I snuck away for a pedicure and was reading Self Magazine which was all about breast cancer and awareness. I read the statistics and a learned more about the risk groups and realized as I am now in my early thirties, I’m now at a higher risk and that it’s time to start taking those self exams seriously.
The next morning I got an email from a very good friend of mine. It started out apologizing for the mass email – as it began, I thought she was about to write that she and her husband were getting a divorce – I don’t know why I thought that, I love her husband and they have a great marriage, but it seemed to be the only logical piece of bad news she could be sending out. I literally felt my heart stop when I read that she was writing to tell everyone that she had breast cancer. 32 years old. Stage 4 breast cancer. My heart is racing as I write those words.
The good news is that she is crazy tough. And she is married to an amazing guy and they have been battling this awefulness together and she’s going to be ok. The road to recovery is long – she’s already endured several months of chemotherapy and despite it being successful, she is having surgery and then radiation. And all the while she has been open, honest about her feelings and making jokes. I will never look at arm pit hair the same way after she told me how excited she was to see hers growing back!
The part that makes my heart happy is that as I forwarded her email to our massive group of Phis, they all jumped in. They started a Meal Train so for the next several weeks, they will have dinners brought to their house a couple of times a week. There have been gift bags, flowers, emails, cards, texts and love going out to her. I know sororities get a bad wrap most of the time, but I’m proud to know my chapter has an amazing network of women who come from far and wide to help when a sister needs it.
I hate that this had to hit so close to home in order for me to pay more attention to my own health and risk. Take this as your wake up call to get your annual exams, do self exams and contribute to a charity/non profit who is working on a cure for such a miserable disease.