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Forum, Dec. 2: Refreshing Candor About Breast Cancer


Saturday, December 01, 2018
Refreshing Candor About Breast Cancer

Thank you so much for the Sunday article about the breast cancer survivors (“Scars, and Stories: Upper Valley Cancer Survivors Find Support in Recovery,” Nov. 25). It’s wonderful that they have a group to support each other.

When I had my mastectomy 23 years ago, I was in the hospital for 2½ days. I had been told I’d be visited by someone who was a survivor and would give me some help navigating support groups and such. No one showed up. Perhaps they were all busy with Christmas preparations since it was the first week of December. Luckily, my oncology team and co-workers were a wonderful support system. It was so wonderful to see in this article that these women are being realistic about life with breast cancer. And to have one of them say they’ll be breast cancer patients until they die of something else was refreshing.

I get cold chills sometimes when I read articles about how to prevent breast cancer. They make it seem so easy: Just eat right and exercise, but that’s not the reality. I had a very easy course of chemo, no nausea, no lasting aftereffects that these women have talked about. So I feel very lucky to have just celebrated my 73rd birthday. No, I don’t mind growing old. It beats the alternative.

Again, thank you Valley News and the group of women willing to be candid about this journey.

Jo Ann Duprey

Springfield, Vt.

Oppression There, and Here

Mexican police prevented hundreds of migrants in Tijuana from walking over a bridge leading to the nearby port of entry, but some of those detained walked along the river to an area where only an earthen levee and concertina wire separated them from their goal. An Associated Press reporter saw U.S. agents shoot several rounds of tear gas after some migrants attempted to penetrate several points along the border. In order to add insult to injury, a major U.S.-Mexico border crossing in San Diego was closed for hours that day.

One wonders, what ever happened to “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”?

I’ll tell you what happened: the infestation of GOP criminals eroding each and every corner of our once-great country. The erosion isn’t particular to the current malfeasant regime. The unkindness hallmarking the so-called “Grand Old Party” can be traced at least as far back as to the Newt Gingrich revolution (Google it). I’m also sure you know the Department of Justice doesn’t have the market cornered on meanness. Just think back on all the harm the dotard in the White House and his minions have caused.

We’ve seen similar, albeit lesser, offenses here in the Upper Valley. For example, there was last November’s arrest at the Kilton Public Library, which seemed serious enough to me. And don’t get me wrong, oppression need not turn violent: The same day the poor migrants’ actions were being disrupted, I engaged a police officer in conversation over in a West Lebanon parking lot. It was maybe 20 degrees outside and he was in his cruiser, typing at his laptop, windows open.

“Your engine’s running,” said I. “I know,” he retorted. (Brilliant.) I offered my opinion that his wasn’t a very ecological position to take, and when he didn’t respond, I got the hint I best do the same. When younger, I might not have had the insight. Or maybe the cop was just out of tear gas.

Kevin Leveret

White River Junction

Where Is Mitch McConnell’s Loyalty?

I have been a avid watcher of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s actions in the Senate chamber. After watching him decline, time after time, attempts to protect special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which I and many others taxpayers are paying for, I have come to the conclusion that McConnell is protecting more than just our president. It is the only logical conclusion I can come to.

A vote to protect the Mueller investigation, allowing his conclusions to be both protected and public, would take up only a small portion of the Senate’s time. It purportedly has bipartisan support, as does the political stunt of the president endorsing a prison reform bill, which, conveniently, McConnell also would not bring to a vote. A vote to protect Mueller would take considerably less time than what is being expended in speeches trying to get to this vote.

Perhaps McConnell thinks he is protecting more than the president. Maybe it is his belief, as it is mine, that Mueller will disclose ties to the Russians that go deep within the Republican National Committee itself.

There is party loyalty and presidential loyalty. Where is McConnell’s loyalty to the citizens of this country? Hasn’t this country been good to him and his family? Is he really willing to let us crash and burn? What harm is there passing this bill, which further protects both parties and the American people on the issue of separation of powers? He already knows the harm being done by allowing the president to appoint a hand-picked, unconfirmed, prejudiced political hack as acting attorney general.

What is McConnell thinking? Is he going to allow party and presidential loyalty to define how he is remembered in the history of this country during these turbulent and transforming times? I, and my fellow citizens, want to know.

Sylvia J. Heath

Hartland Four Corners

The Answer to Everything

Our president comes up with the answer to everything: Spend millions on space travel so we can go to Mars and fight those that inhabit that planet. Start a new world. We can send rockets to destroy the Earth and the enemies we leave behind, along with the climate. We can send all those people to shoot the guns that they need to shoot so much.

I am sure the president can work out the details.

Ernest Silvia

White River Junction