It’s been a very sad weekend. One of my closest friends buried her 49 year old sister yesterday… three young children, a husband, and a shitload to live for. From what you may ask? Cancer, of course.
So after another life is lost to cancer, today I want to spotlight someone who is fighting the good fight. Someone who is very much ALIVE, brave, and calls herself a FUTURE CANCER SURVIVOR. Her name is Virginia Champoux-Sokoloff, and our kids went to pre-school together. If you are a loyal reader, you might also remember her amazing post on WomenOnTheFence called 10 Lessons From 10 Years in Business: A Mompreneur’s Tale. Let me say, you MUST read this post.
When I bumped into Virginia last week at the grocery store, I was blown away. Blown away, because while the tears streamed down MY face as she kept me abreast of her situation (no pun intended, Virginia is kicking stage-3 breast cancer in the ass), what was impossible to miss was HER strength. Her matter-of-fact, direct tone. No hiding. No bullshit. Just stating the facts as they are, and committing herself to the best possible attitude, and recovery. Recovery recovery recovery. In that moment as I hugged her, as I felt my body melt with weakness, I felt her palpable strength. It was a strength I cannot describe.
And I promised Virginia in the grocery store that I would fight with her. She started a blog called Outrunning the Cloud to document her journey. You have only to read the ABOUT ME page to want to fight with her too.
ABOUT ME: I was lucky enough to be on Trading Spaces, I am the mother of 2 beautiful girls adopted from China, I have an award-winning store and I have been a blogger since the dawn of time. Oh, and my husband has Cystic Fibrosis, and I turned out to be a carrier. And be barren. My mom died of breast cancer. My husband got a double lung transplant…. not enough for you yet?
Well, I have just been diagnosed with breast cancer.
No matter how fast I run (which is not fast at all) I can’t seem to get away from the cloud of doom over my head.
But beside her great strength, there is something else amazing about her – her sense of humor.
I give you one of her posts called Wine Vs. Chemo
So I got some not-very-good-news today about this little Cancer-situation…. turns out it’s worst-badder than they thought. I’ll spare you the 2-tumor measurements, but instead, let me tell you about the research protocol questionnaire… ACTUAL real questions:
Q: Have you smoked more than 100 cigarettes in your life?
A: NO. skip entire page, move on to next question.
Q: Have you had more than 100 drinks in your life?
A: hello, I’m 42 and a University graduate. hell yeah!
Q: Have you had more than 100 drinks this year?
A: well, it’s April, and I have cancer, so again… .hell yeah!
Q: Have you had more than 12 drinks this month?
A: It’s past the 15th of the month, so hell-to-the-yeah!
Q: how many drinks have you had this week?
A: Define THIS week? I mean, it’s Monday, so NO! but if you mean the-last-7-day period, then probably yes… dude, I have CANCER!!!!
So this is what I have to say: if you are going to take my wine away, you had better replace it with a medical-marijuana card and instructions how to inhale. because I never did get the hang of that. See answer about smoking less than 100 cigarettes.
Or this post called Bye Bye Boobies, the night before her double mastectomy a few weeks ago:
Last, night, I was surrounded by love and laughter. I gathered the 8 amazing girls who have agreed to walk with me, along with other fabulous and supportive girlfriends who are along for the ride in other ways. We drank wine, chatted, played Cards Against Humanity and drank some more. And my super fabulous friend R. took lots of pictures of my boobs. What more could a girl ask for?
So as Virginia begins her first round of chemotherapy, let’s pool together our healing thoughts and prayers for this amazing woman. I promised her I would spotlight her cause. She is walking in the Weekend to End Breast Cancer with nine of her closest friends. Her team has already raised $22,000. She has also started an auction with 100% of the proceeds going to EndCancer.ca. Please visit her auction page at: http://www.32auctions.com/organizations/6794/auctions/7529/show_info. She is trying to gather as many giveaways as possible on her auction page so that more donors can bid. If you have anything to donate, please contact Virginia on that page.
And while we’re kicking cancer’s ass, I urge you to also please go get swabbed for Jayden. Jayden is a little girl, also from Montreal, desperately seeking a stem cell / bone marrow donor to survive. Getting tested to see if you’re Jayden’s match is painless and requires a simple swab of your cheek.
Visit CureForJayden.ca for more details.
That is it ladies. I’m sorry for starting the week off on this heavy foot, but I believe in the power of collective prayer and doing what we can to help others.
Have a magnificent Monday, and please feel free to send Virginia a message right below. She’ll be reading…