 28]. If only all cancer stories could end like Jon Gluck’s did.
—Christine Bruni, Manhattan
I commend “The Survivor Monologues,” yet take issue that there were no lung-cancer survivors profiled. Most of us hear “lung cancer” and think “death.” But lung cancer is survivable. Fortunately for me, an early-stage cancer was caught and removed, and I’ve long been back at work, on the ski slopes and tennis courts, and, most important, a mom to my three children.
—Ilene Barth, Manhattan
I picked up “The Survivor Monologues” after having lunch with a lung-cancer patient. He was encouraged to see me doing so well: I’ve had the disease for at least eleven years. Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer. But I’m here to serve as an inspiration for anyone looking for hope.
—Mike Hughes, Richmond, Va.
I was featured in “The Survivor Monologues” and am outraged by the picture selected for my story. I am a survivor. I am thriving. The photo selected is that of a woman in distress. Jason Schmidt took many pictures that captured the real me: the happy me. After I survived breast cancer and am finally feeling close to what I used to be (I’ll never feel 100 percent), it’s a shame that you chose to portray an image of me not as a warrior princess but as a cancer victim.
—Jenny Saldaña, Manhattan
As a cancer survivor, and as someone who watched her mother die from cancer, I can say that cancer cuts a wide swath. My mother’s decision to stop chemo broke all of our hearts. I think the decision of when to let go is the most courageous decision a person can make. My mother showed me how to live, and in the end, she showed me how to die.
—Linda Hsia Elmstrom, Manhattan
The survivors’ stories were deeply moving, while also highlighting the salient battles that cancer patients confront in addition to illness and treatment. Thank you to the patients for sharing their stories.
—Jackie Fine Dahan, Manhattan
Correction: In “Serra’s Arc” (“The Culture Pages,” May 28), the opening date of Richard Serra’s retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art should have been listed as June 3.