I lived in my little room with a bed, a wooden chair, an armoir and the bathroom down the hall. It was better than my first place in that it was more quiet, but worse in that it was several blocks farther up Manhattan. The days when I felt rich enough to ride the bus, it was OK. But often I had to walk, both down town and then in the afternoon back uptown. Let me tell you, in the afternoon it really felt like UP town. I think Manhattan Island is flat, but those two letters made it seem so much harder.
One day toward the end of my year in school, I forgot my wash cloth and didn't discover it until I was in the tub. I washed with soap on my hand, and when soaping one of my breasts I felt a good size lump. It was a scary situation. When Dr. Hansson arrived at his usual time, I asked to see him. I told him what I had discovered. He told me to go into one of the treatment rooms. He felt my lump and said: Wait here. I will go fetch the Cancer Specialist. I had of course thought about cancer but to hear it spoken aloud was a super chock.
He returned with the specialist who also felt the lump. Then the two of them stood outside the curtain and discussed my case. She is too young to worry about cancer. said S. Dr H said: I wouldn't worry about it either, but she has lost so much weight. I felt it rude to interrupt or to show I was eaves dropping. I could have said, I have been hungry a long time. And I have to walk for miles to get here. And so I had a lumpectomy the next morning. Thank God, it was not cancer.
There was a woman who lived on Staten Island who probably saved my life. I forget how we met. She said 'You are the kind of girl I would want my son to marry. Can you come for dinner on Sunday. I was asked repeatedly and every time I returned to Manhattan I had a shoe box filled with wonderful food. Without those treats I would have gotten sick.