A friend

4 Oct

Pink Ink…

We’re coming to the end of the 1st week of Breast Cancer Awareness month!  Turn in any direction , and there is something PINK.  There are Races, development drives, Zumba classes, and pink products. Celebrities come out of the woodwork to share their “stories of inspiration”.  The White House even goes pink! That din you hear is the call for a cure, and awareness!

Last night Phoenix Fashion Week was kicked off with a Fashionably Pink Fashion Show.  The proceeds went to Susan G. Komen for a Cure.  The Fashion Show brought together “real” models, celebrities and Survivors to walk the runway.  The fashion show, while a showcase for local designers, was really a celebration of Survivors.  It was a great event not just because it raised a lot of money, and we got to play dress up.  It was a great event because people shared their stories, and people listened.  Yes, there were interviews, and videos of Survivors.  But as we sat around, models and Survivors, getting our make up done, or waiting for the show to begin, we talked.  I met a woman diagnosed at 25, who is using her experience of the last year to educate other young woman.  I chatted at length with a 3 year Survivor who was diagnosed when her daughter was 9, like me. Holly has spent the years since her diagnosis spreading awareness, through any means necessary.  (Sounds familiar!) Interestingly, none of the Survivors I spoke with cared about losing their breasts!  One of us proudly shared that she said “no way” to reconstruction, and hasn’t looked back!  We compared chemo port scars, drugs, and shared stories of losing our hair.  Other models took the chance to ask questions about how we were diagnosed, how we felt, and how our families held up. The feeling of the event was of warmth and love and support!  It reinforced the idea that we must share our stories!  Attendees, models and Survivors all learned something about breast health last night, in a fun environment. Thanks Phoenix Fashion Week and Susan G. Komen for a great evening!

But the truth about breast cancer is that not everyone survives.

People die.

Last night marked the 1-year anniversary of the passing of a family friend from breast cancer. So I briefly share her story.

Inspiration

Like me, Angie was diagnosed with aggressive triple negative breast cancer.  Like me, she did it all.   Chemo, double mastectomy, radiation etc.  Like me, she had a great team of friends, family and doctors supporting and loving her.  Like me, she was young, active, didn’t smoke, and breast cancer didn’t run in her family.  Like me, Angie fought.  She fought hard, while always maintaining a positive attitude.  Angie’s cancer eventually spread to her lungs.  Even then, she was positive.  She shared her journey with others.  She shared her journey with me. She was an inspiration even before I was diagnosed.

Angie is now an Angel, but she continues to inspire me, to push me to fight.

Last night, as I walked that runway, I thought of my friend. I didn’t share with anyone what that night truly meant to me.  I didn’t want the “sad eyes”.  Last night was a celebration of clothes and survival for most.

But for me, it was also a celebration of …a friend.

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