Step Up! Share the Love!

A few years ago, I had just returned back to school after winter break. I was in my classroom, preparing for class, when I got a phone call. It was a good friend of mine. She had lost my home phone number, but she knew I would be back at school that day. When she told me her news, I burst into tears. She was barely 30 years old and had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Last summer, I ran into a friend of my sister-in-law’s at a funeral. I looked at her short, curly hair, finally growing back after chemo. This mother of two, in her 40’s, told me how relieved she would feel if she could just reach the five year survival anniversary. Five years. I smiled and agreed. Inwardly, I cringed, thinking that the fear of cancer recurrence never goes away. Not after five years. Not even after fifteen years.

Just last week, something happened that made me tearfully collapse in my husband’s arms. “It’s not fair!” I wailed. “I’m the one who had cancer. I’m the one who had needles poked into my arms for chemo. It’s not fair!”

Yes, even fifteen years after my diagnosis of breast cancer, I still have a self-pity party every once in a while.

The three of us have survived breast cancer, even though we were diagnosed young. However, the breast cancer community online was shocked by the loss of two young women who had been fighting metastatic breast cancer. Rachel, author of The Cancer Culture Chronicles and Susan, of Toddler Planet, both passed away on Monday, Feb. 6, 2012. While I never met them, I read their blogs and am so saddened by their loss.

I’ve been praying a lot these days. Amy, the Matron Down Under, just discovered she has breast cancer, and she is only 35. Her sister Becky (Suburban Matron) had her own fight with breast cancer two years ago. I just don’t understand why so many of us are diagnosed with breast cancer at such a young age.


Today, for Valentine’s Day, Dr. Love/Avon’s Army of Women is going to Share the Love to help further breast cancer research. LOVE Goes Beyond a Cure, and So Do I! Below is a video I made in October which answers the question, “When did you know breast cancer was going to change your life?” Since this video was made, I also was able to join  a breast cancer research study. What a great feeling! (If you are reading this post in your email or a reader, you may have to click to Lemon Drop Pie to watch the video.)


16 Replies to “Step Up! Share the Love!”

  1. I think it's because they're getting better at detecting it, don't you? And that's a good thing! My mom is a survivor, which makes me worry all the time about my own chances of getting it.though. I don't have insurance now, so I have been bad about getting annual mammograms. I just don't want it detected before I ever get some because then it's pre-determined and I'm screwed. I know that's bad.

    1. Liz! You shouldn't be telling me that because you know I'm going to yell at you! 😉 I hope you get insurance soon. Just keep up those monthly self exams. I'm so glad that your mom is still around!!

  2. I must admit that ever since reading your blog I have been examining myself a bit more closely and more often. And I do keep an eye out for the moles on my arms as well. Now I just need to get that smear done which I always keep putting off!

  3. So sorry for those who have lost their lives to this horrific disease. I just attended a Memorial Service on Saturday for a 48 year old woman who lost her fight. She was a friend from our bowling league and just a joy to know.

  4. Ginny Marie,
    SHARE the Love…. I'm going to write my Love for Dr Love right now…. a few days late….

    I HOPE everyone here has joined Army of Women… and if they haven't….. please do…. I didn't only join to get the research emails, I now help out in NYS to get more people to join, too. I officially claimed social media as my stomping ground, too.

    I love that we connected….


    1. Me, too, AnneMarie! I would love to volunteer at an AOW booth some time, but so far all the calls have been for cities too far away from Chicago! Maybe someday soon I'll get the chance. 🙂

  5. Oh GM….
    Did you see there is a STUDY going on in Chicago right now???? Maybe you fit the criteria…..
    And, as for volunteering…..
    The avon walk in Chicago MAY have staff at the "pre event" walking through the crowds of women as they are checking in…. They are usually looking for volunteers to walk around and talk up the army…… If you are interested in working for a little bit of time at the walk, I can put you in touch with the folks in California that help make sure they have enough staff….
    The OTHER thing…. keep your eyes open in your neighborhood….. lots of things coming up around here…. golf outings and the like….if you see anything breast cancer related, just pass the info and again, AOW will see if they can get a table and volunteers to staff the event!

    1. Hey, thanks for the link to that study! Unfortunately, I'm too far out from my diagnosis to qualify. Last year I was a walker in the Avon Walk in the Avon Walk in Chicago…I didn't notice any AOW volunteers, but I wasn't looking for them, either. That would be a great place to talk it up!

      You're the best, AM! xoxoxo back to ya!

  6. I didn't walk but I "oversee" the NYS volunteers. We had a table for sign ups on "event eve" …… One of the girls who is a volunteer DID walk. She popped over to the table and helped me for a couple of hours. She signed up at least 100 women while they were waiting on the lines to register! We can talk about this ahead of time….. I'm going to find out if AOW has a table at the Chicago event!!!!!…… xoxox

  7. FYI….. I Just watched your video. It's great!!!! ok… off to my volunteer day at MSK. We're gonna do this….yes, we ARE…..for your mom and mine….. for you and me….and for our daughters….

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