I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar
Last updated: April 2023
Buried away in the world of chemotherapy, I lost my faith that I would emerge again with strength and wholeness. I isolated myself trying to reduce the potential for infection. Yet, despite weakness and unspeakable side effects, that little light continued to shine, telling me I was not quite ready for this to end my story.
On the few times I imagined giving up, my incredible husband was there to move me on. He would say, "You haven't left the house in days. It's time to ride in the car and get the stink blown off you." I knew this was code to remind me he, too, was scared he was losing me. The last thing I wanted was for us to lose each other.
Life was never easy
You see, life was never easy. Early on, I learned the full force of cancer when it robbed me of my father. He was a beautiful man, determined to provide only the best for his family.
As the youngest of four children, I was far too young to lose him. But as cancer is known to do, he went deep inside when a frontal lobe lesion took away the strong and joyful man I knew and replaced him with a stranger.
By the time he died, his large sparkling blue eyes, which used to laugh, were vacant. He could not speak and tell me, "You have got this girl. Make me proud."
Finding my voice and making a difference
Observing this phenomenon, I continue to fight hard to find my voice. This past week, I attended our local Women Helping Women Annual Luncheon. It is a significant event occurring each October to support Breast Cancer Awareness. Millions of dollars are raised to enable research, fund care for cancer patients, and promote the importance of early detection.
While some folks live by the philosophy of seeing is believing, I maintain a respect for polarity thinking. Therefore, there is an amazing superpower in exhibiting the concept of believing is seeing.
Raising awareness around ovarian cancer
Thus, while fully aware that this highly esteemed group of women maintains a focus on breast cancer, I felt it was time to subtly encourage them to include advanced ovarian cancer in their thinking. I know and respect that change takes time. However, I felt this was a perfect place to plant a seed.
Not only did I provide the well know data from Brigham Women's, but I also reminded those who would listen that there are women in this room likely going undiagnosed with yet another cancer. In addition, of course, I arrived on the scene with a partially bald head, validating my experience.
Looking for opportunities to roar
My purpose in attending the annual luncheon was to serve as 1 of 4 selected vendors. It is the first time I have sought an opportunity to sell the book I published during my first remission.
Someone to Watch Over You: Finding Your Strength Within fosters self-growth and healing. I wish to provide people the tools to improve their experience in life, understand concepts related to grief and loss and find that they, too, have the strength and resilience to carry on.
I also received permission to raffle off a Christmas wreath. Believing there were no coincidences, I knew the wreath had to suit the occasion. As you might guess, our craftswoman created a beautifully decorated 30 inch wreath in teal blue.
I honor you, my sister in teal! Look for opportunities to roar. Don't leave us before it is your time to go!
Which word, if any, best describes your reaction to being diagnosed with ovarian cancer?
Join the conversation