Ex Fabula: Breast Cancer

Sep 29, 2018

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One of the many reasons it’s so important to raise awareness of this disease is how prevalent it is: one in eight women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer at some point in her life. Understanding risk factors, screening recommendations, and symptoms and signs can literally save lives. Learn more at breastcancer.org.

Our first storyteller knows how devastating a breast cancer diagnosis can be. As Leslie Biernat shared in November 2009 at the “Beginnings” StorySlam, she found a lump in the shower and was subsequently diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer just before she turned 40. After six rounds of chemo, a lumpectomy, 33 courses of radiation, a mastectomy, and a hysterectomy, Leslie became a survivor – and was determined not to waste her second chance at life. She changed her career to focus on other breast cancer patients, has completed multiple Ironman races and even started her own foundation. Her challenge to others? Follow your dreams today – because tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Sally Stern, our second storyteller, brought to light a harsh – and humorous – reality of a common breast cancer screening. Just a few days prior to the TMI StorySlam where she took the stage, she had been scheduled for a mammogram. As her time in the waiting area grew, so did the amount of sweat pouring out of her glands. By the time Sally was being placed in the machine, she was feeling bad for the poor nurse, who was acutely aware she had complied with the rule to not wear deodorant the day of a mammogram.

Listen to this week's stories:

Ex Fabula's next event is a non-competitive StorySlam with the theme of “Misunderstood” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9th at Sugar Maple (441 E. Lincoln Avenue). $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Arrive early for a bonus pre-slam discussion at 6:15 p.m. Visit exfabula.org/tickets to find out more about all upcoming events.