We all know and can agree that all types of cancer suck, right! However, when you find out someone you love gets breast cancer, the feeling is horrifying. My maternal grandmother died from breast cancer in 1981. I was too young to understand the anguish and agony that she and my family were going through at the time. I do, however, remember playing with her wigs and mannequin heads like they were a part of my doll collection and playing with the little pink silicone lump she used to put in her bra because she had a double mastectomy. From a little girl’s perspective, all I knew was that my grandma was sick and that I wanted to be a nurse when I grew up so that I could take care of her.
Through all of that I had still never fully experienced the traumatic effect cancer has on a loved one or their family and friends until one of my dear friends was diagnosed with breast cancer on October 30, 2017. The gut-wrenching feeling is like none other. I was in the middle of dealing with my own dad’s illness at the time when Sadie informed me that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. I remember the day so vividly. I was returning to work from my lunch break after visiting my dad in the hospital when she called. As soon as she told me, I was instantly sick to my stomach. However, what I remember the most about the conversation was her tone. She was calm, cool and collected. She wasn’t in an uproar, she wasn’t crying or flipping out or anything! She was talking to me as if it was any other normal day. Her poise, her dignity and grace were absolutely amazing. I remember asking her how and where she finds the strength to still smile and move about as if everything is alright…and she simply said…because I know if I start tripping…..then everyone else will start tripping….and I don’t need that! I was like….WOW! Although that makes total sense, I was still in amazement that she was able to maintain that much poise and grace throughout the whole ordeal.
And when I tell you she maintained her spirits throughout this whole ordeal, I mean it! I remember her first chemotherapy treatment was on my birthday and a group of our close friends, which we call our Sister Circle, decided to have prayer that morning and every morning before she went to her treatments. We would all sporadically pop up at her treatments just to let her know we were there for her and supported her 100%! One of the most amazing and memorable parts of this whole tribulation was on the day she had her last chemo treatment. Along with her family, our Sister Circle was right there to watch her ring the bell acknowledging her last treatment. The joyous feeling we all felt at that moment was simply indescribable! We were all proud, elated, overjoyed and just thankful that we were all able to witness God’s miracle!
Cancer definitely has a different impact when it is someone you love that is going through it. Most times you don’t know what to do or say. However, when it’s someone you love dearly, you quickly learn that the best thing to do is to just be there to show that person all the love and support you possibly can. Because, just like Sadie, although she handled it like the true champion she is, I know she was glad to have a host of family, friends and her Sister Circle to go through it with her! This experience helped us all grow closer together, and it is with great pleasure that I know we all came out of this together SADIE STRONG!
~ Sonia Croxie