If any of these programs interest you and the dates have passed, just call Buddy Kemp and they will let you know when the next ones are scheduled. Free information friends…and knowledge is power!
If you are passionate about breast cancer, and I know some of you are, and you would like to volunteer – then please read on! This meeting is an opportunity for anyone who would like to get involved with Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and the American Cancer Society. You can help us “run” the walk by joining this committee and giving away some of your talent, your heart, and your desire to do something great, for the best cancer organization out there. When I tell people “think before you pink” I am usually talking about researching your pink ribbon organizations before you donate, but the term stands true for volunteering also. Being an avid volunteer for Making Strides and for Reach to Recovery, for the American Cancer Society, is where my passion is….and lots of you have seen this in action, so, if you want to check out what makes the walk “run”…please come to this meeting. In the last few talks I have been asked to do I end them with “the more you give your life away, the better it gets”…and I am not kidding. I will be at this meeting – will you?
While I was sitting in church today something (well, a lot of things) really touched my heart. Our pastor was talking about the ways in which God speaks to us, and what that means, and what that looks like. This really started my mind and my heart to start doing what it does during God moments. Here is a tiny part of what he said regarding God speaking to us: “with messages, once we accept the message we can change from being the recipient to being the messenger.” I found this interesting – although it is common sense, it all depends on how you view this and in what type of situation you are in. The words and views below are what my mind has been thinking about – our pastor didn’t talk about any of these things. He went on to very cool things…the rambling below belongs to me.
If it’s gossip you CAN change from the recipient to the messenger, but you don’t have to. You have the ability to stop that right there in its gossipy tracks. You can also stand up to the person gossiping and possibly stop them in their tracks too. You then become a gossip stopper.
If it’s good news and something worth spreading – which can be ALL kinds of things, think of how cool it is to be able to take a great message and then spread the good news around. You then become a happy news spreader!
Today I was thinking about this and from my interpretation, for me, one of my messages in life has been my cancer diagnosis; I am blessed by what I learned through that experience, how strong my faith became, and the path I chose to follow after being diagnosed. I WAS the recipient of “that message” and I have switched roles to becoming a messenger for people in the same situation. I can walk with women who are diagnosed and allow them to peer into my “private” cancer fight and learn from it. I have also become so much more understanding to anyone going through chronic illnesses and it’s neat to be able to say “I understand”…. “I get that”….. “I was also there”….and to help be a beacon of hope for them and show them that there can be better days after the dark ones. A lot of cancer fighters invest all they have to fight this disease and before they know it, the treatments are over, they are getting through the physical changes no one ever expected, and then they have hair again and BAM they are better. A lot better. Sometimes this takes a long time and it helps to hear that also. “Messages” like these change people, most of the time for the better, and they can choose to change from being the recipient to being a messenger. Just like I chose to do this. My heart is full when I am surrounded by my cancer survivor friends or when I am invited into someone’s life to walk beside them during their cancer battle. This is such a great blessing for me….it’s funny because you might think you are helping someone out with tips, info, support, and resources…but what you get back is twenty times better…that’s how it goes with giving I suppose. Giving money, time, energy and love. The core of this message can be viewed in so many ways; but receiving the message, choosing to listen to God, and then changing from the recipient to the messenger is one of the best parts of my life.
The photo below popped up on my facebook yesterday and it just amazed me to look at myself…and I mean really look at myself in that photo. That was the day my really long hair was cut to shoulder length because I was going to start chemotherapy and it WAS going to fall out. So here I sit having my shorter hair dried, I had NO idea what was ahead of me with chemotherapy, I hadn’t had my breasts removed or reconstructed yet, I was freshly diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer and the brca gene mutation, I was literally like a deer caught in headlights here. This was taken in April 2011. Since then my entire life has changed and I am back in almost the same exact haircut as I got in this photo. My hair fell out, then it grew back curly, and now I have almost straight hair again. But while all of those hair changes were going on – my heart has changed and so has my life.
It’s been my honor to accept the message I received on March 1, 2011, and change from being the recipient to being a messenger…for hope, for strength and courage, for good news, and for all that I have learned the last four years.
I hope that this vaccine is a promising discovery in the world of triple negative breast cancer. Watch the video below and gather your hopes and prayers along with mine. This is for women who have had tnbc and are now healthy…this is to keep away a recurrence. GO MAYO CLINIC! GO!!! My eyes are on this clinical trial. More info to follow as it unfolds…..I hope this is good news for us friends.
Focus. Emotional weight. Nerves. Honor. Humility. Importance.
Tonight I did the hardest speech (talk, story, whatever you want to call it) for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer awards dinner, that I have ever had to do. I have had my head down for the last ten days, working at work, focusing on my words while practicing this speech, and being very heavy-hearted feeling the importance of my words and of my delivery of those words.
I am not nervous speaking in front of people anymore. The bad part is my memory is trashed from chemotherapy so I usually have to read what I am saying…but, that’s just a dent in public speaking for me at this point. It is what it is. Tonight the Primax Pink Warriors received awards and honors for our successful year for Making Strides 2014. The highest fundraiser in the City of Charlotte was our special Primax Pink Warrior, Michelle Belt. She is my friend who you all have read about, and heard about, who passed away on October 20, 2014 from triple negative breast cancer. Lots of you reading this blog right now knew her. So I have been heavy-hearted facing this speech about Michelle…I knew, deep in my heart, this speech mattered more than any other speech I would ever do. Her sister-in-law Sheila came tonight and so did Michelle’s Dad. Michelle’s brother was traveling and her Mom just had surgery so they couldn’t come. Two of Michelle’s girls have been moved to New York so they also couldn’t come. So you see, with her Dad and Sheila there, it was an even more important story to tell. I had to be able to honor Michelle in the way I knew I was capable of – but boy is it hard to tell a story like that for someone who was so important to you, without losing it. So very difficult….but I did it. I made it through the entire story without breaking down. I got pulled down a time or two where I felt like I was going to lose my composure but I didn’t.
So, the reason for this blog is because I have been posting some pretty vague messages and people were worried I was sick. I am not sick. People thought it had to do with work. It doesn’t. It just was all about having something really important to do, something that really mattered, and I was nervous and wanted to do it right. I honestly felt like the more people who knew about tonight, the harder time I would have holding myself together.
So, with that being said; for all of my friends and family members at the event tonight (and not at the event tonight) thank you for praying me through this. Thank you for loving me through these things that I have the opportunity to do. I have been stretched and pulled into so many things that I would have never expected to happen in my life, nor would I have ever thought I could do them. My life was turned upside down on the day I was diagnosed with breast cancer….and thank God it hasn’t been the same since! #faithwins
I have had so many pieces of blog posts flying around my poor brain but I have been trying to stay focused and practice what I am supposed to be working on….trying trying trying to keep my emotions in check and my focus where it belongs.
Sometimes I really believe that some of the things I have been asked to do are way outside of any talent or gifts that I have been given. I mean really. Last year at this time I was chosen as one of 50 Most Influential Women in Charlotte. I still cannot imagine being nominated, never mind chosen, for this honor. The women in that room that night were very successful; they changed people’s lives and the world around them.
Today at church the sermon was another part of the Experiencing God study. We are going through that, as a church, for 9 weeks. Today the focus was on this:
When you give your history, concerns, and calling to God…they become the gift that God intended them for.
So I go on – practicing. I will update this blog later in the week for what is happening and until then I will keep my head down, my focus where it needs to be, and my thoughts right where they belong. I want to make sure that I can keep my composure and give the job I have been asked to do, the honor it deserves.
No matter how unnerving this can be – all around, it is a gift. I am still the luckiest girl ever.