Greetings to all! A splendid Sunday to everyone!
It is only 87.8 degrees here in East Central Florida, at 10:11 AM. Whew! It has been a hot spell! Where is the cool air?
Fortunately, we live in AC here; what a blessing! I think Florida would be pretty deserted much of the year accept for that!
Now, getting down to serious stuff, we all are aware that it is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. I don’t think that we should overlook the people who are battling other types of cancers, though. Why don’t we have other months, or dates, to pay tribute to our other warriors?
I have the pleasure of knowing a woman warrior who battled lymph cancer last year, and into early this year. Sheryl is a member of eWomen Network, and a talented musician.
Friends of Sheryl’s, including friends from church, and eWomen network created a schedule of volunteers to help her. These friends took Sheryl to chemo, stayed with her during chemo, helped with pet care, and stayed with Sheryl when her husband, Leon, had to be out of the home/office.
I had the privilege of taking Sheryl to chemo and staying with her for one session. I was glad for the opportunity, as I had no real experience with cancer treatment. I have heard many stories from friends, co-workers, and patients, so this gave me more insight into their journeys.
I have a new poem that I wrote last week, and I would like to dedicate it to Sheryl, and many others who have battled cancers. Here it is:
Was the cause environmental,
Or was it family genetics?
How did this happen?
Perhaps, it was just karma
Bringing me this dark, unwanted gift
The alien DNA
Hidden in the structure
Of the genome
Its time bomb releasing
Microscopic invaders burrowing
Into tissue, my tissue
Facing myself in the mirror,
Today, chopping long dark hair
Shorter and shorter still
Wondering who is this stranger
Who stares back
Stone-faced and resolute?
I begin this deeply personal
Uphill battle, or is it downhill?
Warrior stance—I am ready
“Let’s do this!” to my husband
We travel silently to chemo
Unspoken words blowing through
Our minds like autumn leaves
He holds my hand as we begin
IV dripping, we watch morning TV
Oblivious to the screen, thoughts
Still flowing, overflowing, synchronized
With the IV releasing the drug/poison
I will it to find the interloper
“Seek out the alien intruder, now!”
Many weeks have passed, now
Time has slowed to a turtle’s pace
I have sat in that recliner
Many hours, with IV piercing my flesh,
Chemo flowing, a soft cap covering the baby fuzz
Where my hair used to be
I turn my mind inward, pray and give thanks
The photo is of Theresa, a survivor going on her second year. She is a very special lady; and I salute her!
About 25 percent occur in women under age 50. About 1 in 40 women die from breast cancer before age 75.
What is a breast?
It is, by design, in its simplest form
A source of nourishment
A literal ‘fountain of youth’
A breast is an ornament
Of the flesh, ascetically varied
Rounded, pillowed, or arched-
An achingly, beautiful sculpture of nature
A breast is a haven
For comforting small humans
Or sheltering family or friends
With arms and bodies enfolded tightly, as in prayer
A breast can also give or receive
Pleasure, with our partners
As active participants
In the mating dance of life
A breast is the epitome, of the heart
Of womankind- with our breasts
We nurture, comfort, and love
That is why we hold them so dear
Through breast cancer, women may
Lose these deeply personal pieces
Of their flesh, that share so much
And give succor to life
But, we must remember that
Women are the origin of strength
In this world, and with or
Without breasts, we are the same!
We will still nurture,
We will still comfort,
And we will still love!
We will do this, by design
By Joan Ellen Gage
(Dedicated to Tina and to all of her sisters)