wildfire breast cancer magazine

The Small Acts Of Kindness That Gave Me Hope

That year

was not an easy one

for us.

You lost

part of your right leg.

I lost

my left breast.

But we were

each other’s cheerleaders,

talking on the telephone

in kitchens and bedrooms

across town,

of the sort of loss

that few knew:

the loss of self.

But still,

here we are,

years later,

alive together:


Cathy Gigante Brown

Cathy Gigante-BrownWriter. Diagnosed at 53. IDC, Stage I. I had a mastectomy, chemo and am on Evista. At 58, I’m not “young” but I like to think I’m young at heart. I write fiction, non-fiction and poetry. My work has appeared in a bunch of publications, both online and print, including Industry, The Establishment, The Huffington Post, Essence and Ravishly (where I documented my breast cancer journey with dozens of essays). Several of my scripts have been produced by small, independent film companies. My novels The El, its sequel The Bells of Brooklyn, and Different Drummer are published by Volossal (finished while I was still on chemo, which helped the drug-infused passages!). I’m a Brooklyn native, where I live with my husband and son.

Editor’s Note: This piece has been republished with permission from WILDFIRE Magazine, the “Caregivers” issue (Vol 3, No 4, Copyright (c) April 2018 by Wildfire Community LLC). More information available at wildfirecommunity.org

Every month, Rethink will be sharing powerful stories and poetry from WILDFIRE Magazine. Use code RETHINK for 10% off anything in the WILDFIRE Shop.

WILDFIRE Magazine is the only magazine for young women survivors and fighters of breast cancer under 45 years old. Headquartered in Santa Cruz, California, WILDFIRE is a beautiful, story-based bi-monthly magazine published on different themes relevant to young women survivors, from stage 0 to stage IV. Beautiful and ad-free! Visit  wildfirecommunity.org for more info.

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