“October is a symphony of permanence and change.” Bonaro W. Overstreet
October often brings excitement and exhilaration with crisp air and blue skies. For some of us however, the winds of October stir up blustery and colorful emotions. With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month and being a breast cancer survivor myself, like far too many women, I feel the mix of immense gratitude and grief. I am grateful for coming out on the other side of my cancer experience but carry a heavy heart filled with the weight of knowing so many others do not have the same fate.
I'll never truly know the extent of how my cancer diagnosis as a new mom of a five month old affected my body's ability to have more children naturally. And I don't need to know. All I cling to today is that what were some of life's darkest days somehow led me down a path to one of life's brightest joys - our sweet Emme.
There are no words that adequately justify the depths of empathy I have for any and all families affected by cancer. None of us have the exclusive rights to feeling the pains of life, yet how we tackle our mountains, heal from our wounds and care for others is up to ourselves.
To all cancer warriors out there - you are not alone. May you feel brave and strong and confident. May you believe that you have what it takes to get through the next hour, day, however long you need. And may you feel the winds of October at your back, gently but fiercely pushing you one step forward.
Did you know that while overall rates of breast cancer in Black and White women are about the same, Black women have a higher mortality rate from breast cancer. Please use this month as motivation to educate and act in any way you can to support breast cancer prevention for yourself, you sisters, your daughters, your nieces, your friends and neighbors.
2013 - Dorie's first birthday, two months after finishing chemo (very proud of that hair growth in this pic) and six years before Emme!
Fall of 2020 - Dorie and Emme!