Sunday October 3, 2010 11:10

Faces of Breast Cancer – How to Be a Friend

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by Jodi McLean

You will see a lot of pink this month.   The Susan G. Komen marketing machine is relentlessly raising the awareness of Breast Cancer and keeping it top-of-mind; not only in October, but all year long.  I salute the SGK Marketing Team!  Tigresses!  I am constantly amazed at the passionate and know-no-limits, action-driven power of this campaign.  To say that it is inspirational is an understatement.


My friend and hero, Kerrie, is in another valley of  her roller coaster ride.  We spoke yesterday, and she is back in the hospital…  I have blogged about Kerrie’s story a few times:   

Meet Kerrie 

SHEva Kerrie Needs You

Following a double-mastectomy in her 30′s, many chemo and radiation treatments for the tumors that metastasized in her lymph system, and two unnerving gamma knife procedures to target the tumors that invaded her brain, she has been given more discouraging news this week.   I can’t imagine how much more a person can be expected to take.  As her friend and cheerleader, I am completely disheartened…there comes a time when the “don’t let this disease define you, or discourage you, or beat you” messages become hollow.  I think we are there.

I found this blog to be helpful to me - it appears to be written by a breast cancer Warrior who was continually asked by her friends and family how they could help. 

How to Help a Loved One Who Has Cancer

I will never, ever give up on Kerrie, and I told her exactly that yesterday.   I settled on “appreciate the little things” when she said that her lunch was being delivered and she was hungry.  I couldn’t help but think that hunger was a positive sign; her body is still fighting!  “Focus on small victories” I told her.   And then I hung up and cried all day.   It’s not that I’m giving up, I am just SO ANGRY that she has to go through this…and her family has to helplessly watch their daughter/sister battling for her life.  It never lets up.  She fights and fights and the disease gives her a bigger punch.   How can she be asked to keep fighting when there are so few winning battles to keep her inspired?   I want to fight along-side her, but I’m completely thrown by this persistent, powerful enemy.

Please, ladies, get your mammograms.  I will say it again – it is SO EASY!!  It does NOT hurt.  It is quick and pain-free.  My sister had her first mammogram last week and she laughed about how easy it was!   Just do it, and spread the word.   Please help to control and ultimately find a cure for breast cancer. 

As always, this is for Kerrie.  I send you my love and inner-strength every day.  You are my hero.

Please feel free to share your inspiring stories here. 


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