Growing up, two very dear women I knew and loved died of cancer. One died of breast cancer and one died of uterine cancer. Both died quickly, as though death were easier than continuing to live.
One of these women was married to a wonderful man who happened to be gay at a time when men from the coal mining regions of Pennsylvania simply weren’t. For over thirty years they kept this secret. She produced three children and then moved from her husband’s bed to her daughter’s. By the time she showed her misshapen breasts to someone, it was way