Last July, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I kept it to myself at first, feeling as if I'd been caught shoplifting, or had done something equally foolish. It wasn't my fault, but knowing that didn't matter. Slowly, I let people know, and then, after my surgery, I wrote a post on Facebook letting friends and family know what had happened. I heard from a several people who had read my post, and made their appointments for mammograms.
As a journalist, I knew that I could help even more by sharing my story, so I wrote a column about my experience. The prospect of radiation was frightening to me, and as the date neared, my fear only grew. Just days before my first appointment, I received a key in the mail, with the word COURAGE stamped across it. It was sent to me by one of the kindest, sweetest women I have ever known. She had been through a rough time with neck and throat cancer, and thank God is doing well today.
She wrote me a beautiful letter and told me that, during her treatment, someone had given her the key. She wanted to pass it on to me. I'm not sure I've ever been so touched. I wore that key around my neck through all of my radiation treatments and have held onto it since then, waiting for the right person to give it to.
I have found that person. Her name is Felicia and she also has breast cancer, only hers is more involved. In addition to surgery, she is also undergoing chemo. She is the perfect example of grace under fire. Her faith and strength are remarkable, but there are days when cancer is kicking her butt. I will mail this key from Pennsylvania to Washington, and with it send love and prayers.