Shauna Wears Pink

I will never forget the day my doctor uttered those horrifying words “I am sorry to tell you, but that is a cancer tumor that you have in your left breast”. I was 33 years old, and my life changed forever. I invite you to read my story, learn from it and hopefully be inspired to reach out to other young women living with and beyond breast cancer.

Monday, May 22, 2006

My friend is gone

Breast cancer has claimed yet another life. This time it was my friend. I will call her Mary for purposes of this blog. Mary found me one day in the infusion room of my cancer clinic. We were introduced by a mutual friend and proceeded to have one of the most lively and memorable conversations I have experienced. As we sat there for three hours receiving our infusions in back to back chairs we talked about all kinds of topics, from our treatments to the deeper meaning of life. Mary, whose cancer had metastasized into her skin, was in her fifties. However, despite our age difference she possessed a thirst for life that I found contagious. As I sat talking to Mary and as she elicited information and knowledge from me about my treatments and future goals and dreams, I realized that I was needed. I realized that breast cancer had happened to me for a reason, and that reason was to help other young women with breast cancer. As we talked the hours away while our chemotherapy drugs dripped intravenously into our veins, Mary made me realize that there was so much I could do….that I could put a voice to this disease and how it affects young women so uniquely. She set up lunch to introduce me to other young women from the Breast Cancer Resource Center, a wonderful organization mobilized to provide support and information to women with breast cancer of all ages, http://www.bcrc.org. The goal of the lunch was to get young women together to brainstorm about ways that the Breast Cancer Resource Center could reach out to the growing number of younger women diagnosed with breast cancer. From that lunch has grown a group of young women called the Pink Ribbon Cowgirls, a social network of younger breast cancer survivors. Mary, made that happen, despite the fact that she was experiencing the last months of her life. She left this life last week, and is hopefully in a better place now where she has beautiful skin and feels no pain. Despite our short time together, Mary and her words had a profound impact on me by awakening in me that person who will be a foot soldier in the battle against breast cancer. So in effect her legacy lives on through me.

3 Comments:

  • At 11:16 AM, Blogger Allan Wexler said…

    Your Blog moved me. Good luck!!

     
  • At 5:39 PM, Blogger Lisette Johnson said…

    Shauna,
    My name is Lisette Johnson, I am Meta Newhouse's stepmother. I was dx with Ovarian Cancer last year. I really like your blog

     
  • At 11:35 AM, Blogger brenda said…

    Shauna, your tribute to our friend is beautiful. I am so glad I could introduce the two of you that day in infusion. She was one of the most fiery and feisty women I have ever met and was such a dear person in my life, too. My heart is broken. Thank you for carrying the torch.

     

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