Utah Breast Cancer Support Group

Non-denominational breast cancer support group in Utah for young women in their 20's, 30's and 40's. Friends by Chance. Sisters by Choice.

Young Survivor Sisters is a free, non-denominational breast cancer support group for women living in Utah who are in their 20's, 30's and 40's. We've been supporting each other like sisters since 2003 and welcome your participation. Together We Survive! To join the conversation, please join our Facebook Page

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Life Victories after Breast Cancer

Lately I've thought alot about life after Breast Cancer. I know that since I haven't yet completed reconstruction I'm still in the thick of it - but each day I realize more and more the small victories of just being alive and doing things with my family and others I love.

This year Travis and I planted what we call our 'Victory Garden'. Basically, we filled our yard with as many flowers as we could afford - and most of them are pink. It was such a rejuvinating feeling to be able to work the soil again and feel good enough to sit outside and pull out weeds. Literally theraputic.

As I sat there weeding and planting, I contemplated the incredible journey that perennials and trees go through each year. They start as small seeds and continue growing into beautiful flowers and trees. They enjoy the nourishment the rain brings in the spring and seem to bask in the sun during the summer. Then life takes a sharp corner as the autumn winds start to blow and the weather becomes crisp as winter approaches. The tempatures fade and the perennials are cut down in preparation for the storms ahead. The trees start to lose their leaves until they are finally all gone. Yet they endure it. The snow falls and it seems as if for a time all is lost. The beauty that they possed is covered in a blanket of cold and only a memory of their true potenial is left.

In many ways - I can relate. I felt as though I was basking in the warmth of the summer sun before I was diagnosed- and then the snow came. My health was cut down and my hair fell out and for awhile a dark blanket covered my eyes as I endured chemo. Many of you also felt the sting of radiation and I relate that to someone drilling a hole in the tree and pouring in the roundup.

Amazingly enough though - the winter passes and there is still life yet to be enjoyed in the plants of my garden. It seems to take forever, but then one day, the perennial I cut down the year before is before my eyes in glorious blooms and the plant itself has grown stronger. The trees regrow new fresh leaves and blooms and fill the air with the scents of life.

I too have been rejuvinated. I see myself as a stronger woman, a better mother, a person who enjoys life a little more because I've felt the sting that associates with the word 'cancer'. Like my perennials, I've come back larger than life and with more zeal to be better than ever. I now truly understand what it means to 'appreciate'. I know you do too.

Look outside sisters-enjoy the beauty around you. Find a way to balance yourself so that your life can be full of peace and happiness. I'm not saying that the storms of winter don't take their toll on life. They can do alot of damage. But I know that inside each of us is a strong desire to grow and become as beautiful as we can

My 'Victory Garden' reminds me everyday that life is something to be cherished and valued. I share this with you as a reminder of your inner beauty and the strength that lies inside each of you. YOU are amazing and I love you.

:) Ginger

If you have a life victory story, please post. I would love to hear what you are doing to celebrate your victories in life!


Erin June 24, 2008 at 11:50 PM  

Thank you. Very inspiring and true...I'm right there with ya girl!

Books Available

Ginny and I (Erin) have collected a bunch of really great breast cancer related books and would love to share them with anyone interested in reading...Just leave a comment here on the blog and we'll arrange getting you the book!

Here's the list:

Finding the “CAN” in Cancer
By Nancy Emerson, Pam Leight, Susan Boonan and Terri Schinazi

Fighting for our future- How Young Women Find Strength, Hope, and Courage While Taking Control of Breast Cancer-
Forward by Ann Curry of the Today Show
By Beth Murphy

Voices of Breast Cancer- The Haling Companion: Stories for Courage, Comfort & Strength
Edited by the Healing Project

Just a Lump in the Road- Reflections of Young Breast Cancer Survivors
By Debbie Leifert, Gina Castronova, Dr. Tamara Brennan, Jackie Ehrilich, Cindy Goldberg, & Donna Palmisciano

Breast Cancer Survivor Fitness Plan
By Carolyn M. Kaelin, M.D., M.P.H.

Facing the Mirror With Cancer- A Guide to using Make-up to Make a Difference
By Lori Ovitz and Joanne Kabak

Breast Cancer Husband-- How to Help your Wife and (Yourself) Through Diagnosis, Treatment, & Beyond
By Marc Silver

First You Cry- The Classic Inspiring Story of One Woman’s Triumph Over Breast Cancer
By Betty Rollin

The Middle Place- A Memoir of Kelly’s battle with breast cancer
By Kelly Corrigan

Crazy, Sexy, Cancer Tips-
By Kris Carr--Forward by Sheryl Crow

Tools & Tips From the Trenches- Heartfelt Advice for Survivors Families & Friends
By Mary Olsen Kelly

Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor’s Soul
By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, & Mary Olsen Kelly

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