I keep replaying in my head moments from the Survivors Celebration on Sunday. I keep thinking about all the people that made a point to talk to me, thank me, hug me.
I see their faces throughout my day:
The woman who was having her mastectomy this last Tuesday, and was obviously doing her best to handle the grief and fear you go through prior to something like that. She asked me a few more questions about my nipple sparing, skin sparing mastectomy. No one had ever talked to her about that, and she was scheduled for surgery in a few days. She was going to ask her surgeon about it.
A breast cancer survivor, who thanked me for "speaking for all of us," and when I touched her arm to give it a reassuring squeeze, I could feel the compression sleeve under her long sleeved blouse.
A man who stood with a cane and had some palsy, he did not say much as his family thanked me profusely. He stood there, looking at me, smiling and nodding his head, as if to say "Yes Debbie, Yes, Yes, Yes."
A young woman who was attending with her fiance; he is a cancer survivor. She said "You have changed me today, and how I think about all this. I feel a lot more hopeful, and I'm going to stop worrying about what may happen, and just appreciate every day I have with him."
A cute senior citizen, who cried when she hugged me, telling me she is a survivor and a recovering alcoholic. She said my presentation really touched her, as a survivor and reminded her of her early days in a Twelve Step program, about surrendering your life, being accountable for your life, and embracing your life.
My friend DesertPirate, who came to take her place among us survivors, looking sexy in a spunky red wig. After my speech, she showed me her bulging vest pocket, and said "See this? It's as big as one of your cute fake boobs, it's filled with all the tissues I used crying through your whole speech!"
So many other faces, who did not say much, just hugged me hard with tears in their eyes.
It's days later, and through each day since then, these moments come to me and their response to me continues to bless me and wrap me in love.
I told some friends yesterday (Hello Nani and Billl) "It was as if through this whole cancer thing, I have been in the shadow of that mountain, and on Sunday, I stood on the mountain."
I will never forget all the faces and stories of those who stood on the mountain with me that day.
It was a good good day.
Wow, what an emotional experience. Lots to learn by looking through different people's eyes.
It moves me to hear how you have touched so many through your strength, Debbie!
Congratulations on your shining spirit, on making it to the other side, for your willingness to share where you have been, what happened and where you are now!!
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