Mar 10, 2011

The Warriors

I'm back from the Breast Cancer conference in Orlando. Do you see me?

Considering many like me didn't know a single soul before we walked through those doors, the bonding was instant. And insanely beautiful. We were soldiers who fought - and continue to fight - the same war. And you just can't beat that.

We did yoga in the morning. We listened to doctors telling us the strides they are making to getting closer to a cure. We had pizza by the poolside. I attended a wonderful workshop on how to talk to your children about cancer. There wasn't a dry eye in the room. Why is it we all seem to turn to mush when it comes to our kids? I learned about mind-body connections. I learned how to breathe.

A lady stood on a podium and did her own version of a "cancer auction". I hear one year, one year. Do I hear one year?, she called out. And the one-year survivors stood up. Do I hear two? Two years? Many more stood. She went through every year. My knees were wobbly when I stood at twelve years. Sometimes I forget I've come such a long way. As each stood, the hope in the room grew. We were clapping and tearing when the last woman stood. A survivor of twenty six whole years. When we grow up we want to be just like her.

On our second night a lovely company called Pure Romance threw us a pajama party. You see when most women undergo treatment, being beautiful is the last thing we feel. Our self esteem hits rock bottom. Add losing key body parts, your hair and energy to that equation. Pure Romance offers a whole bunch of stuff to help in that department. Go google them if you want to see what I mean. You kids reading this, check with Mommy first. Let's just say these toys will never be found on the shelves of Toys R Us. We were squealing and laughing like kids in a bingo game as they called out numbers to raffle off everything on their catalogue. Our loot bags had all these tubes and gadgets, and yup, batteries included. Pasalubong, anyone?

We told our stories. We listened to other stories. We sang our hearts out in a nearby club. We danced. Yes. I danced for hours. Save for my brief obsession with Lorenzo Llamas and that 1984 Body Rock flick , I do not dance very much. But I danced for those who aren't around to dance anymore. And I danced because I am grateful I can.


mzmackay said...

Oh dear Nana, this has me tearing up. Congratulations on your twelve years. I pray that you have twelve more to add to that, and another twelve after that.

You and Nona have been true inspirations. Thank you for sharing your journeys with all of us.

Nona said...

Happy Twelve Dear Nana! Keep on dancing! Keep on living your inspired life! xoxo

Nana said...

Thank you, Mieke! More like thank YOU for listening.

And thanks for dancing along with me, Nona!

RONE said...

12 years?????? WOW!

Nana said...

Yep. yep. I'm a tween in cancerland

Cely said...

As I already told you what I thought, I'll just add a little Post-Scriptum:
Where are you on the pic?? ;-)

Nana said...

Haha! Even I couldn't find myself. Somehere in the back on the right side but completely side view because I'm chatting with the girl beside me.

Strategic Stiletto said...

Yay tween!!!

Nana, I just want to remind you of two things:

1) There were more dances than the 'Body Rock' - there was the annual 'Jingle Bell Rock,' our lame attempts to moonwalk, Menudo's 'Cannonball' and Lança Parume!

2) There will be lots more dancing! And we'll start at the Rikkisha I-do's :)

Barni said...

Laughing and dancing in the end. That's ALWAYS how you come out of a crisis. :) May you be a senior citizen in cancerland.

Nana said...

Tish: Lanca Perfume! Hahaha! Now that's playing in my head. And yes, I agree to more dances including the mandatory family train dance every chance we can get.

Thanks, Barns! Yes. A senior card is the goal.

Strategic Stiletto said...

Nana, see if you can from bustin' out now...!