I was inspired this week. Or maybe I should say I was reminded of the incredible sisterhood that comes with a breast cancer diagnosis. My reminder came from a series happenings that individually were not really a big deal, but collectively, their story tells me how lucky I am.
It all started by the pool at my friend, Laurie's house on Sunday. Just us four girls, floating around in a pool talking about a little and a lot, planning Wendi's birthday celebration (Happy Birthday, Wendi!) and trying out a new hors d'oeurvres that Julann prepared to test for her upcoming Pampered Chef show. It was an awesome afternoon. I needed some time with the girls to help gain my focus for the coming week.
To paint a picture of what my week looked like, on my plate were three grant proposals, two important reports to prominent charities and a number of stewardship projects that were time sensitive. All to be completed on my part time schedule. Because a deadline is a deadline, regardless of my limitations, I snuck in hours of work at odd moments, usually getting my second wind about 10:00 p.m. That was my second problem. My first was that the radiation fatigue had finally taken hold. I fell asleep typing for the first time in my life. Not to say all this to complain. I love making a difference. I am passionate about Rady Children's programs and want them to succeed. It was just unfortunate that radiation fatigue peaked and numerous pending deadlines all occurred in the same week. As I tell my kids though, that's the way the cookie crumbles, sometimes.
By the end of the week, just when I had about had it, the 'sisterhood' kicked into high gear. I received a phone call from my friend Nancy, a breast cancer survivor. While we only communicated through voicemail, just hearing from her made me smile. I also made a new friend through my blog and I am anxious to read hers. I stumbled across another new blog that I really like on the Livestrong website and also rediscovered the Living with Cancer blog, a blog I have been following for a while. I was particularly attracted to the Livestrong Blog Entry, Two and Too because Renee, the author had reconstructive surgery yesterday. Renee had posted quite a few pictures of her cancer journey. The pictures were reminiscent of my own journey and had me wishing that we took a few more. Not that all of the memories were pleasant...I just liked the way Renee presented them.
All in all, in reading, listening and responding to messages and posts discovered this week, I am reminded of the sisterhood that exists among breast cancer survivors. Now that I am through radiation, I want to be more of a part of it. I want to be there to help, lend an ear and/or offer advice. I know I have a lot to give. I also know that I have a long road ahead of me too, as I face two painful surgeries. I am lucky to have my family and friends to support me. And more than that, I know I can lean on the sisterhood, that in a backwards sort of way, I am happy to be a part of. This is the good stuff. This is my reward from suffering through cancer. And it goes without saying that my girlfriends who are not a part of the breast cancer sisterhood are still sisters...they contribute in a different way that is equally as important. Love you all, my friends!