I first met Jane in 1993, when she and her husband moved to Omaha. We couldn't have more different backgrounds, but we are very similar, too. She is from New York City, and comfortable with all the sophistication that implies. I am a midwestern girl, a former California hippie, and more comfortable with beer than wine.
Jane comes from a large Sicilian American emotionally expansive and expressive family of people, probably Democrats. I come from a large family too, German Anglo Saxons who while loving, are, well, quieter about it, and Republicans.
We are both decidedly right-brained, mildly dyslexic, stubborn Tauruses...both married to Gemini men. We are both writers, cooks (although she really can cook), and artists. We like to talk (and talk, and talk; her husband calls it "flappin' "). We are both tenacious, focused, and rabidly feminist... We met at a chapter meeting of the local N.O.W. chapter.
Shortly before I met Jane, her best friend, Jeanette, died, after a difficult struggle with cancer. The person Jane is has been shaped by the death of her friend. I got to know Jeanette through listening to Jane's stories. I learned to love her too. She was a May baby, like Jane and me, passionate and tenacious. While Jane mourned the loss of her friend, I mourned never having known this remarkable woman.
Jane and her husband moved away from Omaha and now live in the Washington D.C. area. While we don't talk (and talk, and talk) like we used to, we have never lost touch, and I still consider her a "best" friend.
A few years ago, she sent me a copy of a short story she wrote about her own cancer scare, called Suspicious Densities. She has since turned it into a screenplay for a short film.
This film needs to be made, and Jane needs our help to do it. I'll let her tell you about it herself.
I am almost 60 years old, and the longer I live, the more I am touched by cancer. A step daughter who we almost lost to Leukemia, is 20 years cancer free and now has two beautiful children of her own. A friend who is going to take off a few weeks from work, after a mammogram detected the tiniest of a stage one cancer. A sister who had a lumpectomy and a few treatments and is now fine, fine, fine.
But when I was very small, before mammograms, my mother found a lump. It could have been a death sentence, or a cyst. Only major surgery determined it was a cyst. But she didn't know until she woke up from surgery.
My messages today: face life with joy, get a mammogram, a prostate exam, whatever, and help my very talented friend Jane tell her story. You won't regret it!