Let’s get together!
Author: Shannon Miller
I was in Washington DC yesterday to give the keynote address at the annual convention for the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. What a wonderful group of people at the event! Walking up to the stage with a standing ovation from the crowd made my heart melt. I was in tears before I even started speaking.
However, they were tears of joy. Joy that this sea of teal had banded together to help one another and to help the many women who have been diagnosed with this dreadful disease.
I truly enjoyed staying afterward to talk to these wonderful women and take pictures. There were 10 and 15 year survivors and there were those who had just started treatment. There were many who had lost loved ones and those who were taking care of those they loved.
Personally this was a big step for me. Yes, I have been speaking in public for years, but this topic is so deeply personal. It’s a connection, a bond of sisterhood that is shared between survivors. I saw the heads nodding as I talked about the loss of control. I received hoots and hollers and even a “You go girl!” when I spoke about going bald and the idea that losing your hair is not a symbol of sickness but rather a symbol of empowerment. Shaving your head, being proactive is a way to say to cancer “No, you do not make all the rules, you do not get to direct my path.” It’s an opportunity to take back a little bit of that control we’ve lost.
Afterward I spoke to the Cancer Prevention Foundation for an article that will be coming out during their September newsletter. September is ovarian cancer awareness month.
It was a whirl wind day but I arrived back home this afternoon just in time to head back to my own oncologist’s office to have my port flushed. I’m hoping that after my next round of blood tests and CT scan I’ll be able to have the port removed. Although, I can barely even tell it’s there.
It was interesting being back in the chemo room but that will have to wait for a separate post…time to wake up baby boy!