Welcome breast cancer sisters, family and friends. We hope to make this chapter of your life a little easier, treatment less difficult, help families cope, provide inspiration and guide you to a new place of strength and purpose.

I Cry For Women I’ve Never Met

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This year I am attending numerous Komen races and walks around the country, and I find no matter where they are located, the bond of the Breast Cancer Sisterhood is so palpable you can almost touch it. The same touch that started with our discovery of a lump in our breasts. The lump that changed our lives, and the lives of our families, forever.

At a Komen event you can see the unspoken bond of shared experience in their faces;
women coming together, rejoicing in a united spirit of strength and survivorship. It is a sea of pink shirts and hats and a sprinkling of closely cropped hair; the club you feared joining; the sisters you never wanted. It is a club that does not discriminate against age, race or gender. Yes, men get breast cancer, too, but for the most part, breast cancer is a sisterhood.

Over the weekend I did a television interview for KTVT CBS 11 in Dallas, and their sister station, KTXA 21 in Fort Worth. The interview was going well until the reporter asked “Why did you start the BreastCancerSisterhood.com?” It is a logical question and one I’ve answered before, only this time when I opened my mouth to speak, nothing came out. Instead I became overwhelmed with emotion. I began to cry. As I looked into the camera, I knew the answer to the question because the “why” has become the major focus of my life.

As the camera kept rolling, no one said a word, including me. I wanted to shout, “Just the thought of all those other women hearing the words, ‘You’ve got breast cancer,’ and living through the same fears and experiences I’ve lived through is heartbreaking. I want to give them the answers to questions they don’t even know to ask.” As I sat there, I tried hard to compose myself, but the words stuck in the hollow of my throat. I was overcome with love and empathy for each and every woman, and their families, for whom the Race for the Cure is not just a date on the calendar but a lifeline: the hope and promise of a cure.

Komen is more than a Race for the Cure. It is a celebration of life; a time the Breast Cancer Sisterhood unites and rejoices in the fact we are still here; that we have survived and endured this profound and sometimes, unbearable experience. While we will always be members of the Breast Cancer Sisterhood, our thoughts will shift from the constant fear and worry about when, and if, our breast cancer returns, to gradually letting the comforts of normal life become our driving force. While the “what ifs” may never leave us, our lives are in the here and now, and we are a composite of our life experiences.

Oprah Winfrey said, “I am where I am because of the bridges I have crossed.” Perhaps that should have been my answer to the television reporter. I have crossed a bridge I never wanted to cross. I have done the thing I feared most, and hopefully, this experience, along with God’s grace, is making me a more compassionate person with something to give her sisters: the gift of Survivorship. That is why I started the BreastCancerSisterhood.com. To give them the gift of Survivorship.

As breast cancer survivors, we are changing the world. We are finding ways to help our sisters, and in the process, making their bridge an easier one to cross. More importantly, we are raising the money to find a cure so our sisters and their daughters, and the sisters we will never know, may be spared the journey of crossing this bridge. I pray for the day when I will not cry for women I’ve never met.