Hepcat's aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer not long ago. A school teacher in Northern California, she is a bright, shining person full of life and love. A widow since the early 1980's, she is no stranger to life's difficulties. But she is a great person with a great disposition, two loving children and three beautiful grandchildren.
Hepcat's Aunt and Smartmom have always had a special connection. They see each other no more than once or twice a year depending on the frequency of family events, celebrations, and meetings when Smartmom is out in California. She visited New York City over 14 years ago and they had fun painting the town together.
Smartmom and Hepcat's Aunt have been e-mailing eachother quite a bit of late. Just yesterday she sent Smartmom this missive.
"God sent me a rainbow this morning! Just after daybreak, as I walked (for the first time in a long time) with my dear friend, Sally, we saw a trace of a rainbow, down low in the west. Then, suddenly, arched across the WHOLE SKY, we were looking at the most magnificent, incredible, awesome rainbow either of us has ever seen....all 180 degrees of it.....breathtakingly brilliant.........and I knew right then that this was MY rainbow - my own personal, private rainbow - filled with God's glorious promise of hope. I'll carry that hope in the memory of my rainbow with me in the coming months...along with my deep gratitude for each of you and your love, and your prayers and the little piece of you that I carry along with me on this journey."
In her e-mail reply, Smartmom asked for her latest cancer news and Hepcat's Aunt sent this:
"I got news last Thursday that I didn't like very much. : ).. I must have two rounds of chemotherapy before I have radiation...so I will likely be in treatment from now through summer. I will lose hair in the first round, fingernails in the second round...I will try to keep working through it all.......but of course, one just doesn't know how one is going to tolerate any of this!! In the meantime, I am hanging on to my rainbow!!!"
In addition to Hepcat's aunt, two other friends of Smartmom were recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Both have now completed their treatment and are moving forward with their lives. One of them kept working right through the treatments and had a wig made that looks exactly like her own hair. In characteristic fashion, she learned everything there was to know about the disease and the treatments that exist. And she made choices based on knowledge and the intuitive trust she felt for certain practitioners. She said the chemo went much better than expected and that the new anti-nausea drugs are amazing.
The other friend took to her bed for the duration of the treatments: she figured that she needed to take good care of herself. A natural redhead, with long, lustrous hair, she had two or three wigs made in styles and colors she thought might be fun. One day she wore a short blonde wig to pick up her daughter at school. She swears no one said a thing.
All of these women are heroes to Smartmom. They are going through what all women fear, with courage and the zig zag of emotions one might expect. Smartmom has so much respect for Hepcat's aunt and her rainbow. Smartmom knows that what she is facing isn't easy. But with karma like that, Hepcat's Aunt is sure to make it through with her wonderful spirit intact.