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January 19, 1996 - Image 183

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-01-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

The vc

ment store, said before she start- should be used with caution, and
ed using testosterone, "'it was like that women should have all the
I had PMS (premenstrual syn- information about side effects."
Ms. Phillips said she doesn't
drome), only double. I didn't have
a lot of energy, and I was believe testosterone will be wide-
ly used for sexual purposes, "But
grumpy."
She had taken estrogen, but it it should be available to women
didn't relieve all of her symptoms. who are emotionally interested
"Testosterone makes a huge (in sex), but whose bodies are lag-
difference. I now get little dark ging behind."
Ms. Jacobowitz, 59, said she
hairs on my chin, but I don't
mind plucking them," said Craw- questioned 1,500 midlife women
ford, who receives testosterone across the country about their sex
via monthly shots. "If Cm late get- lives before writing her book.
ting a shot, my husband really Like many of them, she uses es-
trogen replacement therapy and
notices."
Ashley Phillips, director of believes it saves her from de-
WomanCare, a feminist health pression and other negative
center in San Diego, said she is symptoms of menopause. She
always concerned about the use doesn't take testosterone now,
of hormones, but that testos- but will try it if she ever needs it.
"I have a husband of 40 years
terone has proven to be "a good
whom I adore," Ms. Jacobowitz
option for some women."
"In the 1970s, we would have said. "My sexuality is very im-
looked at this askance, but in the portant to me." ❑
'90s, we support informed deci- Barbara Fitzsimmons is a writer
sions by women consumers," Ms. for the Copley News Service.
Phillips said. "I believe hormones

The Retirement Community That .71 -as It AP

Welcomes You With
Open Arms!

From Mother
To Daughter

YAEL EHRENPREIS SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

s a child growing up in
China, Xiaomei Chen
spent every Sunday morn-
ing at the bus station. She
was waiting for her mother to
come home, the mother she nev-
er saw any other time. As direc-
tor of a major Chinese hospital,
her mother spent time with her
just one day each week.
"My mother was crazy about
her work," Dr. Chen recounted.
"Once, I remember, she had to
administer a new drug to a pa-
tient. To ensure it was safe, she
tested it on herself instead."
The 34-year-old Dr. Chen, a
scientist devoted to brain cancer
research, has inherited her moth-
er's "craziness." Ironically, how-
ever, she has also inherited her
mother's conflict: She had to leave
her 2-year-old son back in China,
as she rushed off to do postdoc-
toral research at the Weizmann
Institute of Science, a leading Is-
raeli institution.
It was neither willingly nor
thoughtlessly that Dr. Chen de-
cided to leave her child one year
ago, but rather, an inner drive
that compelled her. Dr. Chen's
girlish appearance — black hair
tied back into pigtails — and
youthful exuberance conceal a
deep yearning to learn and to ac-
complish.
"My mother did not spend
much time with me," Dr. Chen
recalled, "but she taught me, 'Xi-
aomei, what is the meaning of
life? That you be useful to other
people."
At the Weizmann Institute, a

A

60-year-old center for the study
of the natural sciences, Dr. Chen
studies under the guidance of
cancer researcher Professor Yosef
Yarden, one of 2,300 Institute sci-
entists and staff. She is part of
a group investigating why some
cells begin to increase in number
without regard to the body's
needs.
In particular, Dr. Chen focus-
es on the oncogenes, a type of
gene that can potentially trans-
form a normal cell into a cancer-
ous one. Oncogenes may
stimulate the cells to reproduce
without limit, and form a mass
of cells: a tumor.

She doesn't worry
that her son might
forget her.

Cancer, Dr. Chen explained,
cannot be stopped until we un-
derstand how it begins.
As a child, Dr. Chen remem-
bers that when she would awake
at 2 in the morning, she would
see her mother poring over med-
ical journals. Today, Dr. Chen is
still experimenting in the lab at
that hour. At 7, she is reading; by
8:30, she returns to the lab. Dr.
Chen calls her son once each
week. Now that he is 2 years old,
she says, "He can speak to me
very well." She does not worry
that he might forget her, but
proudly shows off the pictures

MOTHER page 132

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