Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Sisterhood

      I joined a sisterhood on Friday, September 16, 2011. It’s a special sisterhood with a large and global membership. The women are in their 30s (some even in their 20s) all the way into the 80-somethings. They are strong. They persevere. They persist. They complain and bitch. They sing and dance. They celebrate all the sisters’ victories, large and small. They meet all over the world in small groups and talk, cry, laugh, share stories and diets. Their families and friends walk for them, run for them, bike for them, and raise money for research for the thing that binds them together. They wear pink ribbons. They have all had breast cancer, from stage one to stage four, and many more of them are surviving it now, because of the Sisterhood and its ability to use its collective voice to raise money for research on the disease and the cures. Some of the Sisters don’t survive the disease. They are mourned by the Sisterhood, their children, their families, their friends.

     I was shocked to learn of my new membership. Since that time I have attempted to keep a lid on the Worry Box. It helps. I am learning to depend on and trust the professionals I have chosen for my care – so far a surgeon and an oncologist.

     I was also very angry at first. Angry when I learned that I needed a biopsy. I told my doctor’s assistant that I wasn’t going to do it. Dr. Joud must have known I would say that because the assistant said, “Dr. Joud really thinks you should. It’s 1.5 cm.” Damn! I trust him. I knew I would have the biopsy. I quit being angry.

     I remembered the Sisterhood. I thought of friends I have who have had their brushes with the Grey Ribbon. Chemotherapy. Radiation. Surgery – would you like (a) lumpectomy with a dash of radiation, or (b) mastectomy? How about this? I don’t like the choices. Bought a book called Eat to Live written by an M.D. I want some other choices, please. I’ve got the Sisterhood. And I have my friends and family.