In 2005/2006, I went through treatment for breast cancer, or as Molly Ivins put it, I was poisoned, and burned.  She added that she was mutilated, but I ‘just” had a lumpectomy so didn’t feel as violated as those who had more.

I finished treatment in June and went through horse therapy to “re-empower” me.  I’m not sure I was re-empowered but I loved the horses, and the time with them, and learning how they responded to my energy.  It was a lesson in how we respond to the energy of others, and our own, and how we interact.

That September, I was invited to participate in a fashion show, a gift to the oncologists and doctors who had contributed to the survival of a group of women, and one man. Yes, men can get breast cancer, and he was quite a dapper soul.

We each had three outfits to wear down the runway.  I wore pink lingerie, brown sportswear, and a beautiful black outfit with the risk of very high heels.  Everyone wore formal dress for the runway and grand finale.

It was a beautiful, fund-raising event.  It comes to me now when I read that Desiree Anzalone, the great-granddaughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Sr., has died from breast cancer. She was just 31.

We are reading of her because she is famous, but my understanding is that all the young women in that show passed away rather quickly afterwards.  I was the oldest in the show at 56.  There was a woman in her 20’s and others in their 30’s and 40’s, and a few in their young 50’s.

Cells multiply more quickly in the young so when they get cancer, they are more at risk.  My family is gathering today, socially distanced, of course, to celebrate my son’s birthday.  I give thanks for all the scientists and doctors and dedicated people who mean I’m here.  The young man who handed us a gown for radiation always made sure each gown was warm, and he said a prayer over each one.  Tears come.  We live in a world of care.  

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