A young woman named Julie stood on the top of the Philly Art Museum Steps on Sunday, her voice quivering as she said, “I got the phone call.” At age 35, a new mom and wife; told that lump she was feeling was breast cancer.
I almost lost it.
Over 2-thousand women surrounding me nearly broke into tears, understanding her pain. So many of us have been there.
I was just 35 too. My daughter was 4 years old. The world we were so confident is there for us to conquer just caves in on itself when you get “the call”.
Julie, I want you to know I’m 25 years out! I’m standing on those steps with you.
I’m standing on the steps with my friends celebrating life and there to make sure you and no one else is alone with breast cancer. You are not alone.
My daughter, to the left of me, is now 30 years old. We made it.
We know more about breast cancer than we did when I was diagnosed in 1991. Still, no guarantees. We lost a Living Beyond Breast Cancer Board member this week. Everyone who is diagnosed knows you don’t get to know what your story will be, what side of the statistics you’ll land on.
I remember wishing I could snap my fingers and just be 10 years beyond treatment, escape the present and jump into the future or at least see it.
What helped was seeing women 10 years and 20 years beyond breast cancer looking healthy and strong. That helped.
Thank you to the I Dare Me Damsels, daughter Alexa Houser, Emily Cohen, Julie Ambrose, Loraine Ballard Morrill, Andrea Lawful Trainer, Gwen Shields, Kelli Holzman, Katie Mello, Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Lori Fox and Lindsay Talbert for taking up the dare to join me for LBBC’s Reach and Raise, Yoga on the Steps.
Thank you to Jennifer Schelter for creating this event 15 years ago with just a 100 people and growing it with your sheer determination and inspiration.
And thank you, Julie, for sharing your story and reminding us what it’s like to “get the call”; reminding us all why we stand with Living Beyond Breast Cancer.