Copyright ©2007 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Time again for StoryCorps, where friends and loved ones interview each other about their lives.

Today, a conversation between a mother and son. Dan Steinberg brought his mother Peg to StoryCorps to talk about how their family has made it through her multiple bouts with cancer.

Ms. PEG STEINBERG: When I was 36, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Ten and a half years later, it had reappeared in my skin, but I managed to come through it.

Mr. DAN STEINBERG: And since then, you've had one more bout with cancer.

Ms. STEINBERG: Yes, I have. Two years ago, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, but I now feel pretty good and so far - knock wood - the cancer is not there.

My family has been like a rock to me, from when you were even little. When you both came to the hospital when I first had my mastectomies, and you crawled in bed with me and we watched movies on the television. But the most amazing time was after my surgery from my ovarian cancer. You and Molly both said, we were young before and you wanted to protect us, but now we're here for you. We're adults, and we want to know what you're feeling so we can help you get through it. And that was very powerful.

Mr. STEINBERG: The way that you were able to carry yourself throughout the entire thing - you're still my mother, Molly's mother, and that hasn't changed. I guess what's been hard for me is facing up to the fact that, at some point, I know I'm going to have to say goodbye to you. And I hope that's not soon. But I guess part of me thinks it could be anytime.

Ms. STEINBERG: If there's anything I could change in terms of my illness, it would be that I could just give you positive things in life so that you would never have to deal with the fear of losing your mother.

Mr. STEINBERG: The idea that you haven't been able to give us positive things is, I mean, it's absurd. I love you, and you have always been a role model of how I should attack life, how I should live life.

Ms. STEINBERG: You know what, honey? I'm very happy that you feel that way, and I can't imagine having been through any of this without all of you.

(Soundbite of music)

MONTAGNE: That's Peg Steinberg with her son Dan at StoryCorps in Martha's Vineyard.

This interview will be archived, along with all the others, at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. You can subscribe to the StoryCorps podcast at npr.org.

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