There are times in your life when something really negative, but meaningful, happens to you. If you’re like me you never ask “Why Me?” Because the truth is, “Why not me?” That’s how I felt when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in February. Since then, I’ve been on an amazing journey filled with many inconveniences, pain and dark days. But it takes rain to make rainbows and yesterday a rainbow shone so brightly in my life I am still blinded by its presence. Yesterday was the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. My co-workers put together a team called Charlie’s Angels, based on my nickname Charlie. It was overwhelming to see so many people there to support women and men who have been affected by breast cancer. And a team put together to support me. I know I’m not the only reason people on the Charlie’s Angels team walked, but I know the idea started with A and D and a few others, out of concern for me. I am so humbled and so blessed — more than I can appropriately put into words. Charlie’s Angels raised $24,000 in just over a month! These are some amazing people. I will never be able to thank them and others enough for the outpouring of love, concern, and action. And even from people I don’t know (check out @dariusrucker Instagram and you’ll see what I mean). My family, friends and even acquaintances have taught me so much about love, kindness, selflessness, and what it really means to be a blessing to others.
Cancer changes you — physically, emotionally, and mentally. I look at pictures of myself before I was diagnosed and I think to myself that I’ll never again be that carefree person. I mourn who I was and question who I’m becoming. I look in the mirror and I feel sad for the person looking back at me. It’s a harrowing feeling.
Then I tell my reflection to “put on her big girl pants and get through this.” And that once this is done I know I owe it to others to help them see that there is life on the other side. Even though my journey isn’t over, my will is stronger than ever, because of Charlie’s Angels, because of my family and friends and because of God who has taken me down this path for reasons I may never know. But I trust. I trust that in time it will all be okay. In time I will know how to express my gratitude.
In the meantime, I will excerpt the great poet ee cummings, to express how I feel about so many who have touched my life: “I carry your heart with me, I carry it in my heart…here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
Charlie’s Angels! My work team put together a team for the Race for the Cure last year and named the group Charlie’s Angels in my honor. Above are a few pictures from that very special day. You know, sometimes when you are feeling your weakest others step in and be the strength you need.