The brilliant and loving doctor who saved my life, Patricia Yarberry Allen, started a website several years ago called Women's Voices for Change. I've just done an interview with Susan Delson, who runs it; WVC is dedicated to examining and celebrating life after forty. Dr. Pat, as her patients call her, is a dynamo--as is my agent, Amanda Urban--and I've dedicated SLOW LOVE to both of these women, one who changed my life (it is because of Binky that I have written any books at all) and the other who saved my life. It is so important to have guiding spirits: these two women are mine.
I tell the story of Dr. Pat and my kidney cancer in SLOW LOVE. As another doctor said to me: "You have become our poster child for full body screening as part of preventive health." Indeed, had I not had a routine checkup that included an abdominal scan--only because Dr. Pat had an intuition that something might be wrong with me, based on a history of early kidney stones--I would probably be dead by now. Kidney cancer is called the silent killer; there is no chemotherapy, and the only cure is removal of the tumor, or, more usually, the entire kidney. I'm fine now.
Dr. Pat rather famously (to my friends, who bore with my whinging) put me on a strict diet, after I had tried to comfort myself with cookies and muffins for a year after I lost my job. She is the kind of doctor who, when she gets the diet going, insists that her patients email her every night to tell them how they are doing. And she answers! Trust me: that diet alone is worth the price of SLOW LOVE. It works. But the point I can never stress enough is that the diet isn't really about cutting portions, the timing of meals, and combining certain foods.
The diet is about mindfulness. And that's what Dr. Pat was--and is--always trying to teach her patients. How to be mindful of your body. How to be mindful of your health. How to be mindful of your relationships, so that they not be toxic to you. How to pay attention to what you are doing. And Dr. Pat's website is all about being mindful of what I call our intertidal years--the middle of our lives. I think it is as relevant for men as it is for women, by the way. Here's to Dr. Pat--image of me lifting a tiny glass of V*8 juice....
Interview Part 1:
Interview Part 2: