Perhaps you have noticed the teal ribbons tied around the trees at the Annapolis Mall? They were lovingly tied so that we would all be reminded that many have or currently are fighting the battle of Ovarian Cancer. This Sunday, September 21st, I am participating in the Run/Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer. For the last few years I have joined with my friend Lori and Team Wingate, to honor her mom whom she lost to Ovarian Cancer four years ago. I was blessed to spend a few precious moments with Lori’s mom, Brenda as she was in the midst of her battle. Little did I know that about a year later I would find myself in a very different but similar battle as well. I have been wanting to introduce something on the blog that will be known as the Warrior Wall. There are so many that have fought battles that have inspired others. Since it is the mission of Pinked Perspective to offer Hope in the midst of the battle, I will be taking some time and space on the blog to introduce you to some of those Warriors.
I asked Lori if she would guest blog and share a little bit about her mom’s journey with us:
I’d like to thank Kara for the opportunity to be a guest blogger on Pinked Perspective in September! For those who are not aware, September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and the color for ovarian cancer awareness is teal. My mom faced an ovarian cancer diagnosis the day after Christmas in 2008 and was healed in heaven in June 2010. We never knew the symptoms of ovarian cancer, and it seems we weren’t the only ones. I’ve read story after story of women who were unaware of the symptoms and given a misdiagnosis just like my mom. The symptoms are: bloating, abdominal pain, the frequent need to urinate, and feeling full quickly. Just as with breast cancer, I can’t stress enough how important it is to know your body and know the symptoms!
Kara asked me to share my mom’s “warrior story”, and I can say without a doubt that my mom fought hard in her battle with cancer. I wonder sometimes if I would be able be as brave and strong as she was, but I know that her strength came from the Lord. At my mom’s Celebration of Life service, the pastor said it perfectly, “Brenda taught us how to live…and she taught us how to die.” My parents had to drive 2.5 hours to chemo treatments at Johns Hopkins, and I never heard my mom complain. Her care and concern for others was like no other. My mom loved to cook and bake, and just a few weeks before she passed, she prepared a meal for a new mom at her church. During a break from her chemo treatments, she flew to Florida to help my sister’s family when they were facing a serious illness. Another example of my mom putting others before herself was when she was willing to be videotaped and read recordable storybooks to help us preserve our memories of her. To make it easier on my family, she planned out every detail of her Celebration of Life service including a babysitter for her grandson.
If you’re like me, you’ve been encouraged from reading Kara’s Pinked Perspective blog and also her posts on CaringBridge. I’m thankful for blogs God led me to even before my mom had cancer. Reading stories of other people who depended on God while walking through such heavy trials gives great hope to the hurting. I wrote on my own blog as a way to keep friends and family informed but also to share how God was providing and showing His love in the midst of our circumstances. Never think twice about starting a blog when facing the storms in your life…you never know who might be encouraged by your story!
While some struggles and trials in life seem more than we can bear, the one thing that never changes is our God and His faithfulness. Francis Chan says sometimes we experience “spiritual amnesia” and forget how God has been faithful to us in the past. The storms continue to come, and we can lose focus when we take our eyes off God. When I can’t see God working in my situation, I think back to my mom’s cancer journey and the months after her homecoming when I was carried by my Heavenly Father who loves me and has never forsaken me. He knows exactly what we need and provides in ways that only He can.
Beautiful, Lori. Thank you. Our team page can be found HERE and we would love it if you want to join us this weekend.