Ava Grace's Closet: My Hero
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Friday, October 14, 2011

My Hero

My first guest post shared earlier this week at My Unrehearsed Life :: the month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This message is too important not to share. twice.

It is hard to find the right words to say when a friend calls you to tell you they found something on a recent mammogram. 
Do you make light? I'm sure it's nothing. Speculate? Could be just  a cyst. I had another girlfriend that had a cyst. It was nothing.
I chose to do neither. Truthfully, I didn't know what to say.
Call me the moment you know.

My friend is so beautiful. 
She is stylish.funny.sweet.kind. Full of Life.
The kind of person who everyone wants to be around. The life of the party one might call her.
The diagnosis came back.
It was a tumor. 
Further testing would confirm that it was indeed cancerous. Even further testing would confirm that it was the kind of breast cancer that has a high probability of spreading.

I tried to learn everything I could. I learned jargon I had never heard of before.
The internet is both a blessing and a curse in times like these. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
Information overload scared me. I am sure that it scared her as well although she never said a word.
But she did her homework. And then some.
She changed her diet.her lifestyle.her way of thinking almost altogether.
This was cancer after all.

It didn't seem fair to me. This vivacious woman who had everything. The same woman who suffered the loss of her very best friend not so many years ago to...cancer.
Why did it choose her? Why?
We have all heard the statistics. I don't claim to be an expert but I know that in my lifetime, many of the women I know will be diagnosed.
Some will have tougher battles than others.
Some will win. And some may lose.

My beautiful friend opted for radical surgery.
She tried to make me understand although I didn't need to.
I knew she should and would do what was right for her. For her body. For her healing.
She underwent a double-mastectomy and it went amazingly well.
It is incredible really how someone so tiny could be so strong.

We had lunch sometime afterwards. Talked. Walked. Shopped.
It was almost like everything was back to normal.
Although for her, it never will be.
I am sure that cancer changes you in ways I hope to never understand.
Outside she is still the very same beautiful.outgoing.funny girl.
I don't know how she feels inside.
She had reconstructive surgery a few short weeks ago.
It went perfectly. She is healing.resting.happy with the results.
I check in on her often.
At times, I still don't know what to say. Too much. Too little.

I reached out to her to ask if it was o.k. to write this post.
She said she had no secrets. And would tell. Should tell. Everyone she knows.
She doesn't know it.
But she is my hero.


  1. A touching and loving post. My mother, too, had breast cancer, had a mastectomy and reconstruction. I feel blessed.

  2. What a loving tribute to the love of true friendship...it brought me to tears...Thank you so much for sharing a triumphant story so eloquently.

  3. Beautiful post. She is very lucky to have a friend like you who loves her so much. You both seem to have a very beautiful friendship.

  4. What a gorgeous post! My aunt was just diagnosed a few weeks ago with Stage 4. I think your friend is beautiful, inside and out and I think it's beautiful that you shared her story with her blessing. I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you again.

  5. What a lovely friendship. :) Beautiful post!

  6. I have a huge lump in my throat now. Beautiful, just beautiful.

  7. This was such a beautiful and touching post. My friend is going in for reconstructive surgery next week - she shares the same qualities as your friend and I admire their strength beyond words.

  8. So inspiring, so strengthening. I know her future is brighter in so many ways, you both are blessed to be part of eachother's lives...

  9. This post gave me goosebumps. So beautifully written and it is obvious that you two are lucky to have friend's in each other. I will keep her in my prayers!! xox

  10. beautiful post, brought tears to my eyes! you are such a good friend.. and she is such a strong person! thank you for sharing her story <3

  11. This was beautiful. I'm so glad you linked up with us to share this.
    You know, I actually semi-intentionally skipped an appointment today for a "follow-up mammogram" after the "scare" I had 6 mos ago - it was today. I just didn't go because I'm scared. Reading your post made me realize I gotto go in, tomorrow. Thanks so much for the reminder, and I'm glad your beautiful friend is well again.

  12. Beautiful, powerful post, Susan. Thank you for sharing your friend and for linking this up to Blog Bash.

  13. That's a lovely post. I hope your friend is healthy and doing well!

  14. So happy to hear your friend is doing well! I'll never forget when my best friend found out her mom had breast cancer. It's tough and I know your support gave your friend strength!

  15. Oh, thank you for sharing this. It's beautiful.

  16. Definitely needs to be shared more than once. So happy for her that she is doing well..

  17. Wow, very touching. It can happen to anyone, anytime. Scary... also comforting to know that you are not alone. Good for your friend that she has a friend like you!

  18. This is a beautiful post Susan. I agree, it definitely needs to be shared more than once for it's powerful message about breast cancer and about friendship. Not sure if this is helpful or not but there's another woman who recently underwent a double mastectomy and has been blogging about her journey here: http://darwinianfail.blogspot.com/. She's incredibly inspiring.

  19. The first time I visit your blog and you have me in tears! What an amazing honest, raw, heartbreaking post. Your friend amazes me with her strength. It's ok not to know what to say...as long as she knows you are there.


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