Dear Friends and Family,
As you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I am very fortunate that I have attended an event called In the Pink of Health the last three years. Each year I attend the event, I have different thoughts and feelings that overcome me.
I did not write a post about In the Pink of Health in 2018, so I will be backtracking a bit… In the Pink of Health is held by Memorial Hermann in The Woodlands, Texas. In the Pink of Health focuses on raising money for Memorial Hermann’s Canopy. The Canopy is a first-of-its-kind cancer survivorship center that offers a wide variety of free programs and services addressing the emotional, physical, and social needs of those touched by cancer. At the event, breast cancer patients and family members speak about how the Canopy offered love, support, and guidance during this trying time. Each year there is also a keynote speaker.
In, 2018, the keynote speaker was Scott Hamilton. Hamilton is a retired American figure skater and Olympic gold medalist. He also had a personal encounters with cancer. Hamilton spoke about how he overcame the trials and tribulations of cancer. His message was very encouraging!
The theme for In the Pink of Health for 2019 was Let HOPE Bloom. The guest speaker was Dr. Rick Rigsby. Dr. Rigsby is an ordained minister, motivational speaker, and author. Dr. Rigsby’s speech was very moving and emotional. Dr. Rigsby experienced the heartbreak of losing his wife Trina to breast cancer in 1996. He spoke about how Trina told their children that she had breast cancer. Before she passed, she told Dr. Rigsby that he was not meant to be alone and that he should find another life partner. Dr. Rigsby said that her breast cancer metastasized to her bones and liver when she passed. He also said that until the day she died she was a “Merchant of HOPE”. He continued his speech and emphasized that “Cancer in NOT a Death Sentence!” and “It is NOT how long you live your life, but how you live it!” Today, he is remarried and focuses his attention on empowering people worldwide.
By the end of his speech, there was not a dry eye in the banquet hall. My mom, who was sitting to my right could not look at me and I could not look at her. I began crying a bit more heavily as I sat there and started to think of the person I was at the first In the Pink of Health I attended in 2017. I was receiving chemotherapy treatments and barely had any hair and was wearing a wig. My wig resembled my real hair, only there was never a hair out of place, it always looked perfect. 😊👱🏻♀️ I remember thinking, most of the women here do not know what it is like to “be in my shoes” as they walked around with their long beautiful blonde “real” hair. I also thought, these women do not know what it is like to receive chemotherapy and have cancer treatments “run your life”. As I looked around the table that I was sitting at, I knew that there were ladies that “had been in my shoes” and knew the feeling of “being a breast cancer patient”. I could not believe how much I had changed from 2017 to the person I am today in 2019. My hair is taking forever to grow, BUT I have hair! I do keep getting it cut and styled, so that could be slowing down the growth process. 😉 My hair is no longer blonde, it is actually a dark brown color 👨🏻🦱 and I like it because it is something different. Dr. Rigsby’s speech really resonated with me and I feel that I have been a “Merchant of HOPE” with or without hair. Being a cancer patient is very emotional. Throughout my cancer journey, I believe that I am a “Merchant of HOPE”. To this day, I am still receiving medication to prevent cancer from reoccurring. I have good days and bad days, but I still believe and HOPE.
Anchored in HOPE,