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Off Our Chests recounts the story of Liza and John's experience with her diagnosis and treatment. Written in alternating voices, Liza details her treatment, the complex decisions she had to make throughout her course of chemotherapy and radiation, including clinical trial participation and an elective double mastectomy, the added complexity of being treated at the cancer center of which John was the chief of hematology and oncology, and the emotional impact of knowing she may die as a young woman with young children.
John Marshall is a medical oncologist and a professor at Georgetown University, and he is an internationally recognized expert in gastrointestinal cancers and the development of new treatments for cancer. He has been outspoken on controversial issues in cancer research, including his criticism of the dominance and success of breast cancer advocacy and research at the unfortunate expense of other specialties.
Liza Marshall is an attorney, who retired from the practice of law in 2005 to manage her family. She then became involved in the establishment of a cancer support organization in the Washington, D.C. area, and she remains deeply involved in their work. In 2006, when she was 43 years old, Liza was diagnosed with a high-risk Stage 3 triple negative breast cancer.
John and Liza will be in conversation with Marianne Szegedy-Maszak, the editorial operations director at the DC bureau of Mother Jones. She's a journalist, editor, book doctor, and ghost writer. She has written a family Holocaust memoir, I Kiss Your Hands Many Times: Hearts, Souls and Wars in Hungary.