A Wedding in the Shadow of Cancer

Posted by M ws On Saturday, October 19, 2013 0 comments
Shortly after Nancy Borowick’s boyfriend got down on one knee and popped the question, she began to worry about the wedding. If everything had been normal, Ms. Borowick and her husband-to-be, Kyle Grimm, would have waited a year, until the spring of 2014. She’s 28, he’s 27 and they would have liked the extra time to build their careers and get used to living together. Ms. Borowick works as a freelance photographer and is often up by 6 a.m., calling newspaper photo desks around the city in hopes of getting an assignment. Mr. Grimm is a junior lawyer at a corporate firm who is already married, to his job.

But before they could make plans, Ms. Borowick needed to know: how long did her parents have? Both had advanced cancers. Pancreatic cancer was eating at her father, breast cancer at her mother, and the daughter could not conceive of getting married without them. “You’re walking me down the aisle,” she kept telling them.

The most likely person to have the answers was Dr. Barry Boyd, who had been caring for Ms. Borowick’s mother, Laurel, since she was first given a diagnosis of cancer in 1997, and more recently, her father.

Dr. Boyd is on the staff at Greenwich Hospital, an assistant research professor at the Yale School of Medicine and a rarity in the medical field, a buoyant oncologist. He would not lie, but he is known for striving to convey the most hopeful version of the truth.

Which is why in April when Ms. Borowick asked for advice on scheduling the wedding, Dr. Boyd’s response startled her. “There’s no reason not to do it as soon as you can,” he said.

She picked Oct. 5.

Click here to read the rest of this moving feature.

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