We’ve featured some great stories this year. Stories of survivors, supporters, and breast reconstruction have graced the pages of our blog. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, and in line with our Voices of Love campaign, we thought we’d take a few minutes to share the best of the best. Read on to hear our most encouraging words of 2016!
Most Selfless Words
In July we reported on sisters Sharee and Annette Page, who were diagnosed within a few weeks of each other. Sharee explained,
We come from a strong background of faith, and we are pretty positive in general. I think it helps knowing everyone has trials. In a time like this, with a cancer diagnosis, the first question is always ‘Why me?,’ but the first question I asked is ‘Why not me?’ You can’t feel sorry for yourself when you’ve watched a loved one go through the same thing. –Sharee Page
Wow! What an inspiration. You can read their story here.
Most Thoughtful Words
Move over Ghandi, and make room for a tattoo artist who really has a way with words. Vinnie Myers isn’t just any tattoo artist, though. Inspired by his dear little sister, who suffered from breast cancer, he now devotes 100% of his talent to re-creating realistic 3D nipple tattoos. I’ll let his words speak for themselves. . .
Saying it [being a nipple tattoo artist for breast reconstruction patients] has changed my life is not even touching the idea. It has completely rewritten my view of my life, and of life in general. At the least it has changed my perspective on the little things in life that used to worry me or make me upset, because I hear everyday of the problems these folks deal with, and my problems become insignificant in comparison. –Vinnie Myers
Highest Energy Words
During August, we featured stories of athletes that had overcome breast cancer. One swimmer, age 49 at diagnosis, shared how she was back in the water and swimming only one month after her mastectomy! She wins the gold for her persistence and good example. She says,
Even when I wasn’t able to swim much distance, I was getting in every day just to get the effect from the water. –Kim
Also a doctor, Kim (name changed for privacy) offered some excellent words of encouragement with her advice on helpful post-mastectomy videos by the Michigan State University rehab dept on lymphatic massage. The full article about Kim is here.
Most Practical Words
One of I’m Taking Charge’s article categories is “Reconstruction Stories.” We were thrilled to find a woman who was about to publish a whole book on the topic. We shared author Pat Anstett’s story in July. She has spent a great deal of time on the topic of breast reconstruction and whether or not to have it done. She examines the realities of reconstruction, and how to determine if it’s right for you. She observed,
It is not something they [women with breast cancer] need to rush through, particularly the reconstruction portion of surgery. –Pat Anstett
This statement reiterates a fact that we at I’m Taking Charge always try to convey: it’s important to realize there’s no hurry. You can choose breast reconstruction at any time.
Most Life-Changing Words
The story of the Hidden Warriors workshop was one of my favorites this year. I’m not into costumes or theatrical make-up, but I was so touched by the love of Marlene for her mother and breast cancer survivor, Mayra. By the time I was done reading this article, I wanted to participate! Marlene’s words also struck a chord. She explained,
Taking up lots of space with your body actually has affects on your hormones, feelings, actions and environmental reactions. –Marlene
What a fun and creative way to lift the spirits of women afflicted by breast cancer!
The article that contained the best advice was also our most popular, with over 3100 views. It featured Frannie, who suffered greatly due to complications from breast reconstruction surgery. At one point, one of her breasts became necrotic (the tissue was dying), and she was walking around with an open wound. Her heart-wrenching story thankfully has a happy ending. She urges others ,
Explore all the options, and ask questions. It’s worth it. –Frannie
I’m Taking Charge agrees 100% with Frannie!
That’s the end of our compilation of most encouraging quotes from our blog this year. We look forward to many more in the coming months.
Do you have any words to support, inspire, or encourage women experiencing breast cancer or considering reconstruction? If so, please share them via our October 2016 Voices of Love campaign. You could win a box of pink macaroons! Click on the picture below for details.