Sunday, October 11, 2015

I Wear Pink

I wear pink. I wear pink because it is my favorite color. I especially like the pastel shades.
It’s October.
For a few years after I was diagnosed I wore a pink ribbon pin every day during the month of October. I even gave out pink ribbon pins.
Over the past two years I have learned that breast cancer is not about awareness. It is not pink footballs and ribbons on food packaging. The truth is that cancer, any type of cancer can and does kill. When it comes to breast cancer in the U.S., over 40,000 women are expected to die this year alone. Additionally, it is estimated that over 2,300 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. And 85% of breast cancer occurs in women with no family history of breast cancer. [].
My friend Linda is one of this year’s statistics. A statistic that has remained relatively unchanged in 40 years. [See Ann Silberman's blog]. As a result of my very real experience with breast cancer and breast cancer death, my perspective has changed. It has changed from one of pink cheerleading to one of avid research supporter.

Last year, I lost my pins. Literally. I took that as a sign. I wear pink because it is my favorite color; not for awareness. We are aware. What we need is a cure.


If you enjoy my blog and would like to follow me on Facebook, I can be found at The Reluctant Survivor. And on Twitter @relucsurvivor.

Friday, October 2, 2015

In Need of Grace

“To be alive is to be broken. And to be broken is to stand in need of grace.”
– Brennan Manning
I am not one to read books by Christian authors that are published as “inspirational.” However, I just finished reading The Hardest Peace; Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life’s Hard by Kara Tippetts. I discovered Kara and her story in 2014. I’m not really sure how I found her or her blog, Mundane Faithfulness. What I do know is that I came across her story at a time of pain and struggle. Her words touched my heart. The short description of her book made me buy it to give to a friend.
I continue to follow Kara’s blog, though she left this world a few days after my friend Linda. I continue to be drawn to Kara’s words as her friend Blythe Hunt reposts Kara’s blog entries under Kara’s Collection. So recently I bought a copy of The Hardest Peace for myself. I do not want to make this a book review; rather it is reflective of how Kara’s words touched my heart.
Kara’s story is familiar to anyone who has gone through cancer treatment that included surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. And yet her story, like our own, is unique. While the book presents as Kara’s testimony I know first-hand what she, and those who cared for her, went through. There is a deep, ugly side to cancer treatment, and cancer death. Her chapter on losing her hair was deeply profound for me, because while she touched on the struggle there was so much that remained unsaid. I knew exactly what she really meant with her kind and gentle words. To be honest, my words would be much harsher. But I get it. I never thought of myself as prideful in my looks until I lost my hair. That was, and still is, the most devastating part of my cancer story.
I tell you this because Kara’s story has made me take a look at my life; my faith. I write about seeking grace. Now I know that grace met me on that table where I lay for my first biopsy. It was grace that was with me during my treatment. I discovered grace during my years of healing. And it is grace that I need as I continue to move forward.
If you enjoy my blog and would like to follow me on Facebook, I can be found at The Reluctant Survivor. And on Twitter @relucsurvivor.