Breast Cancer Survivor

When Life Gives You a Big Lemon…

Twenty years ago, my baby sister was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Anxiety amongst our circle of family and friends was at an all-new high as we waited daily for news of the latest test results and a positive prognosis.

Whenever I’m stressed-out beyond the normal everyday level, I go fishing.  The further from technology and human beings, the better.

On the day that my little sis was set to receive the results from an earlier series of tests, I drove West of Harrisonburg, some twenty miles up into the National Forest to clear my head while pretending to catch fish for a few hours.

After a good six hours of solitude, I was ready to return to the real world.  As I came down the mountain, and entered back into cell phone range, I received notification of a new message.

It was my Mom.  In a very calm, stoic, monotone voice she said…

“Hey, I just heard from your little sister Mary.  She got her test results back.  Call me when you get this message”

Oh my God!  My baby sister’s going to die!  I broke multiple laws as I sped back to the house to use the more reliable landline phone.

Mom answered my frantic return call of “How’s Mary?” sounding like a chipper June Cleaver working in her flower garden.

“Oh, she’s really good.  The tests all came back looking very encouraging!”

“You are the worst message-leaver ever!  I’m hyperventilating here!”

To this very day, I still give my Mom grief about her message-leaving abilities.  And since those first scary days of hearing the words breast cancer, my baby sister has stood tall, never showing an ounce of fear, calming her own family’s fears with her constant display of bravery.  In her spare time between the treatments, surgeries, and recovery, she became the Principal of an Elementary School.

She took the sourest of life’s lemons and made a great big pitcher of lemonade.

Today’s her birthday!  Happy Birthday Little Sister!!!

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