Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and affects 1 in 8 women. It is a disease that can take many different shapes and sizes, and everyone’s journey is different. However, all of our stories are connected and we can learn from each other. A group of breast cancer survivors came together to share their experiences and help other women who are going through this difficult time. Their strength of mind shone through as they reminded listeners to practice ‘grace and dignity at all times.’ Some of them have gone through chemotherapy, bi-lateral mastectomies and radiation. Despite all the pain and hardship, their positive outlook on life and attitude of never giving up has inspired all of us.
The breast cancer community is full of fighters and Breast Cancer Warrior who are always there for each other. They may be that friend in remission who stocks your freezer with bone broth before chemo begins or the one who strung lights on your Christmas tree when your hands are too bruised to do it yourself. They are that person who tells you to keep your chin up when you are feeling down and reminds you that the sun will shine again.
When someone you know or love is diagnosed with breast cancer, it can be hard to know what to say. It is important to respect their privacy and be sensitive to the fact that they may not want to talk about it. If they do decide to confide in you, be there for them and let them know that you care. If they are not ready to speak about it, don’t take it personally; it takes time for people to adjust to such a heavy news.
Some of the patients in this study who were referred to the support groups by their oncologists reported that they had already tried other forms of support, including family and friends. However, they were still having difficulty coping with their diagnosis and felt that they needed to be around other survivors. Others who did not attend the group expressed a similar sentiment; they felt that they were not getting enough emotional support from their families or from their doctors who often did not understand the severity of their situation.
The Pink Warrior House Foundation (PWHF) is a non-profit organization that provides a community of support to patients and their caregivers. Programs include Warrior Bags, counseling, art therapy, yoga and guided relaxation, a Battle Buddy Network, nutrition education, a Beautiful Warrior class, a wig exchange, a monthly lecture/Q&A series and more. Ford Warriors in Pink proceeds will benefit PWHF’s core mission of mitigating financial burdens for breast cancer patients in active treatment via direct non-medical financial assistance, financial navigation and health literacy.