PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Moving a family from the US to China would be tough. So would getting breast cancer, but an author appearing this week at Fox Chase Cancer Center had to deal with both at once.

Author Susan Conley (photo) always intended to document her move to China with her husband and two young boys, but in 2007 she discovered lumps in her breasts. Her struggles are compiled in the memoir, The Foremost Good Fortune, an O magazine pick.

In a foreign land with foreign medical sensibilities, she found she had to push for immediate treatment. “I was compelled to be an advocate for myself and keep it together for my kids.”

She also found community in an unlikely place, “That was the other big thing for me, realizing that I had to ask for help, from friends that I hadn’t even known all that long and realizing that people were really there for me.”

To register for Conley’s free talk Wednesday evening at Fox Chase, go to

Reported By John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio.

Top Content On CBSPhilly

Watch & Listen LIVE