For my #31daysoflove I will be wearing pink and posting a picture of what I am wearing. I will also be tagging several breast cancer survivor friends and saying a few words about each of them. I would like you to see, what I see, about these women.
Stephanie Thomas – I remember getting an email from my breast navigator with Stephanie’s name saying that she would LOVE to volunteer with Reach to Recovery when she was healed from her surgeries. I knew the name rang a bell but I couldn’t figure out why. Come to find out – she is my neighbor! She was in the middle of her surgeries and she already wanted to help other women. I tell you all, the hearts of the volunteers we have is amazing. Then Stephanie signed up to be a Primax Pink Warrior Princess last year and she raised over $3,400. She is amazing and very passionate about the cause and raising awareness. For this year’s walk she has already raised over $3,000!
Claire Rutledge – she is in the middle of her reconstruction surgeries and she is constantly asking me what she can do to help me and where her talents can be utilized. She helped us paint Michelle’s bedroom a few months ago and is always at our TNBC meetings being open, honest, and present. She is a real trooper doing this in the middle of reconstruction and she is terrific. I am honored to know her and call her a friend. I am also thrilled she is walking with us this year on the Primax Pink Warriors.
Chris Vilchek – my oh my, what do I say about this woman? I remember when I first met her she kept telling me how she could never go through what I had been through and how strong she thought I was. Then she was tested for the brca gene mutation when her sister was diagnosed, so she ended up going through exactly what I went through; a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, a bilateral mastectomy, and reconstruction. I remember sitting with her a dinner before her big surgery and we both got teary eyed trying to figure out how we got from being healthy to having cancer, fighting cancer, and then having our breasts removed and having reconstruction. It is a big pill to swallow sometimes and what I learned from Chris is that no matter what you say – you CAN do anything! Even when you think you can’t. You rock girl…
Doris Troutman – another Reach to Recovery volunteer, TNBC support group attendee, and friend. She is so very sweet, open, and loving. She is just terrific. I didn’t know her during her breast cancer battle but I know her now and I am thankful that I do. She has been very supportive during my last surgery and I know our patients love her!
Moira Quinn – what to say about Moira? When I was first introduced to Moira I immediately was taken with her strength and her honesty. We had lunch, we became friends, she helps me with all kinds of things breast cancer related – and now we are friends. Good friends. I believe that Moira will be one of those women who will stand by me – no matter what. We may have some hard times ahead but she will be right with me, as I will be with her, encouraging each other to keep going and to keep making a difference. It’s what we are doing. I didn’t know Moira during her breast cancer battle but I do know she is one tough lady and she took breast cancer by the throat and knocked the living crap out of it and threw it down into the gutter. Stupid cancer. But without cancer, I wouldn’t know this fabulous lady – so…as usual…silver linings are everywhere!
I am in my jammies today helping out with my new grand-daughter – so here’s to you in pink jammies!