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Tag Archives: meditation

Getting to Om: How Cancer Drove a Bulldog Litigator to Meditation

by Sarah A. O. Isenberg

I was pretty much the last person you’d think of when you thought “Zen.” I was a driven lawyer, a litigator, no less. I worked 90+ hour weeks. I drove fast, talked fast, and ate meals on the run. I didn’t nap; I hardly slept. I was on the fast track to corporate and personal success: loved work, just got married, recently bought a house, was trying to have my first baby. I was checking all the boxes on the “Young Adult Success” checklist. But then, at 32, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I was blindsided. No family history, no inkling, even, that I could ever have gotten cancer. It was found by accident. It was sheer luck. Nothing palpable. But it was cancer, and worse than we thought. I would need chemo, then radiation, then tamoxifen for five years. So while my contemporaries’ lives were on a trajectory for the exciting, I was sidelined.

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