Life Goes On

September 21, 2007

It’s been a big week in my family. My Grandmother passed away Tuesday morning and my Aunt (her daughter, who has been a loving and diligent caretaker of Grandma over the years) was diagnosed with breast cancer on Wednesday.

Needless to say, it has given me pause. Suddenly, headlines that seemed so relevant on Monday (like Real Simple’s Easy Clutter Control) now don’t so much, and others that I might have passed over (like, in the same magazine, Support Systems: Five Survivors Tell How You Can Help Someone with Breast Cancer) now seem to jump off the page. Ribbon

I’ll admit, I had become desensitized to the shade of pink tinting everything from mixers to jewelry to cars. Yet now, post-Wednesday, I’m humbly comforted by its presence. It’s not that I wasn’t a supporter of the fight against breast cancer—I was, I am. It’s just that I’ve never been directly, personally impacted by the disease. Cancer, yes. Oh yes. But not breast cancer.

I feel like I’ve put on rose-colored glasses and can suddenly see how much brighter my Aunt’s prospects are because of the combined efforts of so many over the long haul (According to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, twenty-five years ago, when breast cancer was diagnosed before it spread beyond the breast, the five-year survival rate was just 74 percent. Today, it is 98 percent.), and I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

That gratitude has infused my work with deeper meaning too. The campaign we’re gearing up for here at Clos du Bois (I’m really focusing on not spilling the beans right now . . . soon though . . . ) is a chance for me, for us, to make a real difference in people’s lives. It may not be about breast cancer, but it is something close to my heart. One person, one campaign, one contribution may not be able to end breast cancer or (ooops, almost slipped) alone. But together, we can, and we are.

So to all who have contributed to finding the cure for breast cancer, thank you, thank you, thank you. My Aunt’s future is so much rosier because of you. And for all who will join with me in the campaign to come, thank you ahead of time for . . . well, you’ll see.

Breast Cancer Resources

  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure — a fantastic, informative site from the largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists
  • — a robust site with a lot of different angles
  • — a wonderful, supportive site that Patrick turned us on to
  • Gal to Gal Walk — an interactive “walk” during the month of October to raise money for stage IV breast cancer research . . . build a character and watch her walk from Boston to SF.
  • Real Simple: Breast Cancer Charities Supported by Product Partnerships — an online resource for where you can support the breast cancer cause with your bucks
  • National Cancer Institute — a bit dry, but good source for research
  • CDC Breast Cancer Site — again, a bit dry, but good research
  • Women For Hope — a site where a percentage of everything bought (all made by women-owned businesses) is donated to nonprofits. For October they’re increasing their usual 10% of the proceeds donation to 15% (to CancerCare) for all purchases of breast cancer awareness jewelry.

(if anyone has other resources that you’ve found helpful, please let me know and I’ll add them here)


11 Responses to “Life Goes On”

  1. What a lovely post! Thanks for stopping by my place and introducing me to yours.

  2. Patrick Says:

    My heart goes out to you and to Noemi.

    We have been affected by breast cancer in our families as well. Blessedly, it is the whole effort on early detection that seems to have put Genevieve’s mom, my aunt, and a very close family friend in the clear. On the other hand, we lost a good friend and colleague in the wine industry last month after a strong battle of many years.

    Iridesse Wines has a program called, “Pay it Forward”. This allows e-commerce consumers to “give back” any discounts for which they qualify and designate it to one of five charities, including one of my favorite breast cancer groups, At the wnd of the fiscal year, Iridesse Wines tithes 10% of its earnings to these charities in proportion to the consumer gifts.

    we each can do something, each of us in our own way. I am enheartened knowing that CdB is about to embark on (something). I hope that our efforts can help Nancy, Joyce, Una, your aunt, and the too many others affected by breast cancer. Together we can reach our goal of eliminating breast cancer.

  3. lia Says:

    Thank you Patrick. And thank you for sharing the information. I’m going to add a link above. I love your “pay it forward” concept as well. It seems like a great way to make it easy for people to contribute.

    Giving/tithing is a really important subject to me that I hope to spend more time “talking” about here on Swirling Notions. Glad to see it’s a topic close to your heart too.

  4. Robin Says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss and for your aunt’s diagnosis.

    Something else you can do is to help WhyMommy, a blogger with two young children of her own, spread the word about inflammatory breast cancer by sharing this post with your readers or adding the Team WhyMommy button to your blog.

  5. jo Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother. Sorry to for your aunt….actually I know of several people who’ve battled against breast cancer recently and are doing absolutely fine (physically at least….I think the fear of it returning must be traumatic). You are right, so many have done so much. And I look forward to hearing about your own campaign.

    Sending you a big hug for now. Jo

  6. Judy Says:

    Lia, I’m so sorry to read of your sad week. Things like this really help put life back into perspective, don’t they?

    Thanks so much for the BC Resources. A friend just had a bilateral mastectomy, yep it was in both breasts :(, last week and is now facing chemo and radiotherapy. I’ll pass the info on to her.

    My best wishes to you and your family, Judy

  7. jo Says:

    Lia, a little something to cheer you up on my blog (I hope):) This week’s haiku prompt was juicy and just guess what sprang to mind?

  8. lia Says:

    Robin — Thank you for pointing me towards Toddler Planet and WhyMommy. Great to get the word out about inflammatory breast cancer. Anyone who wants more info, please click on the button in the right sidebar.

    Judy — I’m so sorry to hear of your friend. I hope these sites will be of help to her and I send her (and you!) my best wishes and big hugs.

    Jo — You are a dear. Your haiku did indeed cheer me up–I’m so flattered that my tomato came to mind! Thank you!

  9. Robyn Says:

    Hi Lia,

    I’m sorry for the loss of your grandmother.

    My beloved aunt was diagnosed around the holidays of 2005 and underwent both chemo and radiation treatment until June of 2006. Through everything she was and is an inspiration to me and many others but it is such a difficult time and now the pink means so much more to me. One of my favorite campaigns by a commercial company is Ford’s Warriors in Pink campaign. Today my aunt is doing very well and I hope that 2 years down the road you are saying the same thing about your aunt.

  10. lia Says:

    Thanks so much Robyn! I’m so glad to hear your aunt is doing so well . . . and your story gives me hope for my own.

  11. […] up! A Generous Pour—the campaign I waxed on about—is here! I promised you that this would be an opportunity to support a cause that tugs at all […]

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