IMPROG: Alone is the word of the day

Today is the day I pull out Susan’s envelope and pull out a little slip of paper. I’m supposed to write about whatever is on it. Today’s word is ALONE.

As always, somehow
Susan knows what word I will get, and when and exactly what I need to write about. Of course, she says the same thing about me. It must be that psychic connection we have.

And speaking of pyschic connections, has anybody else ever wondered why they have to advertise for psychic fairs? Shouldn’t everybody just know when it is going to be?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

The word alone means different things to different people, of course. For me? I often feel
alone when I think about the cancer. It isn’t that I didn’t have most of my friends and family around me when I had it; quite the opposite, actually. The people that mattered were there for me---whether it was in a phone call, a letter or a postcard, a meal brought, a hand held during chemo, a shoulder to cry on, a pedicure to share, or a visit for the weekend from a far away place.

But cancer is still a very lonely disease.

Even after the cancer-free diagnosis, there are still things that make me feel
alone. The weight gained, the hot flashes that are almost unbearable brought on by sudden-menopause, the back aches, the tingling in the arms, the dry skin, the fact that I still get really, really tired, the terror after you have another mammogram or a blood test or an MRI or even a headache and I know that I will never be the same.

I’m able to bring it up to my buddies that have “been there, done that” and would like to take the time to say thanks to
Margerie for being there when I need her.

After this weekends photo shoot and the spectacular women I met, I don’t feel
alone. I feel empowered. I looked around the room and listened to their stories and was reminded that I would never be completely alone.

They looked death in the face and kicked cancer’s ass, just like me. They lost their hair, just like me. They have scars that are a daily reminder of the fight, just like me. They are mad as hell that we can put a man on the moon and can’t cure cancer, just like me.

We were brought together for a reason. The reason was a man with a vision, and the women in his life that are helping him carry on his wife’s legacy. We are all going to do what we can to end the breast cancer that 1 in 8 women face. In the time that I have been thinking and writing about this word, there have been 4 women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. If that doesn’t scare the shit out of you, nothing will.

I will be writing more about these spectacular women over the next few weeks. These phenomenal ladies who are each trying to do what they can to fight the beast. I know that I am not
alone in my fight. We have banded together to make a difference in this world, and refuse to let women and men all over the world be alone in their fight.

If you, or someone you know, is going through a cancer diagnosis or treatment and need somewhere to turn, shoot me a message, and I will help you navigate through the circus of cancer.


Margerie said...

What the hell are you thanking me for? You are the first survivor I talked to that didn't have the big sigh and "You're f'ed" voice. You met me for the first time when I was bald and you didn't bat an eye. You even dragged out your old wigs and wore them to lunch, driving in your convertible with wig hair in spectacular splendor.You told me about how some little girl asked you where your eyebrows were and how you didn't slug her. You made me laugh and cry! When I see you, I don't see anything that cancer has taken away. I am glad you are not feeling alone. I feel the time is now and we are going to see a cure. So every test and headache for a cancer survivor is just that- a test and a headache! You inspire me to do more, have more significance in my post-breast cancer life.

Can't wait to hear about other inspiring women! (you teaser you)

Anonymous said...

I love you. You will never be alone, unless you need some space and ask to be alone.

Susan said...

I love you, too, Hayley! And even if some of us are on the sidelines when it comes to many of the experiences you've had, your friends are still here with you.

As long as you and I have email access, you'll never be truly alone.

Samantha P said...

I'm on your side of the ring- both gloves on- if you ever need me. And I can kick major ass when required. xoxo-Samantha Pruitt