This past year, I was given a gift - the gift of friendship from a group of women whom I met on-line - my CKU/CHA buddies. This gift has reminded me that new friendships are highly underrated. And although I am hesitant to step out of my comfort zone to cultivate new friendships, when I do, there are blessings untold. Too often, I take friendship for granted. And too often, I don't stop to think of what my life would be like without my friends - those people whom I have chosen to share myself with; people who have chosen to do the same with me. Over the years, I have learned that friendships are precious treasures - the new are the shiny silver, and the established are polished gold. And I am blessed to have both. This year, my friends have been the lifeline that have kept me going during the weeks and months that I've dealt with John's illness. Without the support of my friends, I fear I would have given up on doctors and medicine and procedures and testing. But my friends wouldn't let me - they held my hand and listened when I ranted and raved, laughed and cried, and begged and pleaded with God to take care of my son. My friends made a difference as they formed a powerful army to support me. And I am forever grateful for their unconditional love.
Last week, one of my new friends was diagnosed with breast cancer. Life as she knew it has changed forever. My heart breaks for her. And because she is my friend, I want to take away her fear. I want to rant with her and cry with her. I want to do anything and everything to make this nightmare go away. Unfortunately, I don't have the power to make it better. But I can pray for her, and I can cry with her, and yes - I can rant and rave with her because this disease is horrible. It robs women of their youth. It invades privacy. And it clogs the mind with things that no one should have to think about. My friend fears that she will be forgotten. She fears that when the shock wears off, she will be left alone to deal with this monster. Here and now, I vow not to let that happen.
I have added an active icon to the sidebar of my blog. This icon will serve as my own personal reminder that my friend is fighting the battle of her life. My hope is that it will remind everyone who visits my blog to remember her as she fights to win the war. The icon was designed by the talented Tia Bennett. I invite you to join us by adding the image to your own website. Right click to save the image, host it at a remote site, and include it on your blog for all to see. I'm also posting a larger version of the image below. Please save it to your files. Use it on a scrapbook page, or make a card, or pass it along to others, because we never know who or when this disease will strike next, and it is imperative that we share the message.
Breast cancer is a silent monster that we absolutely must not ignore. As women, friends, daughters, sisters, and mothers, we can make a difference. We can join together to form a powerful army. We can be the voice that fights to find the cure. Be aware. Be proactive. Support others. And get involved. Because that's what friends do. And friends can make a difference.
For more information on how to join the cause in finding a cure, please visit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.