Blog part 2 of 2 from Lena, H4TG's Ms.July 2021; read part 1 HERE.
There is a silver lining to a tragedy, but only when you recognize it. It took me a long time to realize just how many silver linings I would be so fortunate to have after being diagnosed with stage 2B triple-negative breast cancer.
It started with being diagnosed when I was visiting my sisters and staying with one in Williamsburg and getting treated at Peninsula Cancer Center by a more-than-caring staff that made me feel like I was coming to visit rather than enduring those treacherous chemo treatments. Then, I finally decided to reach out to H4TG and was able to meet a group of young women who know and understand how it goes.
In the middle of chemo treatments, I had problems with my liver which had been exacerbated by the chemo. I was sent to a gastroenterologist. I walked in the office for my appointment and there at the desk was my friend Pam that I had not seen for 15 years! I don’t know why I lost touch with her when I had moved to Texas, other than not taking the time to call and making an effort to keep in touch. We both had busy lives and the years passed too quickly. As I stood there and saw her, she said, “hello, bud,” which is what she had always said to greet me; I began to cry. I felt like God had given me the light I had needed right then. There was my friend from so many years ago who looked in my eyes and I knew she had never stopped caring.
And certainly, my family, my wonderful sister Sue and sister Sandy, my daughter and son, my bonus mom, and other family members had made every effort to be very kind and caring through this journey.
The new friends I have made have been true blessings. A special shoutout to Nicole (see Lena’s previous post about Nicole, link at top of page), our journeys closely moving along together and now, we continue to remain very good friends. My best friend in Texas is a rock and the laugh of my life. Then there was Pam, my balance of all the worlds colliding together, new group, new cancer, new life, and old friendship.
I don’t have enough words to write to acknowledge all of the silver linings I have been blessed with, and no, I would not want to have cancer to have these blessings – but I am grateful that I had cancer WITH all of these silver linings.
My attitude has changed. I remember to be grateful everyday for…. everything.