Joan Pearlman



Co-survivor: Her husband, Peter

Although I am a “huggy feely” person, my husband Peter is not. He is always the one who walks the straight and narrow. Things are always right or wrong. Yet when it came to me, it was not the case. He would not go to the doctor if he was not feeling well, yet he always demanded that the children and I go. When I first discovered the lump in my breast, I had him feel it, and we called a close friend who was a doctor. I went to see this doctor the next day, and he suggested that I go for a mammogram. Unbeknownst to me, our friend called Peter and told him that the lump was suspicious. The next day when I arrived to have another mammogram taken, there was Peter in radiology. He was sitting there as if there was nothing else better to do, and as if his being there was not a big deal.

That was the beginning of years and years of his being with me all the time. Since the time I was diagnosed with breast cancer almost ten years ago, I have yet to go to an appointment, have any kind of test, have surgery, go through reconstruction or anything having to do with my health without him being there. As amazing as it sounds, this is not the same person who purposely puts barriers between himself and others in this world. He has proven himself to be more than an amazing human being.

People have commented that I have been brave throughout the whole ordeal of breast cancer, but in truth, my bravery and state of mind are a result of having a supportive husband by my side. It is easy to appear cool, collected and in charge when others are holding your world together. Breast cancer was and will remain a defining part of my life, but I’ve become a better person because of my husband. My survival, recovery, and state of mind are a result of having my partner by my side. I am truly a blessed individual.