Day 55 // Pink Bracelets, Peanut Butter, Pink Wigs & Pasta


Support. We all need it when challenges rock our world – divorce, surgery, new job or maybe a move. Surrounded by those that can provide comfort, reassurance and love can make the test or problem less daunting.

But what happens when there is no support system? The desire to perservere through a situation is not nearly as intense and the ability to fight is diminished.

And that’s exactly what happened to Susie.

Clair and Susie were acquaintances through work. Both received a diagnosis of reproductive “c” but three months apart – Clair first and then Susie. Clair had a vast support system in her husband, children, extended family and friends. Susie, on the other hand, did not.

Clair’s husband was by her side every step – from surgery to blood work to hair shaving to chemo appointments. Her children, ages 11 and 8 at the time, even assisted in the head-shaving of Clair’s hair. Friends stopped by regularly with meals, gifts and of course their time.

Susie’s extended family occasionally stopped by along with a few close friends but nothing like Clair’s situation. Upon hearing that Susie was attending chemo appointments alone, Clair opted to coordinate her chemo appointments at the same time as Susie in an effort of support. Susie was beyond grateful as her first two appointments were extremely lonely.

The two warriors fought a hard battle together – Susie finding solace in Clair’s friendship. As their bond grew, their journeys travelled in opposite directions. Clair finished her chemo treatments with a tumor marker indicating “all clear” – hooray! Susie unfortunately was not as lucky. Her struggle escalated – this time without Clair.

Susie was back to square one with support and not because Clair abandoned her. Clair’s treatment had concluded – no longer a need for chemo, weekly blood work, doctor’s appointments. Solo in her battle, darkness robbed Susie’s spirit and within a few months it stole her soul.

As Clair recounted their journey with me the other day (12 years removed), the pain in her eyes says it all. Same “c”, same surgery, same treatment plan. The difference? Support.

Whether or not you realize, the push from everyone in my support system has made me fight with an indeterminable amount of strength, courage and tenacity. The outpour of affection each step of this journey – from #‎peanutbutterforbeth to meal trains to cards to flowers to bracelets to pink wigs, and so much more – has overflowed my love tank providing the fuel needed to kick “c” to the curb. Words do not give my support system justice.

And in the end, it will have been the difference for me.