Definition of Survive:
1. To remain alive or in existence.
2. To carry on despite hardships or trauma; persevere
This past weekend I participated in my local Susan G. Komen annual Race for the Cure breast cancer awareness event. Along with autism, this is a cause that is very close to my heart. Sadly, my Grandmother died of breast cancer before I was born.
The ladies in this picture with me are both breast cancer survivors and they also happen to be my sister and my mother in law. They are strong, beautiful women inside and out, who along with my son, are heroes to me.
I cannot begin to imagine what it is like to fight for your life. To be told that you have a serious illness that could be fatal. To go through chemo, radiation, and countless surgeries. To have all of your hair fall out and feel violently ill after your treatments. These women have been through all of this, and they did it with grace and dignity. I don’t think I could’ve handled it as well as they did. When I start feeling sorry for myself, or having a pity party, I often think of these two women. I think of what they went through, and how they kept living their lives despite their illness. I am so thankful that they are in my life, that I get to spend time with them, and that they have truly SURVIVED! I love them both so much and can't imagine life without them. They amaze me.
There are so many women I have come in contact with that are cancer survivors. There is my best friend’s mother, my co worker, a friend who's child I taught, a friend who is also a fitness instructor, and several of my mother in law’s friends from her survivor group. They have all inspired me and shown me what real strength and courage is, just like my son has.
Above I mentioned my best friend’s mother who is a cancer survivor. This is a picture of her and me at my friend’s wedding rehearsal dinner. Yes, if you invite me to an event like this, chances are I will drink wine and end up singing into a make-shift fork microphone with your mom. Sorry, that’s just how I roll. Anyway, I love this woman. She is also one of my heroes and has a spirit like no one else. Her positive attitude and zest for life is infectious. I have learned so much from her and am a better person for knowing her – I am a better person for knowing all of these women.
Yes, you may not know these women by name. They may not be famous, but they are my heroes!