I wrote the following post six years ago. It seems like only yesterday all this happened.I thought in honor of the pink ribbon month, I would repost it along with the follow-up good news that my niece is now six years cancer-free! We were just talking about this and she pointed out the fact that God had answered her prayer to allow her to live long enough to see her children grow up! Praise God for answered prayer! And for some excellent doctors and nurses.Posted on November 30, 2007 by As many of you know, my niece was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer a few weeks ago. She discovered it early enough that the surgeon was able to remove it all. The biopsy of the lymph glands was clear. We celebrated.

She is now in the process of enduring several months of “preventative” chemotherapy. The prognosis is good.

Frankly, I don’t even like thinking about the word “cancer.” I don’t like using the word “chemotherapy.” I don’t like pondering anything that involves hospitals or illness or pain. I am infamous in my family for having passed out cold on the doctor’s office floor when he mentioned that my elderly mother might have to have open heart surgery.

And so, wimp that I am, I’ve been privately annoyed in the past by all the pink ribbons constantly in my face–annoyed because they made me think about a subject I wanted to ignore.

That has changed. My annoyance has now changed to gratitude. Within 24 hours of my niece’s diagnosis, the phone calls began. Phone calls from survivors. Women from her church, women who knew women from her church, women from our home town who know her mother. Encouraging phone calls. Strengthening phone calls.

What I’ve discovered is that there is a sisterhood of thousands (millions?) of women warriors who’ve fought the breast cancer battle and won.

The pink ribbon symbol doesn’t annoy me any more. Instead, it represents a celebration of life, of victory, of a society that is capable of linking arms and marching against a common enemy. Because of the money raised by the pink ribbon campaigns, my niece’s hospital is on the cutting edge of helping women beat the disease.

There is another sisterhood involved in the pink ribbon society–those who help their loved ones get through the chemo. At the present time, that’s where I am. I will be spending large chunks of time in another state, helping my niece take care of her family. I would give anything if my niece didn’t have to go through this, but since she does, it is an honor to be a small part of the sisterhood of the pink ribbon.

-Serena

2 thoughts on “The Sisterhood of the Pink Ribbon–Update!

  1. As of August this year I have been cancer free for 14 years. I Praise God for that! My only reminders of battling breast cancer is the fact that I have some lymphodema in my right arm. It is annoying enough that sometimes I need to buy a size larger top because of the swelling…I can live with it. The scars and numbness under my arm is a bit more annoying and the constant ache in my right arm bugs me to no end BUT I have my life.

    My Sister, and two first cousins have battled this disease after me. Sadly, my favorite cousin Joyce lost her battle 15 months ago. Cousin Thelma has been cancer free for 12 years and my sister has been cancer free for 3 years. We don’t know God’s reason for calling my cousin Joyce home. I do know she was looking forward to her home going with such radiance. How awesome was that?

    Blessings!
    Judy B

  2. Bonnie Cram Hall says:

    As of October this year I have been cancer free for 8 years although I did have a slight run-in again in July 08. I had breast reduction surgery and cancer cells were found in the other breast. I underwent a mastectomy and reconstruction. I have struggled to regain a life since all of this as I lost my teaching position due to my needing to take a medical leave of absence for the remaining of the school year. Losing my job was worse than losing my breast as I lost something that I felt God had called me to. However, because I was “home,” I was able to be with my cousin as she continued her battle with cancer which ended in her going home to be with God two years ago. I started to say she lost her battle, but she really won the whole war. Unlike Serena, I do not fancy the pink ribbon as I reminded over and over that I still walk green pastures on this earth while so many I knew and loved (my aunt also died of cancer) are gone. I am a victim of survivor’s guilt. How many others are out there?

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