Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our Alaskan Heroine

No, not that one.
Deb. Beautiful Deb, mom, wife, writer, glass maker, bear shooter, Alaskan, survivor.

Many of you know our Deb. But for those who do not, she is like no other person you will ever know. I have to borrow from Walt Whitman to describe her... she contains multitudes. She is a loving and giving mother who is a very active part of her daughter's lives. She has a magical marriage to a very special husband. She is a talented writer and gifted artist. And, should the occasion call for it, she is a straight shot and can shoot invading bears when they come into her yard.

She is also an amazing friend. She always has a kind word, a strong shoulder and a prayer for someone who needs it. Deb is the one who made up all those No Surrender buttons when I had my redux last year. She is the kind of woman you can call true friend.

Our friend is having a rough time right now. She is having some troubling side effects from her current treatment. I have no doubt that she will overcome them. Because she is Deb. But over at the No Surrender Message Forum we are going to give her a hand. Until she is better and back to herself and able to post again, every night at nine PM her sisters will light a candle in her honor. The flame will burn bright like Deb's indomitable spirit and the smoke will carry our love and prayers across the miles to her.

I hope you will join us. It's Deb. How could you not?

We love you Deb.

We got your back girl.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Good Things are Coming

I have been remiss, and I apologize, dear readers.
So many things have been happening and I will attempt to catch you up.

We have finally received our Not-For-Profit status. This means that the No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation is now a reality. We have a lot of plans and it is very exciting.

The members of our forum and our regular visitors to our website and this blog know how I feel about pink ribbons. That is why we are going to change things. Our Foundation will make a real difference in the lives of every woman touched by breast cancer through eduction, emotional support and the empowerment of self-advocacy. But we won't stop there. Every donation will help run the site and forum and everything left over will go into a special account. This account is reserved for an underfunded researcher or scientist who is working on our cure right now.

Through careful consideration and a vote made by all the members of No Surrender, we will collectively decide which research project that shows the most promise, no matter what phase it is in, and our money will be donated to that project as a No Surrender Research Grant.

No longer will we lament where is our money going when we lick the lid of a Yoplait. Or how much of a percentage goes to breast cancer research from that Lean Cuisine we just bought. We will know that 100% will go directly to that lab. No middle man to take its cut. No corporation skimming off the top to enhance their pretty in pink marketing campaign. It is real and we can say WE contributed to eradicating breast cancer in our lifetime.

You will be seeing some changes as we grow. Our website and forum will be getting a facelift and made much more user friendly and I believe the technical term for it is snazzy.

I am grateful to each and every one of you for the support you have given me and the No Surrender set of ideals.

Together, we are going to beat breast cancer. And I can't think of anyone else I would want with me in the foxhole as we destroy the Beast forever.

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning." Albert Einstein

Monday, October 13, 2008

No, You Don't See Dead People

What is with people?

Why do they automatically assume that since someone has been diagnosed with cancer they are are already dead? Do they hear the news and then run to their address book and cross us out with the words "death pending?"

I have news for the unscathed. We aren't going anywhere. And unlike you, we know the state of our health. With our constant scanning and tests we know every renegade DNA in our bodies and we are employing any and all weapons of mass destruction to eradicate them.

If we are post treatment and back to living our lives, we are not making the best of it until the grim reaper taps gently on our front doors. We are getting stronger. We are recovering our original selves and are stronger and more beautiful than before we were sick. We fought a mighty beast and won. You can't find a more magnificent being.

If we are fighting a continuing battle as a metster, we are capable of living a full life. We just have to see a doctor more often and take meds on a continuing basis. But we define courage, strength and grace under fire.

So, for every woman who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, who has completed treatment and is now living as a survivor, and for those who are dealing with continuing disease, I would like to pass on this message:

Dear Potential Friend, Lover, Employer, Landlord, and other misguided soul:

We are not going anywhere. You won't find a better friend than us. We are more empathetic, understanding and loyal than anyone you have ever met before. For those lovers out there, you don't know what you are missing, because we live each moment to its fullest and make the best of lovers with hopeful, romantic souls that seek deeper connections. Employers don't worry about us. We need the money, the bills we have accumulated guarantee you awarding us Employee of the Month status every month. Landlords and mortgage holders, we value our spaces and bloom wherever we are planted. We don't like to move so you can rest assured we will stay put and keep the property in wonderful condition.

Don't cross us off your list. If you have never been where we are you cannot know who we are. But we know.

Warrior Angels aren't going anywhere. You would be lucky to have one in your life.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thank You

This month, we honor those currently battling the disease and all who have survived the fight against breast cancer. We are inspired by their strength and determination. We recognize and applaud the hard-working caregivers and researchers who are dedicated to providing comfort and assistance to those with breast cancer and to treating and curing this disease. We also remember those lost to breast cancer and extend our thoughts and prayers to their families.
President and First Lady Bush, 2008