Small Price

By Barbra Ely

April 14th, 2020

In the 1976 book “First, You Cry,” 39-year-old NBC News correspondent Betty Rollin candidly described the “swift kick life had just given in the form of breast cancer.” Five years later, she reflected, “Although cancer was the worst thing that ever happened to me, it was also the best… Today I feel that losing a breast saved my life, and wasn’t I lucky. And when I think of all the other good things that have come from that loss, I just look at that flat place on my body and think: Small price.”
As I reach the fifth anniversary of my own mastectomy, Betty Rollin inspires me to reflect on all the good things that have come from that loss. My daughter-in-law, Nicole Sundquist, captures my grateful heart in her painting of me, titled “Small Price.” The piece is oil on canvas. — Barbra Ely