77 Central Street, Manchester, NH 03101 • www.DaveNixonLaw.com • 603.669.7070 • October 2018
FIGHT LIKE A GIRL MY WIFE’S BATTLE WITH BREAST CANCER
F or those of you who don’t know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It has me thinking about how important family is and that, no matter how hard things get, it’s important to stick together. My wife, Anne, is a two-time breast cancer survivor, and looking back at how much we went through and how far we’ve come makes me incredibly thankful for having her in my life. The first time she was diagnosed was during her very first mammogram, and it was a shock. Anne had no prior history or experience with breast cancer — none of her previous family members had been diagnosed. The gynecologist who had been with us throughout Anne’s pregnancy with our first daughter was sick when she was pregnant with our second. So Anne started seeing midwives, who all insisted that she get a basic mammogram, even though she was younger than the required age. Anne went in when she was 37, though the required age is around 40. She had the mammogram done and discovered that she had breast cancer.
time, I was in my last year of law school, applying for jobs, and we had three kids at home.
The date for her follow-up was on the same day I was supposed to have a job interview here at Nixon and Vogelman Law. When I found out what day it was, I told her, “Look, I’ll cancel my interview and go with you.” She looked right at me and said, “No, you go to your interview. We know that I’ll have cancer again because that’s just what seems to be happening right now. It’s not going to change if you skip your interview.” I ended up going to the firms’ location to do the job interview and was in the parking lot when she called me. “Yup, we were right. I have cancer.” When I heard that, I told her, “I’ll leave right now.” But just like before, she told me, “No, what difference would it make if you came here right now? Go do your interview.”
Anne and Kirk Simoneau
During these hard times, something amazing happened. The dean at the law school I was attending, John Hudson, taught a really early class. Many of the students would joke about having coffee with the dean because it was so early. Hudson had heard about my wife being diagnosed for the second time with breast cancer because the class was so small. One morning, he walked into the classroom and sat down right next to me. He put his arm around me and in my ear told me, “Son, what the hell are you doing here? Go home to your wife.” I never attended a class after that, and he still gave me a B.
I was in law school at the time, and it was
The second time my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer put a lot of stress on my family. Anne had to get a mastectomy, and at one point we thought we were going to lose her because she had lost so much blood. I’ll tell ya, watching my wife go through that struggle and reconstruction was really difficult. I’m happy to say that we’re still together, stronger and closer than ever.
The first time she was diagnosed was during her very first mammogram, and it was a shock. Anne had no prior history or experience with breast cancer — none of her previous family members had been diagnosed.
a struggle getting through that, but I
made sure that I was with her every step of the way, supporting her in the best way I could. Then, after her treatment, 6–9 months after her first diagnosis, Anne went back to get another mammogram. At that
One of the most impactful things about this is that my daughters know what it looks like to truly overcome a challenge. Each of my girls knows what it’s like to “fight like a girl” and win. I believe it’s exceptional for a young woman to see something like this and use it as an example throughout life.
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