jennifer griffin

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jennifer Griffin

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August 27, 2010

Fox News Correspondent Jennifer Griffin said her return to Kabul was "like riding a bicycle." But for those who have closely watched Jen's story of survival and recovery, it seems more like a miracle that she is back to her old stomping grounds.

In September 2009, Griffin discovered a lump in her breast while nursing--she was diagnosed with stage 3, triple negative breast cancer. Less than one year later, she is back on the air and reporting from a war zone. Jen returned to Kabul, Afghanistan for work on August 25th.

"I'll never forget when I asked my oncologist Claudine Isaacs if it was ok for me to go to Kabul at my three month check-up," Griffin wrote. "She looked at me as though I were crazy and said, 'Do you WANT to go? Because I can give you a note saying it isn't, if you want.' She could tell that was not what I wanted, so here I am."

Griffin goes on to say "It's as though I never left. When we landed at Kabul 'International' Airport, my mind immediately rewound back to the first time I flew into Kabul in 1994 or 5 (when we first moved to Islamabad it was too dangerous to fly in) ... Today when we arrived it looked like we were passing by the National Air and Space museum as we taxied to stop. A bunch of brand spanking new commercial planes and helicopters."

Griffin talks about the realities of Kabul now, but mixes in some of her personal anecdotes about survival and recovery. "Before leaving for Kabul, I cleaned out my purse," Griffin wrote. "Here's what I found. A lot of remnants and souvenirs from the last year: a near empty bottle of hand sanitizer (for when my white blood cell counts were too low). Neosporin on a handy keychain bought for my by Anamarija Muvrin when she came to save the day after my mastectomy." She also found: "The top from the Veuve Clicquot champagne that Geralyn Lucas ("Why I Wore Lipstick to my Mastectomy") made me drink to celebrate the end of this hellish year last time I saw her in NY. There was the guardian angel sent to me by my mom's high school friend, Anne Mellinger. A card for Blair Watson, my physical therapist at Georgetown Hospital, who trained me to lift my arms above my head again after surgery. There was the pink wristband that says: 'Alert! Lymphedema - no blood test, blood pressure, no iv or injections in this arm'" among many other mementos.

Perhaps the most striking statement on Jennifer's blog is when she relates being a cancer survivor to being a war veteran. She writes, in an entry titled "I'm Back":"I realized that for many this time after treatment was one of the hardest times. Sort of like a soldier coming home from combat. They'd gotten through their year of fighting and then the guns had gone silent and then there they were in the middle of a crowd at a Macy's shopping with their kids maybe for Back to School deals and, bam, that's when the panic attack would occur. These survivors were suffering the same PTSD that I had seen with our wounded vets."

It's amazing to hear Jen's perspective of being back to life and reality so soon after fighting her battle with cancer. To read more of her stories, go to Jennifer Griffins's Blog. For more on Triple Negative Breast Cancer, go to TNBCFoundation.org.
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