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Some Forgotten Name

Five percent. I felt obliged to say something, but no one was there, and I didn’t know what I was supposed to say anyway. Placing my hand on my neck, feeling the pulse there, I stood for some minutes on the verge of moving or speaking or sitting or something. Then the impulse passed, and I was on the other side of it, feeling as if I’d forgotten something, some name or object or emotion I’d meant to take note of but had carelessly allowed to slip by.

-Lucy Grealy, Autobiography of a Face, p. 68

Lucy Grealy describes her response to finding out that the survival rate for her form of cancer was only 5%. Who was it she needed to talk to, and what name had she forgotten?

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