Yes, the month is more than halfway over and I am just now getting to October's Word of the Month. I have "tried on" several, but they just didn't seem to fit. But, as usual, in good time I have settled upon the perfect word, which I will get to later in this post.
With that in mind, I would like to introduce you to one of those faces.
Take a good look. It is the face of courage and hope and perseverance. It is the face of optimism and perpetual spirit. This face has been through eight months of hell starting this past January with the diagnosis of breast cancer. This is the face of my friend, Debbie Redd.
It started with finding a lump through self-examination. That lead to a mammogram which lead to a biopsy which lead to those dreaded words, "You have breast cancer." Then surgery, followed by a not so good prognosis. Debbie has just finished eight months of chemo, which, like many patients, made her violently sick. She couldn't work. She lost all her hair. She had a port that was prone to pain and infection. As if that weren't enough, she had to take steroids to avoid losing too much weight. And then there were the radiation treatments which, from what I understand, creates its own nightmarish pain and aftereffects. Her white blood cell counts dropped. Days of treatment went into weeks, weeks into months. These are things that make even the strongest person weak, question why and sometimes want to give up, I am sure. But these are the things that make a person strong in ways she never knew she had the potential to be, that make a gal appreciate life, learn to forgive, love harder, accept herself, embrace change, treasure memories.
Take another look at that face. It is the face of beauty. It is the face of grace and laughter. It is the face of a survivor.
And that is my word for October - SURVIVOR.
We all have our moments of despair and we are all survivors of one thing or another. Unless we are privy, sometimes we have no idea what those around us are going through. Some things are more challenging than others. Some we bear inwardly and some we share with the whole world. Some things we deal with in our quietest times and some we scream out so the whole world can hear us. But in the end we survive. We survive through the grace of God, the warmth and love of family and friends, the kindness of strangers, and our own sheer hard-headed determination that will not yield. I hope and pray breast cancer is one thing I, my loved ones, my friends and any of you never have to survive - ever. But in the future, whatever I go through and have to get over, I will think of Debbie and in those dark moments I will see her face and others like her that have battled and set an example of survival for all of us everyday.
Thank you, Debbie, for allowing me to share this with the world. God bless!.