Two Chance Meetings with Breast Cancer Survivors are Proof Positive that from our Deepest Wounds Come Our Greatest Gifts to Share

2:57 pm Life Goes on Roadmap

Jeffrey Van Dyk was once quoted to say, “From our of our deepest wounds in life come our greatest gifts to share.”

When I heard it first,  I knew that powerful truth was spoken.

Since then, I have seen this truth come alive many times through the powerful contributions I see others make in their lives and work.

Beverly Vote

For example, recently I talked with a woman named Beverly Vote who was diagnosed with breast cancer decades ago.  When she beat the disease, she went on to create a magazine for breast cancer survivors and an annual cruise for them, as well.

I met Beverly the first time a couple of years ago, just days after my own doctor told me that I would need a biopsy for an abnormal mammogram.

All I could think about at the time was what my life would be like if my diagnosis was cancer.

She and a group of inspiring women from her breast cancer survivor community had so many encouraging words for me that came at just the perfect moment.

I have never forgotten that late night in the bar in Carlsbad, California.

Suffice it to say, I returned from the event in San Diego to my home in Bellevue, WA to have that biopsy and worry and wait for my results.

Fortunately, no cancer was found, and I dodged a bullet that time.

Not everyone is so lucky.

Who among us has a sister, niece, mother, aunt, co-worker, neighbor, or friend whose life has NOT been touched by breast cancer?

The truth is that we are just one mammogram away from that scary news.

Beverly told me that when she was diagnosed, she felt a deep desire to get control over SOMETHING since her life at that time was overtaken with medical treatments related to her diagnosis.

She decided to get her affairs in order, and that felt very empowering to her.

Beverly Vote has created many gifts for those surviving breast cancer.

It all stemmed from her own personal experience with breast cancer.

No doubt, she has more still to give to make her best impact in the world.

I can’t wait to see what shape that takes.

Another woman I met years ago turned her breast cancer experience into a non profit organization called Northwest Hope and Healing Foundation.

Northwest Hope & Healing provides immediate financial assistance to women undergoing breast or gynecologic cancer treatment at Swedish Cancer Institute who are struggling to meet their basic needs.

Studies show that cancer can be financially devastating to women and their families. Financial grants pay for necessities such as food, utilities, and childcare so that women can focus on healing.

I met the founder in a memorable way.

Christine and I were both undressing in the locker room at the Bellevue Place Club.  It must have been 20 years ago now.

Her sons were playing “Cowboys and Indians” in the locker room, and her breast prosthetic was the toy they were playing tag with! I heard her calling their names trying to calm the chaos.

Recognizing that something was amiss, I came to her aid.

I caught one of the boys red handed with the breast prosthetic in hand.  Gently, I asked him to give it to me so I could return it to his mom.

Relieved and maybe a little bit embarrassed, Christine Smith and I started a conversation while in varying stages of undress.

She was in her 30’s.  Being diagnosed with breast cancer at such an early age came as a complete surprise.  So heartened was she by the kindness of friends and family who helped her manage childcare and other essentials during her treatment, she created a non profit organization that does that for those who are diagnosed today.

Our of her greatest wound came her greatest gift to share.

I was so inspired.

After that chance meeting, I started sending Northwest Hope and Healing Baskets to friends and family when their lives were touched by breast cancer. It just felt like a lovely thing to do to show that I cared about them.

When people are suffering, you can’t take the suffering away.  You can be present. You can be thoughtful.  You can find a way to demonstrate that you care. Life sometimes takes a turn.

As Yvonne Heath of Love Your Life  To Death often says, you can just show up.

That is a beautiful thing in those moments when words fail and care is what is most needed.

All is well one day and not so well the next.

That’s why I continue to advocate for getting ahead of life before life happens.

Yvonne has often said , “Grief is enough without having to crack codes and figure out how to live on your own.”

This free gift report is one to share with those who find themselves inspired to get their acts together and course correct for a smoother journey, regardless of their circumstances. It may start conversations around power and access over important documents and personal financial information that need to happen right now to bring some much needed control before life hits the fan.

It so smart to start now, before disease, disability or death get in the way.  And so empowering, too.

#LifeGoesonRoadmap #NWHopeandHealing #LoveYourLifetoDeath #BeverlyVote #ChristineSmith

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4 Responses

  1. Yvonne Heath Says:

    I LOVE the wisdom you are sharing! These incredible women have taken something devastating, such as a cancer diagnosis, and created something positive from their journey. This is how we heal ourselves and others. And Just Showing Up for each other… the best we can do. Last but not least, if we want to suffer less in life, grief and end of life, we need to get our finances in order NOW!!! Thank you, Nancy, for being a voice for change and creating the map to get there!

  2. NancyJ Says:

    Thank you Yvonne. And I couldn’t agree with you more!

  3. Beverly Vote Says:

    A diagnosis or a concern about this disease causes us to ponder the value of life and how this affects our loved ones. Nancy’s programs help women to take one worry off the table, so we can move forward, knowing our documents are all in place for our family. It’s a gift we provide for them, but this peace of mind is a gift for us too!

  4. NancyJ Says:

    Hi Beverly, thank you so much for your comment. Here’s to taking more worries off the table so more people can move forward!

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