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Preventive Vaccines: Triggering an Immune Response
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Between Me and the River
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Q&A: CT Scans and Cancer Risk
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Keeping the Faith
March 07, 2010 – Kathy LaTour
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March 04, 2010 – Katy Human
Web Exclusive: Finding Faith
March 16, 2010 – Kathy LaTour
Web Exclusive: Spirit-Sending Ceremony
March 16, 2010
Treatment Snapshot
March 16, 2010
Mutant Tissue Wanted
March 17, 2010 – Kathy LaTour
Today's Lesson: Cancer
March 17, 2010 – Bunmi Ishola
Camp Friendship
March 15, 2010 – Bunmi Ishola
Staging Takes a Leap
March 16, 2010 – Charlotte Huff
Now or Later?
March 16, 2010 – Charlotte Huff
Living with Lung Cancer
March 16, 2010 – Lori Monroe
A Good Night's Sleep
March 16, 2010 – Kathy LaTour
Pipeline
March 14, 2010 – Katy Human
Mediterranean Diet May Help Prevent Stomach Cancer
March 15, 2010 – Bunmi Ishola
Taking a Radiation 'Trip'
March 13, 2010 – Cyndi Fagot
Finding Meaning & Purpose
March 14, 2010 – Kathy LaTour
The Next Big Thing
March 15, 2010 – Katy Human
Preventive Vaccines: Triggering an Immune Response
March 15, 2010 – Katy Human
Creating a Plan to Get Moving
March 15, 2010 – Laura Beil
A How-To for the Social Media Beginner
March 15, 2010 – Karen Patterson
Cancer Vaccines No Longer a Long Shot
March 12, 2010 – Debu Tripathy, MD
Currently Viewing
Between Me and the River
March 03, 2010 – Kathy LaTour
Q&A: CT Scans and Cancer Risk
March 15, 2010 – Len Lichtenfeld, MD
When You Need Information on el Cáncer
March 15, 2010 – Elizabeth Whittington
Following the Patient's Spiritual Lead
March 14, 2010 – Kathy LaTour
Go Fish
March 14, 2010 – Don Vaughan
Special Report
March 11, 2010 – Karen Patterson
Tingling Troubles
March 11, 2010 – Bunmi Ishola
Alongside My Wife
March 09, 2010 – Vaughn Smider, MD, PhD
Sleepless in Seattle, San Antonio & St. Louis
March 13, 2010 – Kathy LaTour
Welcomed Workout
March 04, 2010 – Laura Beil
Friends in Need
March 12, 2010 – Karen Patterson
Letters from Our Readers
March 01, 2010
More Than One Reason to Celebrate for Dexter Star
March 15, 2010 – Bunmi Ishola
New Jersey Legalizes Medical Marijuana
March 15, 2010 – Bunmi Ishola
Lung Overdue
March 13, 2010 – Charlotte Huff
Keeping the Faith
March 07, 2010 – Kathy LaTour
Getting Personal
March 04, 2010 – Katy Human

Between Me and the River

BY Kathy LaTour
PUBLISHED March 03, 2010

Carrie Host woke up from what was to have been a simple cyst removal on Halloween of 2003, expecting to head home to take part in the annual holiday with her three children. Instead, she heard the word “cancer” couched in “the good kind” language: carcinoid. 

Host, a lover of poetry and art, equates her journey with one of her life’s powerful images: water. As we read the words of her diagnosis, the water rises, sucking her down into an uncontrollable darkness. Seductive, serene, and filled with hope one moment, Host’s river becomes raging and deadly the next—dragging her under, where she thrashes in the current and lands half drowned on the shore.

I was swept along with her images as she expresses the pain, relief, grief, joy, and hysteria of the experience. I held my breath with her when, after the doctor said it was the worst case he had ever seen, she was once again sucked under the water. I am with her as she lands in the middle of the river on an island of fear and loneliness, and cheer when she is rescued by the friends, doctors, nurses, and a mother’s compelling love for her children. Host earns highest praise for having captured the feelings of a mother with cancer. I was there in my own diagnosis, fighting thoughts that I might leave my child.

The power of motherhood rules all, from weighing the right place to tell her oldest children about her cancer to remembering to put on lipstick for family photos, so if she died, the kids could say, “Gosh, Mom looks so good. It’s hard to believe she was sick.” When Host learns that her cancer will likely come back and that there is no cure, she is back in the river, which this time has no banks and no edges, leaving her to decide once again whether to sink or swim.

Then, during a real trip to Bermuda, she stands on a dock with her husband and children when the wind whips the water. A dare from her daughter prompts Host to leap into the water, followed by her family, as together they leap into Host’s new life. 

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