Since the age of 18, I’ve always been faithful about yearly physicals, but in August of 2004, at the age of 41, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time, I had 4 children, the youngest was 13.
My family doctor found the lump during one of those yearly exams. He ordered a mammogram and ultrasound. The mammogram showed nothing, but the ultrasound showed the lump. A biopsy and lumpectomy were done and afterwards, a port was put in. I had chemotherapy followed by radiation.
During this time, my coworkers were absolutely awesome! They complimented me on my wig, helped me put eye drops in and I would frequently find little pink gifts on my desk. They also had to help me with my work. Most of all they were my support team.
In February of 2011, I was diagnosed once again with breast cancer. My coworkers threw a going away party for the “girls” before I had my double mastectomy. They sold t-shirts and koozies that said “Hakuna my tatas” on them. All donations from the party were donated to my American Cancer Society Bremer County Relay for Life Team of Iowa, Bosom Buddies.
I am so grateful that they helped me through a bad situation and made it into a very charitable success.
My efforts to give back have proven to be a labor of love. I participate in the team for Bremer County and I am also on the committee for the Butler County Relay for Life of Iowa.
I want to encourage the coworkers of cancer patients to remember that as someone deals with cancer, any encouragement, humor and tender loving care of co-workers is so very much appreciated.
Of course, we don’t forget the love and support our families give us, but we also need that from our coworkers. I was so fortunate to have it from both!