Monday, May 24, 2010

Will Time Heal all Wounds?

Recently I have had to confront something that I really never wanted to think about. I have had to confront the profound and lasting effect that cancer has had on me and my children. We are all transformed. We are more fragile emotionally at times and yet we are stronger too. We have experienced fear and anxiety about the future and yet made it through these fears. It was not without cost.

Illness had changed us all. We look at things differently now. The things I once valued seem so much less important. I don’t need a fancy new car or a designer bag, it is just not that important. I try really hard not to sweat the small stuff, and so much of life is the small stuff.

My son is not quite as resigned as I am. He is very angry that cancer ever came into his life. “Mom,” he said the other day, “I want to get as far away from cancer as I can. Your cancer ruined my life.” Now, keep in mind that he is a known exaggerator, which of course is hereditary, but I understand his feeling. He switched schools the same fall that I was diagnosed and so he had to try to make new friends while everyday he was sick(literally- he began to suffer from bad stomach aches) with worry over my health. That is quite a bit for a seven year old to bear. Yet bear it he did and he kept it all inside. Then my hair grew all the way back and I looked like my old self. He in turn fell apart.

My daughter, on the other hand, was much younger so she was less aware of what was going on while I was in treatment. She whined and cried for pretty much the entire year after I was sick, so perhaps she got her fears out right away. She did wear my wig to school for crazy dress day recently so I guess there are still some residual effects of illness lingering in her psyche. I am sure that I will hear more about it when she is a teenager.

As we continue to move through our days and confront the debris that cancer has left behind I hope and I pray that this journey will get easier. They say that time heals all wounds. We shall see.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Yoga Definitely Unites

It was cloudy and a little bit cold this past Sunday morning as we headed down to Philadelphia. We were participating in an outdoor yoga class on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum for Yoga Unites for Living Beyond Breast Cancer. I was glad we stopped at Starbucks to get a tea before we got there. It warmed the chill in my bones. My team, “Sisterhood and Survival,” consisted of myself and two friends. Complete with tea in hand and homemade t-shirts complements of moi on our backs, we were ready for our yoga adventure.

As we drove down along Kelly Drive which borders the Schuykill River, I remarked on the flurry of activities that were going on at this early hour. There were runners and bikers on both sides of the river. “It is turning into a fine morning.” I remarked as I watched people jogging, pushing strollers and biking with zeal.

We parked the car and put our mats under our arms as we ascended the steps of the museum to find a good spot to do our practice. We were fortunate to find a place together, it was so crowded. Later, they would announce that there were close to 1,000 people participating in the yoga class.
Once we were on our mats, we waited for the class to begin. Lu Ann Cahn, a local newscaster, spoke briefly about her personal experience with breast cancer and then introduced Jean Sachs, the CEO of Living Beyond Breast Cancer. Sachs acknowledged the teams that raised the most money and the individuals who raised the most money. They announced my name as one of the top individual fundraisers. I was shocked! It is thanks to my wonderful friends and family that I was included in this group. She in turn, introduced the yoga instructor, Jennifer Schelter.

We settled in on our mats and began to chant “Om,” with the rest of the group. As we began to calm our minds and begin the moving mediation, the sun peeked out through the clouds. A few minutes later, all of the clouds dissipated and the sun shined brightly in the beautiful blue sky. The moment was magical and powerful.

We all joined hands and raised our arms high over our heads as the sun beamed down upon us. As I moved through my practice to the sounds of the melodious music, I looked high to the sky to see a blue and yellow flag waiving in the wind. When I looked around me, I saw hundreds of peaceful faces looking inward. When I looked ahead I saw the flags of all the countries waving in the wind on the Ben Franklin Parkway. When I looked behind me I saw the powerful fa├žade of the Art Museum.

I smiled an inward smile and thought how lucky I was. Here I was, on this glorious Sunday morning surrounded by peace, strength, and love. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I would like to pass along some information on a wonderful event that is being sponsored in Philadelphia by FORCE(Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered) this Thursday night in honor of Mother's Day.  Happy Happy to all mother's out there!

Join Us May 7th as we celebrate Spring, Mother’s Day, and the

arrival of the new Perennial Hope™ Crocus plate by Plates With Purpose™
at an exclusive Garden Party to benefit FORCE from 6-9pm at Scarlett Alley.

241 Race Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Old City

Plates With Purpose™ is a trademark of Riverside Design Group, Inc.
& Perennial Hope™ is a trademark of Marketing That Matters, Inc.
Inspired by one woman’s battle with breast cancer and her unwavering hope for a brighter
tomorrow, this is the first offering in Riverside Design Groups’ new Perennial Hope™ line of
recycled glass plates from Plates with Purpose™. A generous portion of proceeds from
crocus plate sales will go to FORCE, a not-for-profit organization that provides help and
support to those individuals affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.

Come enjoy complimentary hors d'oeuvres, cocktails and live music by singer, songwriter and
cabaret performer Karen Gross as we celebrate the launch of this special new Perennial Hope™
line and all that Scarlett Alley and Plates With Purpose™ do to give back to their communities.
RSVP by May 3 to Liz (, 215.592.7898) or Sandy (, 610.457.0752)