When I found out I had cancer, all I thought about was my three beautiful children. How would I tell them? How will they react? What if something happens to me?
Within 24 hours of my diagnosis, I found myself at the entrance of Ann’s Place, seeking answers to those questions.
The women I met at Ann’s Place provided invaluable support. Kate was there whenever I needed her. Martha helped me navigate the early days of telling my kids. This year’s fashion show honors survivors and their support people. The caregivers are the unsung heroes of anyone’s cancer journey. I want to share a little about mine.
One of the very first calls and one of the hardest calls was to my parents. I didn’t want to worry them. But those of us who are parents know, worry doesn’t ever end. They came to every appointment, I literally could. not. keep them away. I had to remember Kate’s words, to let people help.
My sisters are the most amazing women I know. They made chemo a party. They kept me laughing. Even when I was my sickest, when I had high fevers and thought I was blind from chemo, we laughed. Because of them there were more laughs than tears in my cancer year.
Elena and Jeff, my biggest fans, were constant sources of love and support. They never doubted I would be ok, in fact Jeff insisted I didn’t even have cancer so often I sometimes doubted I really did.
And my brothers, sisters in law, old friends and friends in Ridgefield insisted on providing meals and driving my kids around and helping me keep it business as usual around my home, I am forever thankful.
My kids are the biggest source of strength and motivation. I am so blessed and beyond proud to have the most beautiful amazing people I know as my children. They are all the motivation I needed to beat cancer. If I live 50 more years, or 5 I hope they know that they inspire me and teach me more than I can ever do for them.
In many ways, nothing has changed and in some ways, everything has changed. I will forever be grateful for the blessings I encountered along the way; the goodness in people, the friendships that were formed, and the lessons learned. I hope I never forget the feeling of gratefulness and appreciation for every day and even though I often fail, I will keep reminding myself. I am doing this to honor those I’ve loved whose story sadly and unexplainably didn’t end like mine and for my friends who are currently finding the inner strength to face cancer head on.
Please join us on April 29 for Fashion Show 2020 - Celebrating Survivors and their Caregivers. You can support the show on this page or visit the model pages directly and see their inspiring stories of survivorship and those who stood by their side during thier cancer journey. Thank you for supporting Ann's Place!
In memory of Mena, Nick, Steve, JoAnn, Pam & Catherine.
In honor of Brooke, Jessica, Blair & Jackson.