At the ripe old age of 8, pennies saved, I bought a special treat at summer camp. A charm bracelet. More than 40 years later I still have it despite numerous cross-country moves and a tendency toward getting rid of stuff. Packrat is not a word anyone would use to describe me. I do not know why I have held on to this fragment of childhood.
A couple of days ago I bought a charm for the first time since 1970. It cost quite a bit more than the last time I made such a purchase. Part of the proceeds from the sale of this charm went to support the only national non-profit organization dedicated to helping people who face hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. FORCE and its resources on both the local and national level have been indispensable for me and my BRCA1-positive family.
I don’t even own a charm bracelet, besides my tarnished vintage summer camp beauty. What possessed me to buy this pretty bauble? It seemed appropriate. Not only because it helps support a fine organization, but it is a reminder of one of the unexpected rewards that have been part of my personal journey this year as I’ve had one surgery after another to keep cancer from returning. Love, in so many forms has come my way from family, friends and perfect strangers. It’s been wonderful and humbling.
During the midst of a long and difficult hospital stay I learned my sister Anne had tested positive for the family mutation. Among the three girls in my immediate family, she is the only previvor. Wednesday is National Previvor Day. Yesterday, I sent my sister a care package filled with things she will find helpful during her own upcoming surgeries. Some love went in that package too.