On Memorial Day, we remember those in the armed forces who have died in service to our country, protecting our freedom and our very lives. We share stories of loved ones, to honor their memories. Some of us pass down the stories of courage and heroism of our family members and friends who fought in wars. Today at I’m Taking Charge, in honor of Memorial Day, we reflect on the value of stories, particularly the breast cancer stories and stories of reconstruction that mean so much to our mission…
The history of storytelling isn’t one of simply entertaining the masses, but of also advising, instructing, and challenging the status quo. Theresa Fowler
Captivating and enlightening us for thousands of years, stories are a staple of civilization. Stories bring out emotions like sadness, happiness, and a sense of justice. They also influence listeners subconsciously. Our desire to tell and hear stories drives this vital form of communication.
Sometimes, storytelling allows storytellers to both lift weight from themselves and free others from thoughts of uncertainty.
An Unwilling Member
It’s important that we share our experiences with other people. Your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else. When you tell your story, you free yourself and give other people permission to acknowledge their own story. Iyanla Vanzant
Breast cancer creates an odd sorority that no one wants to join. It bonds people together whose commonality becomes strength, and it creates a community of “warriors” in the fight to survive.
The story of one who has experienced cancer can be invaluable to one who desperately needs to hear how someone else made it through to recovery or reconstruction. It can inspire and encourage others walking the same path. Speaking your truth out loud takes courage and grace, and impacts the way others look at themselves.
But…This is My Story
When we tell our story, when someone listens, we feel less alone, we touch one another in a place of understanding. Anonymous Cancer Survivor
Every breast reconstruction story is an individual experience, so sharing your story with other women can have an enormous impact on the choices they make in their journey of recovery and reconstruction. It’s important to remember your story is bigger than you. There is a breast cancer patient somewhere who needs to hear your story. It could be your words that pull them through a dark time.
It’s Been Kinda Tough
I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Lived it and I am still here to talk about it and help someone else if I can. Iyanla Vanzant
Women share their stories not as mindless banter, or even as a cleansing to feel better about what is a really a tough situation (to say the least). We share them to help others who have been diagnosed, and also to help those who have not yet been diagnosed. More importantly, the stories honor those women who came before us. That is why patients, caregivers, survivors, and everyone who is close to people who have lost their battle share their stories. The opportunity to share with others what they know… that no one just “gets over” cancer, becomes ingrained into who they are, and their story is rewritten and retold.
Breast Cancer Stories Told Here
Storytelling is important. Part of human continuity. Robert Redford
I’m Taking Charge encourages women to share their reconstruction stories to benefit those women who are just starting the process. We can learn from each other. The women are brave, their stories are tough, but it always a lesson well learned.
We featured Frannie Slagter, who believes wholeheartedly that her story can help make someone else’s journey easier.
All I want is for someone to learn from my misery. Explore all the options, and ask questions. It’s worth it. Frannie Slagter
Marci Garret and Marie Jobson shared their story in a video. They both had similar breast cancer experiences, and both used similar reconstruction procedures. However, that’s where the similarities came to an end, because the two women felt very different about their experiences. Both share their story with others, which gives a fair and honest view of positives and negatives of their reconstruction procedures. There is a lot of knowledge to gain from both brave women.
Some women, like Vicki Lucas, send a message to the others who take the time to read her story. A simple message, since she has learned a great deal about herself these days. Vicki wants everyone who reads her story to know that breast cancer is not “ limited by lifestyles or stereotypes.”
We Want Your Story!
Stories give us hope, make us cry, and give us strength to put one foot in front of the other when it seems we can’t take another step. That first time, revealing your truth, it’s the hardest. So take your time, organize your thoughts follow your heart, and send us your breast cancer stories and reconstruction stories at [email protected]. If you’re willing, we’d love to interview you!