To raise consciousness and to help this mighty cause, following we share enlightened and encouraging stories from Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul, which is a special collection of stories from those who have reached beyond the pain of body and soul to survive cancer. These stories are written specifically by women who have gone through the trials and tribulations of being diagnosed with breast cancer, and whose lives will remain an inspiration to all those who read about them.
Judy started chemotherapy just prior to attending one of my workshops for the first time. Although it was necessary for friends to drive her to and from her treatments and stay with her afterward, she felt that she was imposing on them. Because of these feelings, as well as the rigors of the chemotherapy, she desperately needed love and support. Many workshop participants felt rejected while growing up and were eager to shower love on a recipient they knew wouldn't refuse it. It was a powerful healing process. The group bonded quickly, and I decided to keep the group dynamic going by meeting monthly.
At the next workshop, Judy lightheartedly shared her experiences about losing her hair, which she said was now falling out by the handful. "Maybe I should get a Mohawk hairdo and dye it purple. I might as well have fun with this," she said. Her courageous attitude was an inspiration to us all. She shrugged this off, saying, "People are resilient in different areas. I just happen to have a lot of resiliency in this area."
She never did get a Mohawk, but she did start wearing caps-some had sequins; a favorite one had a propeller. One day, she called me just as I was leaving for the December workshop. "I had chemo yesterday, and I'm just too nauseous to make it," she said. At the workshop, we made a special tape for her with messages from group members. When I told her about it, she cried.
After three months of being unable to attend the group workshop, Judy let us know that she would once again grace us with her presence. When she walked in the room, we engulfed her with our hugs. Left unspoken was our concern for her emotional state; it's one thing to joke about your hair falling out, and another to actually experience it. We wondered how she had stood up under the strain. Judy answered our question when she sat down and removed her scarf. I choked back my tears and then burst into laughter as I read the words on her bald head: "And you think you're having a bad hair day!"
from Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul
by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Patty Aubery and
Nancy Mitchell, R.N. copyright 1996 Canfield, Hansen, Aubery
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