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The Fran Drescher Interview (Page 1 of 2)

An Interview with Fran Drescher

Fran Drescher: First of all, you have to take notes.  You have to ask questions and go on the Internet and know what your symptoms may be and what tests could be available.  If your doctor seems busy or seems like he's not giving you the amount of attention that you need, you have to move on.  You can't be a child. He's not a parent; he's not a god.  Your doctor is a person, who is busy, has a lot of other patients, has his own personal life, has his own personal problems.  Ultimately, it's your responsibility to take control of your body.  I don't give anyone power of attorney over my money, so why should I do it over my body?   Early detection equals survival when it comes to cancer, but so many symptoms can be mistaken for much more benign illnesses.  People never thought they should be partners with their physicians in the way they really need to be.  There are more and more specialists, and if you're not on top of the game, you're really putting your life in someone else's hands, and that is a terrible mistake. 

GB: I think you've been a caregiver to a lot of people since the book came out.

FD: Yes.  I feel like it's been good for me.  I feel like I'm really helping people.  I went to a fundraiser and a woman said, “You saved my life. I went to the doctor and I felt something in my breast and he said ‘You're too young for a mammogram; let's just watch it.’  And I said, ‘No.  I read Fran Drescher's book.  I am not too young and I insist that you give it to me.’” And P.S., she had breast cancer.  Two kids, a husband, in her late twenties.  So there you are.

GB:  One of the things that I appreciated about Cancer Schmancer  is how it  read as such an intimate journal. 

FD:  I thought that if I was going to tell this story, I had to tell it in a way that's real; otherwise, who needs to pay 23 bucks?  We've heard the cancer stories before.  But, has anyone ever talked about what it's like to have sex for the first time after having a radical hysterectomy?  I don't think so. I think it's important for both men and women alike to know that, a) you can have a full sexual life and b) things do get back to normal.  You can find each other again in a way that's very satisfying and fulfilling.  I wrote about it all.  I'm a celebrity and I'm talking about my misshapen body and the black and blue and the cruel gash that they cut into me. It's very raw, but it's very funny, and that is what I think makes the book.  One of the things I learned from this experience is that side by side with grief lies joy. It's hard to find it, but it's important that you see it; it's always there.  People would say to me, “My mother was in the hospital and we watched The Nanny, and that was a time we could sit together and just laugh and not think about the misery of what we're going through.”  It makes me so happy, because those are memories that they will have long after the person may pass on; they were together laughing. 

 

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