Following an eight-year tradition, the last SOS group of the year is a holiday lunch we share with delicious dishes lovingly prepared by the group members. Yesterday, twenty-two women came together – two who are scheduled for their initial breast surgeries this week and others who have months to seven years behind them since first being diagnosed – to lend strength to one another during their various stages of their breast cancer journeys.
My heart was filled watching the connections made, the interactions and caring that permeated the room, and how the Sisters so warmly reached out to welcome one another. The experience proved to be full of fervor as practical suggestions and incredible emotional support were exchanged. To those “newbies,” the others all demonstrated “We’re Still Standing and We’re Stronger Than Ever.” Women shared their stories of self-discovery – a new sense of self-awareness and appreciation – and the importance of reassessing priorities during their journey.
I began the group with the following message, and I would like to share with all of you:
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” You have looked fear in its face and stared it down. It has accompanied you, but not driven you…invite it along, but it must sit in the back seat! You are in control and it is critical that you remember this the next time you encounter fear in any form. You are THRIVERS! It’s a journey; at each turn, each encounter you gather a new sense of self.
You all teach me so very much on a daily basis and touch my life in ways that are immeasurable. May the New Year greet you with good health, wonder and awe, much laughter and a full appreciation of your beautiful inner-self.
Photo: The Sisters literally supporting me