Dear Friends and Family,
“We found cancer…”
Last year, on May 31, I heard those three words no one wants to hear.
From that moment onward, I have tried to maintain an upbeat, happy-go-lucky attitude, God’s plan, and all that positive perspective power that we hear so much about. After all, they (and I quote) “caught it early.”
Let’s be serious, folks…breast cancer STINKS. Not only did I have not one but TWO breasts removed and lymph nodes removed (which, on the left side, had cancer…so much for “catching it early”!), I had horrible implants that were, in my opinion, inflated too large by the (now terminated and detested) plastic surgeon doctor.
- multiple hospitalizations,
- skin grafts,
- life threatening infections,
- an open chest wound that started last October and is, just now, almost gone!
- blood transfusions (YUCK!),
- daily IV antibiotics (which I administered myself for a month!),
- implant removal (and not at the same time…try walking around with one breast for two months! #notfun),
- and probably other things that were benign in comparison and, therefore, I have chosen to forget!
The view from the hospital bed when getting a blood transfusion…
But wait! THERE’S MORE!
Let’s not forget the Chemo Cocktail Lounge. Sure, I tried to make it fun. I handed out homemade soup to people, I arrived with an entourage and pink umbrellas, I even distributed my Pink Umbrellas devotional that I co-wrote with Lisa Bull.
And then there was horrible radiation (I quit midstream), an on-going battle with super de duper hypertension (200/120 was my winner which resulted in a rush to a cardiologist), and now lymphedema (I have to wear compression sleeves 8 hours a day and go to physical therapy…it will never go away but, hopefully, it won’t get worse).
Oh wait, did I mention that the day my short-term disability ended, I was terminated from my job…a job which I loved with students I adored…and where my insurance came from?
Now there is this spots on the brain thing. Might be nothing, might be something icky (but it’s NOT cancer…). In the meantime, while I get blood tests, MRAs, and EEGs…and wait (because we caught it early last time, remember???), I get to deal with headaches, dizzy spells, a horrible memory (who are YOU anyway????), and increasingly bad vision among other things.
<— Speaking of heads, losing your hair isn’t that much fun either…Bald is NOT beautiful and, even if it grows back, it’s humiliating.
Anyway, the fight continues…
Yes, I’ll win.
And I still say that it’s better to have happened to me than any of you reading this.
Behind The Green Curtain
Putting up a tough front is one thing. Pull back the curtain to expose the mysterious Oz and you’ll see the real story: The physical and emotional turmoil that this stupid, ridiculous disease has poured onto my family cannot be adequately explained.
My children suffered more than you (and I!) could ever imagine.
One was a lost sheep. No teenager should experience the dark fears and places that my son encountered…all while I was undergoing chemo… Today, I’m so proud of my son. He’s the new, improved, and (finally) happier version, but still with a cloud of worry for his mother that, while endearing, is not something I want my 16 year old to deal with. He has become a man far too early in his life.
The other one basically lived off macaroni and cheese for a month and barely left her room last summer. Oh, people tried to coax her out, but, even at eleven, she was too stubborn (apple=tree?). Today, after a lot of hard work, she has transformed back into my Cat, thanks to attention, love, and horses—especially the horses (check out her latest video —> https://www.youtube.com/watch?
“…I love her so much because she is all I had while I went through some crappy months in my life last year, and she made me so happy. All of the mistakes we made together, we fixed together, and we learned everything else together… I know that I may not be just a few pages in her life, but a chapter. That’s all I could ask for from this mare. I love her so much for getting me through the rough few months in my life last year, she helped me more than anyone else could. ♥ Love ya! ♥”
And of course, my supportive and loving husband, parents (although Mom got a bit crazy with her hand sanitizer and not letting me see my dog), sister, friends, Facebook family, readers, strangers worried terribly. I could go on and on and on….
So, why am I sharing all of this with you?
SHARE THIS LETTER
I’m asking you to share this with YOUR friends and family and ask them to do the same. This year is MY year for asking for favors and that favor is to ask for donations to one (or both) of my two chosen charities.
You see, I have been asked to represent the face of a Cancer Fighter for The Pink Fund and TJ Martell Foundation.
DANCING FOR CANCER
On 10/2. I am participating in Dancing with the Survivors with a professional dancer in Morristown. If you cannot attend, please consider donating (https://www.crowdrise.com/sarahprice1). Donations support the Pink Fund which supports women who, unlike me, do NOT have a good support system and struggle.
WALKING FOR CANCER
On 10/5, I am an honorees for the TJ Martell Foundation’s Walk for a Cure in Madison, NJ. Please consider sponsoring the Pink Umbrella’s Team (https://tjmartell.myetap.org/fundraiser/njwalkathon/individual.do?etapCacheBuster=1412431522929&participationRef=3407.0.536071255&shareMedium=label.facebook). TJ Martell Foundation funds research, not just for a cure but to PREVENT cancer. This is my second year with them and I am deeply honored to represent their organization this year as an Honoree…
HELP ME…HELP YOUR LOVED ONES
People always asked what they could do to help…THIS IS IT!
I know that many people ask for donations for fund raisers. This request isn’t going to result in a donor listing on a plaque, wall, or brochure. People might not even know you donated. But you will be helping not just me but possibly yourself, your daughter, your granddaughter, your best friend…a complete stranger.
Thank you for your consideration…