Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sometimes it's hard

Hey Everyone--today I want to talk about the difficulty of surviving the loss of a loved one.  With this month being October there is nothing but Breast Cancer Awareness surrounding me at every turn.  Everyone and their mother is doing the silly "post this as your face book status", some people are going around saying something stupid like Save The Ta Ta's because they think it's funny, and work has been having donate $5 to Susan G Komen  so you can wear jeans, and on and on and on.

NO ONE is more aware of breast cancer than I am.  Breast Cancer killed my beautiful sister, Lisa.  So this time of year is very hard on me.  I don't want to be a bitch, I don't want to be bitter and ugly, yet I am.  I have to say to myself repeatedly--just because your sister did not survive does not mean someone else's sister didn't.  And even though my sister died, every day someone's sister survived--someone's mother, grandmother, aunt, sister and daughter did survive--AND someone's father, grandfather, brother and son did too.

I want to be as supportive as I can this time of year, but for me pink doesn't really cut it.  I actually almost hate pink this time of year.  To me it's hard to see the words HOPE, FAITH, and LOVE and think them especially concerning breast cancer.  BUT the fabulous Kim from Overall Beauty has Joby Nail Art Stickers for Breast Cancer Awareness and they are a really great affordable and easy way for someone to show their support not only this month but any month.

Today I've done a mani that shows how I feel about my sister and breast cancer.

Sometimes it's all about the pink and hope--sometimes it is dark.  I love this mani though and it combines two things that are important to me--my love of nail art and the love I have for my sister.

Despite the simple look of this mani it wasn't.  I used the angel's wings image from Red Angel 115 but I needed them spread apart a bit more so I had to stamp them one at a time and then put the ribbon in the middle.  I used the gorgeous OPI DS Extravagance and then sponged on Wet n Wild Black creme to darken the tips.  I then sponged on Jade Magia Negra a black holo over the black to give me a holo gradient as my base.

While this time of year with all the Breast Cancer Awareness can be very hard on me, it's not too hard on me to say the most important thing anyone can do about Breast Cancer is to simply be aware.  You need to realize this is something that can happen to anyone in your life at any given moment.  This is not a cancer exclusive to women.  Don't be flippant about it if you are diagnosed with it.  When I first learned my sister had it I said, "Ok it's just breast cancer--this is a curable cancer"  Not all breast cancer IS curable.  My sister had triple negative breast cancer--a very aggressive form of breast cancer that is not hormone driven therefore cannot be easily treated with hormone therapy.  She was cancer free for nearly 5 years and then it returned.  She had her breasts removed and again I thought her breasts are gone so she can't get this again.  

WRONG--having your breasts removed does not mean you cannot get breast cancer--breast tissue is deep and it's more than on the surface of your body.  Once Lisa's cancer returned the 2nd time after nearly 5 years of being dormant it returned every single year until she finally succumbed to it after 8 years.  She went through radiation and chemotherapy each time.  EACH TIME she took poison into her body to try to kill the cancer trying to kill her.  Chemotherapy is the worst thing anyone can ever go through in their entire life--trust me I know--it destroyed my sister's body and it killed my father.

YET hundreds of thousands of women and men will take chemotherapy as a treatment to cure their cancer.  They willing loose their hair--and not just the hair on their head, but also their eyebrows and eyelashes, to save their life.  They go through excruciating pain and suffering simply to stay alive.  Radiation makes them tired and radiation to the brain makes them confused and forgetful.  Chemotherapy causes permanent damage to their nerves and they suffer neuropathy to their hands and feet.  You can lose your toenails and fingernails while undergoing treatment.  Your vision can blur and change with chemotherapy.  You will lose your appetite and food may never taste the same to you again.

And still hundreds and thousands of women and men will endure this suffering to live.  Their families will sit by and suffer silently as they watch their loved ones go through this--some of these family members will rejoice because some will be cured--others will be like me angry and horribly sad that their loved one endured so much pain and suffering only to die.  And sometimes it's easy to say "Without the treatment I would not have had 8 more years with my sister" but other times it's easy to say "It's not fair she suffered and went through all of that for nothing"

So this time of year, when you see pink and are asked to donate, when someone asks you to do those silly facebook games--try to really think about breast cancer and make yourself TRULY aware of it.  Try to realize it's something that affects more than women--and more than one person.  Breast cancer affects an entire family and all the friends of the person who has it.  Try to remember the treatment we use most often to cure breast is POISON.  Don't be flip, like I was at first, and think it's a curable disease.  Try to think if there's anyone you know who's had it or has it and call them up and say--How can I help you today?

To all my readers who are survivors--I'm thankful--so thankful you are.  To all my readers who lost someone to this horrible cancer--my arms reach out to you for a virtual hug.  I hope someday no one will ever have to be made aware of breast cancer--because it WILL be a curable disease.  Until then do the best you can to educate yourself and don't ever think it's something that will never touch your life.


  1. I feel your pain. I am glad you had the courage to vent here and share with thousands of other women. Together we can be a support for each other. My heart goes out to you and you loss. <3

  2. Laurie this is beautifully written and I understand how you feel. Your sister would be so.proud of you. <3

  3. Laurie, this is a very awesome, heartfelt sister in law also had triple negative breast cancer. I just spoke with her earlier today, she had to go in for another is such an ugly disease. So sorry about your sister, nothing I can say will make it "all better", we all deal with it in our ouwn way...just remember you are in my thoughts and prayers. Jackie
    PS...the mani is gorgeous :)

    1. Jackie my heart goes out to you--I will be thinking of your sister in law, please keep me posted.

  4. Sweetie this is a really beautiful post. I understand how you feel. I lost 2 aunts to breast Cancer. *****Virtual hug***** Thank you for sharing

  5. **hugs** Thank you for sharing your story, and my condolences. Cancer is stupid!

    1. OMG Lindsey you said it best--Cancer IS stupid!

  6. Very beautiful said. My mother-in-law was one of the lucky women who survived 5 years. She passed from an unrelated illness but I'll never forget the battle during her fight with breast cancer. All cancers, no matter the type, their treatments are awful! And you are so right about it not only affecting the patient, but it also affects the family, friends, and everyone in the life of the patient. It also affects men, even though they mostly think they can't be 'stricken' with it. If you have breasts, you can get it. Check yourself, have mammograms, and get the info necessary to be educated on this dreadful cancer.

    I'm very sorry for the loss of your sister and I thank you for your message. It's very much needed. ***Huggles***

  7. Perfectly stated. *hugs* Breast cancer hits me close to home, so many people I know have had it. My ex's mother died from breast cancer when he was a child and his Aunt died while we were dating, and his Step-Mother was battling it and survived while we were dating. Such a strange and horrible thing that happened to him and one of the reasons he did not care about my breasts. This really is something that affects so many people and to this day I think about him and all he went through and all the others I know with breast cancer and sometimes I think people just don't understand. I just wanted to let you know I do. <3

  8. My condolences on the loss of your beautiful sister. Sometimes, it's impossible to fully grasp 'hell' unless you've been there. Hopefully, someday soon, this is one no one will have to visit anymore.

    And the mani is beautiful. It is a fitting tribute to Lisa.