My dear friend Ellen is the inspiration behind my blog, the reason I have finally made the time to do one of the things I love the most……write! It’s ironic when I think about how many times Ellen has said to me, that she doesn’t know why breast cancer has happened to her, but she knows God has a plan for her. Ellen chooses to see her illness as an “opportunity” to reach out to others, maybe help others in some strange odd way. I think initially, she was just thinking to bring an awareness to how abruptly your life can be interrupted by this rather intrusive invader of your body organs. Then there was also the hope that the women in her life would be more thoughtful of early testing, and maybe even lifestyle choices. But I am here to tell you, that her reach has gone much further than that!
When Ellen first told me about her breast cancer, I thought, it will be fine, lots of people get breast cancer, get treatment, get over it. This is cancer, but it will be ok. Then post operatively, came the news that the cancer had spread extensively to Ellen’s lymph system, then later it was found in her shoulder blade and hip. When that news comes, you don’t have to ask, you know that’s not good news for God’s sake, but this is the time you buck up and try to search for the goal line. What stage? Stage III-IV, depending if you want to include the hip, which would require a very painful test to confirm. What do you mean would I go through a bone biopsy? Hell no! Doesn’t change anything, she needed a bucket load of treatment. I gotta tell you, it’s pretty hard to think of just the right thing to say when a friend tells you that news, but I just told her one thing, I’m here for you, whatever you need. Inside me……utter panic, because I had no idea how I could possibly be any help, especially living 2 hours away from her. This is freaking cancer! It’s like the bully on the playground, it’s gonna take a lot more than me to kick this one.
You would think Ellen would be crying, freaking out, something, but she was just her usual calm self. She just believes that God gave her this journey for a reason, that she will get through it because she has a family who still needs her. So she is just taking it one day at a time, one treatment at a time. Ellen is patient, strong, stoic, and one of the bravest people I know. So I’m driving back from Tennessee when she has given me this rather devastating news, and it just came to me that what I could do is put my marketing background to work, and start fund raising efforts to help with the medical bills, and whatever other expenses come along the way. Thus was born, Pink Drivers for a Cure, which benefits Ellen and her children. Every piece of it I work on, I’m continually blessed by the people who step up and get involved, donate of their time, resources, and monetarily. Several people have indicated that they have become inspired by my efforts, and now what to do other things to help out our cause. The momentum grows on a daily basis. This is the reach that Ellen has had already, in changing people’s lives for the better with her cancer. I know that God will reward her suffering one day, and I pray continually that the reward is a cure. But in addition, I pray that Ellen feels joy in her heart knowing how much she has changed my life, and helped mold me into a better person.