My Latest Breast Cancer Heroes

Since my chemo has been officially over (forever) I have been desperately trying to get caught up on all the workload that fell behind while I was concentrating on getting better. So, I haven’t had a lot of time to write on this blog.

But I definitely need to take some time out to showcase some of the heroes that have helped me through this time in my life and talk about some people who have been inspired to turn my lemons into even more lemonade. icon smile My Latest Breast Cancer Heroes

Bikers Who Love Boobs

First, I want to draw your attention to a couple who is doing something right this minute to raise funds to fight breast cancer. And they have such a unique twist that I couldn’t resist talking about it. See, Clayton and Wendy Makepeace are auctioning a very special tshirt on eBay to raise money for breast cancer. Well, I’m just going to have to let you see it for yourself. It’s too funny! Click here to bid on this one-​​of-​​a-​​kind item.

 My Latest Breast Cancer Heroes

Thank you, Wendy and Clayton, and Julie too! You are my heroes!

Then, there’s Michelle Galvin, Mike Filsaime’s assistant and a good friend of mine, who was inspired by my Shaveathon event to cut off her very long hair and donate it to Locks of Love as well. Here are her before and after pictures…

Before

hair before2 My Latest Breast Cancer Heroes
After

hair after2 My Latest Breast Cancer Heroes
Thank you Michelle! You don’t know how much this meant to me.

Then there are all the wonderful people who have sent me surprise gifts. You can check out the list of gift givers and benefactors here.

And there are all the people who participated in my Shaveathon event, before I started my chemo treatments. Click here to check out that list of amazing people.

You guys have amazed me with your generous spirit and caring for those who needed you the most, including me.

But there are other people who have been quietly making a huge difference in my life, and have made this entire experience completely worth going through.

Because of them, I never felt alone.

I never felt overwhelmed by it all. They kept my spirits up. They kept me laughing, even when I felt like crying. They inspired me to keep my chin up and keep a positive attitude.

They helped me with the every day necessities and helped me with handling things so I wouldn’t have to worry about the little things.

They are my own personal heroes, and without them, I don’t know if I could have stayed sane.

Hero Number One: My husband

Michel has been my rock throughout it all. He’s been my emotional support system. He made me laugh every single day. There hasn’t been a day that went by without him telling me how beautiful I am. And he says it in such a way that he makes me believe it…even on days when I have felt the most unattractive.

It’s hard to feel beautiful on some days. There were times when I would look in the mirror and see nothing but a patchy-​​head, bald eyebrows and eyelashes, pale sickly skin, dark circles under my eyes, bruises from the needles, the ten extra flabby pounds I gained because of chemo (which really sucks since I was certain I was going to lose weight), and the ghastly red scar on my chest. My eyes would mist up in the mirror and, wouldn’t you know it, that was the moment he would walk in the room. He always seemed to know when I felt most like an ugly duckling, and he would be right there to kiss me, wrap his arms around me, and tell me over and over again how beautiful I was. And I knew he meant it.

He’s been there to help me laugh and help me cry. He’s never missed a chemotherapy treatment or a doctor’s appointment. This wasn’t my breast cancer. It was OUR breast cancer.

Thank you baby. I love you. You are so beautiful to me!

Hero Number Two: My brother

My brother set aside his life to help me through all this. And I will never forget it. He basically moved in with us these last few months.

He has been my physical support system, helping me with the everyday things around the house, the groceries, helping with cleaning, cooking, taking care of everything so I wouldn’t have to worry about it.

My brother is not a man who talks about his feelings. He isn’t the type of man who wants to spend time talking about anyone else’s feelings either. He’s a DOer. He expresses himself in actions, not words.

And his feelings were made clear to me throughout all of this.

When he learned that chemotherapy would drop my white blood cell count down to dangerously low levels, leaving me susceptible to infections, my brother went on a mad rampage around the house, and Lysol spray became his constant companion. He scrubbed walls and doorknobs. He bought toothbrush holders for everyone, to make sure my toothbrush never came in contact with anyone else’s. He wiped, cleaned, scrubbed, and disinfected every surface of this house. And he did it without drawing attention to himself.

My brother was never a “give the ladies flowers” kind of guy. He’s just not the type. But he bought me flowers when I came home from having my mastectomy, and he has bought me roses every single time I went for chemo treatments, every two weeks, without fail. He even dried the roses and saved them for me in a beautiful vase, knowing I would cherish that memory for the rest of my life.

His love and concern for me has showed through in everything he did, and he will always be my hero, not just because he is my big brother, but because he stuck with me through one of the darkest times in my life.

Thank you Lou! I love you so much and I will never forget it.

Hero Number Three: My children

This has been tough on my kids. The fear of knowing that mom was facing a life-​​threatening illness is something I wish no children ever had to experience.

But through it all, they have been there for me, and I for them. They have managed to still be teenagers and they listened to me when I told them not to treat me like I was dying. They knew I would pull through, and I was so glad they were the same as they always were before…wonderful, fabulous, frustrating teenagers. As much as living with teenagers can be trying on any parent, I was always so happy to see them being their own normal selves. It meant that life continued, and that they KNEW I was going to be fine.

It would have been heart-​​wrenching for me if they behaved less than normal, because that would have meant that they were living in fear.

So, thank you to my kids, my wonderfully aggravating and fabulous kids. Thank you for not tippy-​​toeing around me like I was old and feeble. Thank you for driving me crazy. Thank you for having faith in me to pull through. Thank you for helping out whenever you could. And most of all, thank you for listening to everything. It meant the world to me to know you wanted to hear it all and you faced it with me bravely. I love you.

My Medical Heroes

Before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I had a nearly spotless medical record. I rarely got sick, and even when I did, it was not often serious. So, years would go by between doctor’s visits and the last time I was in a hospital was when my babies were born.

But once I was diagnosed with breast cancer, suddenly I had an entire medical team who worked feverishly to help me get better. I suddenly had teams of doctors and nurses, and a host of contact numbers for people who were available to me, day or night, who I could call to ask any inane question that might cross my mind.

I had doctors and nurses at a variety of hospitals in the area. I even had housecall nurses who would come to my house every two weeks during chemo.

And I have been absolutely amazed at the genuine kindness they each brought to my life.

These people have a tough job. Cancer is a scary illness, and it strikes people of all ages. I can’t imagine what it must be like to see so many depressed and terrified people every single day.

I don’t know how they do it, but they are amazing. They were friendly, they laughed at all my dumb jokes, they even talked about my blog to other patients, encouraging them to come read it!

They answered all my questions and took so much time to explain everything I needed to know about what to expect from the illness, and my treatments.

They don’t want me to mention their names, so I will respect that wish, but if you’re reading this, you know who you are. You saved my life, and I will never forget what you’ve done, and continue to do, for me and for all the other patients that you help through a very difficult time in their lives as well.

Thank you, to all my heroes! You mean the world to me.

14 Comments so far »

  1. Tatiana Velitchkov said on:

    March 7, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    Dear Sylvie,

    This is such an uplifting news that the chemo has ended and you are on your way to get it all done — the workaholic Angel in disguise you were and still are!
    Thanks so much for being an Angel and shower love to the once who never left your side and made you feel loved and beautiful while being very ill. For the beautiful words for everyone.
    Wishing you all the best in the world and to be healthy, and happy, and devoted to make the world a better place with your presence!

    Warmly
    Tatiana

  2. Ladan Lashkari said on:

    March 8, 2007 at 12:14 am

    Dear Sylvie,

    It’s good to hear happy news from you again.

    Your blog has been a great inspiration for me and I thank you for taking the time to write the posts.

    Being a woman, I find your attitude toward the cancer and your life very heroic.

    You never know you’re making a difference in who’s life you across the world. :)

    You see Sylvie, many people live their life in total health and seems to have everything, but they are never as positive and cheerful as you are. They always complain why life hasn’t given more to them.

    But you are different. You are unique.

    And I agree with Michel that you are beautiful and were — even if the chemo days.

    Because Sylvie, beauty comes from inside.

    Your husband sees it. Your brother and children see it. And we all see it.

    So the next time you look in the mirror, you can see it too.

    Best wishes,
    Ladan

  3. Suzan St Maur said on:

    March 8, 2007 at 7:38 am

    I’m so happy for you Sylvie — your strength and courage are admirable and you are an inspiration to your family and friends.

    Don’t overdo things now though … I remember that joyful feeling of catching up with the workload after chemo finished, but listen to your body. You’ll still get episodes of feeling tired for up to two years, according to my oncologist, and that’s quite normal.

    So if you feel a bit weary put your feet up and get those lovely people to go on looking after you!

    SUZE

  4. Linessa said on:

    March 8, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    Sylvie,
    As our lives have paralleled each other’s during these past few months, I have so enjoyed reading your blog. I’ll be done with my chemo in 2 more treatments and then it’s on to radiation for 6 1/​2 more weeks. However, between the two, I will be celebrating with a party and hosting my heroes (and heroines) to a full on blowout! Thank you for so bravely sharing your story because I was able to live vicariously and be aware of what was just around the corner with my treatments.

    Thanks again,
    Linessa Frazier

  5. Phil Ballard said on:

    March 8, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    Sylvie ~ “You Are An Inspiration To The World!”

    I am so glad for you & for Michel!

    We Said A Lot Of Prayers For You!

    Sylvie, The reason it was so easy for Michel to be believable when he told you every day ~ “How Beautiful You Are,” Is Because,YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL ~ IN EVERY WAY!”

    What An Inspiration to us all who have followed your ordeal!

    Sylvie ~ The above website is not to try & sell you on anything, please believe me when I say that,However thw stories and what the doctors say there are real!

    I will send you a case FREE if I knew where to send it!

    You have helped so many with your story that you should get all of the help we could give to you and Michel!

    Thank God the chemo is over and that you are who you are!

    Phil,

  6. Mila said on:

    March 11, 2007 at 6:16 pm

    Sylvie i’m so glad that you’re feeling better. Your blog is very inspiring and you’ve shown so much strength and courage through all of this, I wish you the best.

  7. Olive Wolfe said on:

    March 12, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    God be praised Sylvie!

    Your courage and strength have been phenomenal! Thanks for sharing. You are an inspiration to many.

    Just to let you know that your Firend Armand Morin mentioned your fight and success at a seminar last week. I certainly want to donate so will visit your site.
    Blessings for a continued remission.

  8. Robin said on:

    March 13, 2007 at 12:50 am

    Congratulations on finishing the chemo. I finished recently myself and know how it is trying to get back to all of the things that had to wait.

    You are very lucky to have been surrounded by such wonderful people during all of this.

    I’m glad I found your blog. Thank you for sharing your story.

  9. Nell Taliercio said on:

    March 22, 2007 at 8:59 pm

    You inspire me as I’m sure you do many others. Virtual HUGS!

  10. Maureen Suggitt said on:

    April 14, 2007 at 11:47 pm

    Hi Sylvia,
    just thinking about you and your journey — and wanted to stop in and say hi. I would have loved to see you ringing that bell!! what a great step forward, for you and for all women whom you inspire. With your new found inner strength which comes from how we handle adversity, I have no doubt there will be no stopping you now, “go get em girl.”

  11. Maureen Suggitt said on:

    April 14, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    ps, I forgot to mention I wish they could clone men like your husband and brother.

  12. Cynthia Solone said on:

    June 7, 2009 at 1:34 am

    Money donations for cancer research are what is really needed. Almost all hair even quality hair is too fragile to be used in a wig, and ends up costing the Locks of Love and wigs for kids too much money to dump in the garbage.

    Yes these groups want you to give money not hair, as they get tons of worthless hair that they have to hall awsy at great expense as refuge!

    Yes if you don’t want your hair then it really is garbage.

    Women who have truly wig strenght hair, get paid for there hair as only certain women have the rare strong hair gene.

    Most hair is too brittle, or too coarse or too curly or kinky as in blacks case.

    Americans eat too much artificial ingredients for there hair to be any good for wigs.

    Yes it feels nice to be charitable especially when it doesn’t cost you a dime, by donating hair.

    BUT REALLY please help cure Cancear and Ulcerative Coilits and autoimmune ills by giving money.

    With Bush gone finaly money can make reall research.

    OH you are lucky to find Doctors who care, as my cousin had mean doctors who treater her as inferior and more inferor as she got more ill. Kind of like how old people in nursing homes are mistreated, but there kids are greeted with fake smils and politness.

    And the nurses would get upset any time she bussed then for her meds as they never gave the meds on time, and she kept getting ill.

    And most of her Doctors would not wash there hands and stethoscopes when they came in, and as you know hospital born illness kills more people then any cancer combined — they would get upset at her asking them to wash there hands.

    Only when she pointed to the Hospital Guidlines sign posted on the wall, did they grudgingly wash there hands.

    She was near death, and the Doctors only cared that the Insurance will pay tons of money, and she was a number to them.

    THEN SHE STARTED TO GET BETTER when they gaave up and discontinued the poisonus cempthrapy. Apparently her immune system started a massive attack on the cancer, and it resulted in scratchy pimples of dead cancer all over her body.

    All the Doctors were so concerned now — but not about her health — they were concerned why the cancer was dieing so much faster then compared to the Toxic drugs they love to give. Doctors she never saw before, and her regular doctors who used to be too busy to answer her questions, now all of a sudden were spending allot of time in her room.

    Running so many test, muttering this makes no sense — why is the cancer dieng, why is she not dead, and she could hear this wispered.

    And they wanted to start her right up on the Toxic Chemo again, so that they could explain that the Chemo cured her.

    I had power of attorney and I told them, the cancer is dead or dieing rapidly, no drugs can be given, per legal decree. There faces were red in egomainac rage, one stormed out, and the other made a Medical entrery “problem patient”, “fails to follow medical advice”.

    2 years latter when she was in perfect health, the Doctors started to be nice, but finnay she could vent the helpness she felt when she had to be so polite to the Doctors because they held her life in their hands, and the doctors were so rude to her — egomaniacs. So she gave them a taste of there own medicine and was rude t them and gave them orders on what meds or anything she wanted or did not want. And they were polite to her — they saw her as an equal.

    WHYBECAUSE SHE NO LONGER WAs A REAL PATIENT!
    WHYBECAUSE SHE WAS NOW A CUSTOMER.

    CUSTOMESRS GET RESPECT, PATIENTS ARE DIRT — just be paitent while we waste time chating with our freinds you patient you!

  13. Cynthia Solone said on:

    June 7, 2009 at 1:34 am

    OH you are lucky to find Doctors who care, as my cousin had mean doctors who treater her as inferior and more inferor as she got more ill. Kind of like how old people in nursing homes are mistreated, but there kids are greeted with fake smils and politness.

    And the nurses would get upset any time she bussed then for her meds as they never gave the meds on time, and she kept getting ill.

    And most of her Doctors would not wash there hands and stethoscopes when they came in, and as you know hospital born illness kills more people then any cancer combined — they would get upset at her asking them to wash there hands.

    Only when she pointed to the Hospital Guidlines sign posted on the wall, did they grudgingly wash there hands.

    She was near death, and the Doctors only cared that the Insurance will pay tons of money, and she was a number to them.

    THEN SHE STARTED TO GET BETTER when they gaave up and discontinued the poisonus cempthrapy. Apparently her immune system started a massive attack on the cancer, and it resulted in scratchy pimples of dead cancer all over her body.

    All the Doctors were so concerned now — but not about her health — they were concerned why the cancer was dieing so much faster then compared to the Toxic drugs they love to give. Doctors she never saw before, and her regular doctors who used to be too busy to answer her questions, now all of a sudden were spending allot of time in her room.

    Running so many test, muttering this makes no sense — why is the cancer dieng, why is she not dead, and she could hear this wispered.

    And they wanted to start her right up on the Toxic Chemo again, so that they could explain that the Chemo cured her.

    I had power of attorney and I told them, the cancer is dead or dieing rapidly, no drugs can be given, per legal decree. There faces were red in egomainac rage, one stormed out, and the other made a Medical entrery “problem patient”, “fails to follow medical advice”.

    2 years latter when she was in perfect health, the Doctors started to be nice, but finnay she could vent the helpness she felt when she had to be so polite to the Doctors because they held her life in their hands, and the doctors were so rude to her — egomaniacs. So she gave them a taste of there own medicine and was rude t them and gave them orders on what meds or anything she wanted or did not want. And they were polite to her — they saw her as an equal.

    WHYBECAUSE SHE NO LONGER WAs A REAL PATIENT!
    WHYBECAUSE SHE WAS NOW A CUSTOMER.

    CUSTOMESRS GET RESPECT, PATIENTS ARE DIRT — just be paitent while we waste time chating with our freinds you patient you!

  14. shercyramos said on:

    August 24, 2009 at 9:26 am

    This is such a heart-​​warming article. It make me realize that there are still good people in the planet. The world now seem to be bombarded with news of death, suffering and pain. Your article helps people see the good side of life and bring hope to many.

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