Monday, June 25, 2012

Relay for Life Part One

As I mentioned in my last update (what, two, three weeks ago? – yikes!), was invited to New Hope to speak at a Relay for Life event. Gotta tell ya’, I’m OK at speaking when it comes to my work or at homeschool functions. Speaking – out loud – about my experience with cancer was odd. And I know you’re thinking that I’ve pretty much lost my mind; I’ve told you every little thing that’s happened along this journey of mine. But there’s a difference – a dumb one, but a difference nonetheless.

I was asked to speak about it in my capacity as a columnist with AOL’s Patch, who I write for. I was concerned because I didn’t want to be known as that breast cancer survivor who writes a humor column for Patch. I want to be known as the humor columnist, who also happened to beat breast cancer. That may sound like one and the same, but not to me & my addled brain.

Now, here’s the REALLY weird catch – I wouldn’t have been asked to speak had I not spilled my battle with cancer to my readers at Patch. I never once considered sharing this journey with Patch readers. Like I said, I wanted to keep both things separate. For some reason, though, on Mother’s Day, I felt a need to write about it. If you’d like to read the article, click here.

I have no idea why, I have no idea that the timing would prove significant, I just knew it was time to tell my story to my Patch readers. I have a strong faith in God; you simply can’t go through the type of Hell that I went through without either having it strengthened or forging the beginnings of that faith. For me, it was simply a natural progression in my journey.

Don’t get me wrong; I had days when I railed against God. More specifically, when I was enduring my third surgery for the MRSA infection I contracted during the mastectomy.  And even more so when I was in the hospital for almost a week with the wound kept open, having the packed bandages changed twice a day, and watching a beautiful snow fall outside my window. I was so lonely, because my family & I love snow storms. We pop corn, light a fire, and watch as the snow drifts to the ground, turning the world into a magical wonderland. I was angry as I sat in my hospital bed alone, knowing that my family was home, missing me there with them. Thankfully, it was a hissy fit and I got over it. You really kind of have to put it into perspective – I was ALIVE.


Many women didn’t survive this disease, and the odds were even worse for women who had it at the stage I did. I still have demons I battle, and I’ll tell you more about them. But for right now, I’ve digressed – big time.

So, due to my decision to share my battle with my Patch readers, Linda Pickett saw it and asked me to come and speak.

I’ve never been to a Relay for Life event before. I’m just now getting mobile again, in between reconstruction surgeries. But I was impressed by the people there. We walked around, and saw all the tents that were pitched. The camaraderie was palpable. Still, I’ll be honest, I was uneasy. Goes back to that whole keeping my identity separate. Hey, I’m a super hero in my own mind – keeping my two identities separate.

Come on, give me a break – I’m old. I can have delusions of grandeur once in a while, can’t I?

Part Two, where I tell you all about the awesome people I met there, coming by the weekend!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Relay for Life - New Hope

Today, I went to New Hope to speak at the American Cancer Society Relay for Life at the invitation of Linda Pickett. She'd read my article "Different Kind of Mother's Day" in Patch. I had an amazing time & have lots to tell you about. I'm going to have to do it tomorrow, though, as I'm so, so tired. Plus, since I was operated on recently on my left boob, it's bothering me. I also have pictures to go thru, plus I met an AMAZING musician, Abraham Weaver (, his wife and their daughter. I'll be giving his specifics out as well, since I think he I & his beautiful family are awesome.

Will post photos tomorrow! In the meantime, good night. And good night to all those wonderful people who are spending the night in tents at New Hope-Solebury High School tonight as part of the 24 hour Relay for Life. God Bless them all.

Oh, & Jack, you were one of the highlights of my day! Thank you.
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