We are all connected – hence when one is sick and needs healing, then we all are accountable to help in the healing and supporting endeavor. As it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to build a foundation of collective energy to help heal and support the breast cancer patient.
We, the Sisters’ Journey family have continued to build our village, hopefully in the manner envisioned by our founder, the late Linda White-Epps. We have strived to be an intricate component in the healing and caring process for the mind, body, and spirit of breast cancer survivors, the newly diagnosed, families and friends. With the help and support of “you” the community the “wind beneath our wings” Sisters’ Journey has again been enabled to produce the annual Sisters’ Journey calendar, continue the Sisters’ Journey Support Group and our many other endeavors.
African American women continue to die from breast cancer statistically, in greater numbers, than other ethnic groups. It is that data that has motivated Sisters Journey to celebrate life, and be strong advocates determined to see the day that the gap is closed as a result of better education and awareness in regard to breast cancer and women of color.
This year we have deemed it fitting to dedicate the 2006 calendar to the memory of those survivors that were threads in the fabric of our village. We so appreciate the courage and the sharing of the intimate stories of all our survivors and want to remember the brave ones who have passed, and were pioneers in starting the Sisters’ Journey village on the path that we are on today. We salute those survivors that ran the race and kept the faith until they reached the finish line of their journey.
Sisters’ Journey sends out healing love to the families and friends left with the void of a loss, but we also invite them to continue to be members and advocates of the village, helping to support other breast cancer survivors that are still on their journey. Hopefully, in the process, you can find continual healing for yourselves and lessen the pain of your loss. But for this moment, in celebration of this year’s 2006 calendar women, the survivors, and the many warriors, we say congratulations and thank-you. It is because of these extraordinary women, our village is another year stronger and wiser. Again, we, the Sisters’ Journey family thank the supporters for all you do to make our “Village of Healing” a strong and growing one. We wish you God’s blessings. Enjoy this year’s calendar!
The Sisters’ Journey Family
My life changed forever with that diagnosis. I went from being a cardiac specialty nurse to national breast cancer advocate.
I completed twelve sessions of chemotherapy over a six-month period and had reconstructive surgery in December 1996.This was followed by 32 treatments of radiation.
The year 2003 was a mixed blessing. First, my daughter died of cancer in February of the year 2003, and I found out that I had breast cancer when I went for my yearly checkup in July of 2003.
The most important thing that happened to me when I was diagnosed was the realization that I could not afford to take anything for granted.
My Doctor scheduled me for a biopsy in November 2004, and it came back positive. I had breast cancer!
My journey began during the summer of 2004. I discovered a lump in my left breast during a shower. I dismissed it initially thinking that it was hormonal related.
He examined me and right away asked: “Are you a heavy coffee drinker?” I was. He advised me to leave the coffee alone for a while.
My Life as I saw it was just beginning. My first child was about to be christened, I was planning her first birthday party, and my professional career was advancing.
Every January for many years, like clockwork, I’d go to get my mammogram. Fortunately, even if I had a call back, all my readings were false. That was not to be in 2003. When I received notice to go for further testing, I knew that it would also be fine, not suspicious.
On January 3, 1998, the surgery was performed and prosthesis inserted. I went through chemotherapy for six months and the rest is history. Although the experience was traumatic, my life did not stop.
After she completed the exam, she told me to have the mass checked. I already knew what the result would be. The walk to the parking deck was the longest walk of my life.
In February 2000 while taking a shower I discovered a lump in my left breast. I was devastated and I immediately thought of cancer. I almost lost it in the shower. I pulled myself together but I was bound in fear.