I have two friends with breast cancer who received terrible news last week. These beautiful ladies have endured surgeries, medication with sickening side effects, radiation, chemotherapy, hours-long wait for medical appointments, rude nurses, and complacent doctors. Last week, my friends received news that there’s more of that to come. The cancer has gotten worse. Yesterday, another friend received the fantastic news that her cancer is responding well to treatment.
This is what breast cancer is, peaks and valleys, highs and lows. It’s not just ringing the bell when you’ve finished chemo, or looking great with your new hairdo, although I have cherished those moments as I witness them.
The peaks and valleys are part of my own life, too.
Every 3 months, most Stage IV breast cancer patients in active treatment get body scans to see if the treatment is working. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. My next scan is Nov. 2.
I hurt to think of my friends who are not responding well to treatment. I know they have done everything possible to beat cancer. And it wasn’t enough. This doesn’t mean the end, it just means, they must try something new.
That’s why I started A Closer Look, my charity that delivers gift bags to breast cancer patients.
I can’t cure cancer, but I can make the life of a patient a little more cheerful.
Yesterday, I delivered a swag bag to a woman who was a very happy recipient. It brought us both joy. I am loving these joyful moments; I feel useful. I will need to be useful during the valleys. As my ministry progresses, I will visit women who are close to death. I may need to help families prepare.
It won’t be easy but I know, we all know, that one day, for all of us, it will be the end, that there are no more treatments that can help.
We do what we can do.