Monday, June 3, 2013

A Weekend of Butterflies and Lipstick

This past weekend was great one for survivors in NJ.  The weather was great and the feeling of connectedness to other cancer survivors was strong.

 I attended the Wings of Hope event in honor of National Cancer Survivors Day at the Cancer Support Community-  Central New Jersey in Bedminster. I have participated in CSC-CNJ programs since 2006. The day began with a Walk for Hope.  Origami butterflies purchased to honor or in memory of a loved one diagnosed with cancer were displayed on sheer curtains There were tables of crafts for children, a drumming circle, a basket auction and lots of water and Rita's ice. The sun was bright and the temperatures were in the 80's.

I was thrilled that my two good friends and ovarian cancer survivors Carole Fagella and Lynn Franklin received this year's Spirit of Courage Award for their work as advocates raising awareness of ovarian cancer. Congratulations Carole and Lynn!

Spirit of Courage awardees

The Cancer Institute of NJ's National Cancer Survivors Day Celebration took place at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick on Sunday morning.

I was so excited to see so many survivors in the ballroom. And was thrilled that so many oncology nurses and social workers came to celebrate with us.  The event began with a delicious buffet meal and a welcome by the Director of Oncology Nursing Services Janet Gordis-Perez. She introduced the keynote speaker Geralyn Lucas. ( Check out Geralyn's video about getting a mammogram .)
Geralyn Lucas
Geralyn is a seventeen year breast cancer survivor and author of the book Why I Wore Lipstick to my Mastectomy. She told us how she found her "inner cleavage" and described the interaction she had with her cab driver on the way to her mastectomy. She made us laugh and she made us tear up when she invited other breast cancer survivors up to the stage to put on lipstick and share how they celebrate life.
I think this was my forth or fifth time at the CINJ Survivors Day celebration. And the first one where i felt a bit sad at the end.  Last year the ladies from my support group and their caregivers filled a table.This year it was Nick and I and one other ovarian cancer survivor.  I sure do miss Pam, Rita Kay and Ann.

Every Day is a Blessing!


Facing Cancer Together said...

Those butterflies are lovely :) I love origami - somehow it reminds me of thoughtfulness and prayers.


Survivors Day said...

Those butterflies are beautiful! Thanks for posting about National Cancer Survivors Day.