Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Columnist Chronicles Battle with Cancer: Humor Helps

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Columnist Chronicles Battle with Cancer: Humor Helps

Article excerpt

A sense of humor helps, Lauren Terrazzano says, when you're dying of cancer. If there's a heaven, the newspaper columnist wrote recently, she plans to have a drink with John F. Kennedy Jr., who crashed near Martha's Vineyard, and then "thwack him on the head for flying that night in the fog."

And, if she somehow winds up in hell, she wants to meet the guy "who invented the tape that keeps your IV in place. I will proceed to wrap him in it, like a mummy, and then peel it off. Slowly.

"I hope he is very hairy."

Described by colleagues as a tenacious, hard-nosed street reporter, Terrazzano has drawn praise for sharing her own story in "Life, With Cancer," a column she has been writing in the Long Island newspaper Newsday since October. Diagnosed with lung cancer three years ago at age 36, her right lung has been removed and she has undergone extensive chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

In a recent column, she announced that doctors have given her two to three months to live.

"The disease has advanced despite all of these treatments and we really don't know what the future holds," said Terrazzano, who covered the JFK Jr. plane crash, the TWA Flight 800 disaster and many other high-profile stories in the decade she has been with Newsday.

She continues to cover news for the paper when she's able, in addition to writing the column that runs every Tuesday.

Terrazzano recently celebrated her first wedding anniversary, with New York Times reporter Al Baker. …

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