Yesterday I introduced you to Elizabeth. What a treasure that I get to be friends with this girl and an honor to add her to Pinked Perspective’s “Warrior Wall”. I asked her if she would guest blog for me today about how she was cared for while going through her treatment. As I mentioned, the specifics of her cancer diagnosis and treatment were a bit different than mine but there were also some striking similarities. In particular, we were both 33 years old and about to have our 34th birthdays when we were diagnosed. I know you will be blessed to hear from her:
I feel so honored that Kara has asked me to be a guest blogger, her words have helped me so much through my breast cancer journey, and I could only hope to help someone in the same way.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer about a week before my 34th birthday, I found a lump that many (including doctors) assured me was probably nothing since I was so young with no history of breast cancer in my family. I received the call telling me otherwise and from that moment my life has changed. The last 16 months have presented many challenges but even more blessings. I have been through countless doctor appointments, tests, blood work, surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and now Tamoxifen but nothing could prepare me for the love that I have felt from others.
I have been overwhelmed with love and support by so many and it’s shown in a million different ways. Here are a few things that people did for me that were so meaningful and I will make an effort to do for others in the future:
– Reach out – You know when you hear something about someone and you just want to reach out to them but you think, “they already have so much support,” “I don’t want to bother them,” “they probably don’t remember me” – I say, just do it. Send a message, whether it’s an email, Facebook, Caringbridge, text or card in the mail. Those messages telling me that someone was thinking about me, and most importantly praying for me, helped me on a daily basis. I had people reach out to me that I hadn’t spoken to in years and some complete strangers. It meant the world to me.
– Sit with her – It can be hard to come up with the right words to comfort someone and sometimes the best thing to do is just sit. Just be in each other’s company without the pressure to say the “right” thing.
– Drop off something at her doorstep – Many days I would receive a text telling me, “I left something on your doorstep” from my aunts and friends. I would walk outside to cookies, a note or flowers. It always made my day knowing someone was supporting me.
Most of all, when my family and friends would come over and pray with me or just tell me they were there for me if I needed anything. It’s helped me tremendously and I don’t think I would be where I am today if I didn’t have that. I am forever grateful for each and every person that has been and continues to be there for me.
Elizabeth and her cousin, Jenna have a custom paper goods and design company called Little Bit Heart based in Annapolis, MD. Elizabeth has graciously provided custom designed note cards for our kits because she felt that one of the things she needed most during her journey were notecards to say thank you for all the ways she was being cared for. Yes, that pretty much sums up sweet Elizabeth. Be sure to check out the Pink Collection at Little Bit Heart as well.