Thursday, October 22, 2009


The first time I saw the "Fight like a girl" slogan, I thought it was genius. What a great phrase and campaign for breast cancer. I often think about how many women have had to fight. Women I know, women I don't know. Stories I hear or read, or stories I tell. But I love to know that we can fight.

My first reality hit with breast cancer was when I was almost 11. It was the week after Christmas, and the week of my birthday. I had just gone back to school from Christmas break, and was called to the office. I wasn't quite sure why, until I saw my mom. She had tears in her eyes, and a look of urgency about her. She told me that my Grandma Betsy was about to pass away, and that we were going to say goodbye. It was a long drive, and by the time we reached our destination, my sweet grandmother had already said goodbye.

She had fought a hard fight. Twice with this enemy. There had been signs, but let's face it...this was 20 years ago. Women with pain or lumps, simply kept going. They didn't complain. They didn't go to the doctor to actually talk about symptoms, and heaven forbid if it had to do with their...shhh....breasts.

When Grandma Betsy finally did begin to fight, she had chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, and probably more that I don't even know about, and still that wasn't enough. She was 59.

I remember not getting it until I saw her that day. Not realizing how real this "disease" called breast cancer was. But seeing her in the bed, I got it. I knew how much I wanted her to have peace. Rest. Victory. And she did. However, I wish that I could have celebrated with her still here. I wish that she had had a t-shirt that said "Fight like a girl!" For she surely did.

Today, I went into a shop for something, and one thing led to the next, and somehow the store clerk and I ended up talking about how both of our grandmothers had suffered through this disease. Hers had made it through two battles, and was continuing to fight. Mine had not. We chatted about the struggle, and desire to support others on this journey, or in this fight. Then, she asked me. She asked me if I had gotten a mammogram yet. I was so thankful to be in the day and age where a store clerk would have the guts to talk about this thing that in the past would have been hushed. Or where people would have ignored the lumps under their arms, just to simply keep face, and not be embarrassed. But instead, we encouraged each other in early detection, and confronting and possibly disagreeing even with doctor's advice, to be checked early.

Today's my Grandma Betsy's birthday. I wish that I could have been at a 79th birthday party for her. She would have sang beautifully and then blown all those candles out. She would have played a song on the piano with her bright beaming smile. And she would have had something dynamic and pink on.

Celebrate with me this month. Do it for someone you know. Do it for someone you don't know. But let's press on to always fight like girls. My little way of bringing awareness is trying to wear something pink everyday for the rest of this month. It helps me remember to
think of and pray for those fighting this battle now.

To help bring more awareness, check out any of these sites for great ideas and products.

1 comment:

deb said...

what a wonderful tribute to your grandmother... and it is silly these old vanity things.
I like that Fight Like a Girl idea.