The Benefits of Cancer and Coming Out in the Open

Gift-cards and flowers from work before I had surgery in December.

“Nine hundred fifty dollars!”

To my amazement, this gift from my coworkers–a thick stack of King Sooper gift cards–seems unreal. Thirty eight pieces of twenty-five dollar store gift cards would buy a two-month worth of groceries to feed three mouths. Just a few weeks earlier, I contemplated on breaking them  the bad news for the fear that some  might not care. Besides, I did not want to drag them to my loneliness with the upcoming holidays. But to my surprise, they showered me with love and well wishes. They uplifted my spirits. The gift is one thing but to think that they took time, came together, and collected these cards for me, tells me how much they care.

Since the beginning of December, when I told friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers about my breast cancer diagnosis, help in various forms came to me. I received things for free: hair covers, gift cards, free childcare, free doggie boarding with grooming, free light housekeeping, free classes like yoga and make-up application, support group meetings, flowers, angels, countless prayers, and well-wishes. Facebook friends who had never commented on my posts since I joined in 2008 suddenly posted encouraging words on my wall and sent me messages and prayers. Two even sent me checks. I had a list of volunteer drivers who drove, picked up groceries, and ran errands for me during the three weeks I had driving and strict activity restrictions. (I tell you, ten pounds lifting limit and n0-house-chores-allowed restriction did not leave me much to do on my own–just self-care, basically). Until today, four weeks of (mostly) home cooked meals got delivered to my door every evening from my church group. They spoiled me.

Chicken Alfredo on pasta from my church group.

Oh,  coming out in the open and the diagnosis of cancer have their benefits (however strange that phrase may be). I acknowledge all the help offered to me. How lucky I am with people standing by me, people with big hearts.

Another meal from church group, meatballs.

Scroll down to see more pictures of some things I received.

Free and discounted head covers from a local thrift shop.

From my collection above: turban and scarf, what do you think. Am I ready to lose my hair?

From the Look Good Feel Better, all for free: Clinique, Estee Lauder, Mary Kay...

And here I am modelling with my new crazy cap.

Oh, and watch out for my future post of professional photographs courtesy of the Wedding Pink. As a breast cancer patient, they offer this service to me at no cost. Pictures to come in March. Of course, by then I will be bald but  I am still excited.


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