I saw the pink hat with the breast cancer symbol first. A young woman and her husband sat on the hotel patio where I sought a quiet place to read. After saying hello, I sat in an unoccupied section and opened my book.
An older lady soon joined us and selected a chair. She asked the younger woman, “Are you a survivor? I noticed your cap.”
“No, but my grandmother died of breast cancer and I wear this cap to honor her,” the younger woman answered.
The newcomer said, “My mom died of breast cancer and I’m a two-time survivor myself. That’s why I like your hat.”
The chatter continued . . . so much for a quiet reading spot. I really didn’t mind though. As the conversation turned to gold (or should I say pink?), I smiled at the camaraderie the two strangers instantly shared. Common ground. Understanding. Sorrow. Victory.
I thought about how we relate to other people. The pink hat with a looped ribbon design was the first connection. There was also the look on their faces—one of acceptance, openness, and an approachable countenance.
I had nodded and said a quick hello before opening my book, but didn’t start a conversation. (My family will tell you I normally meet strangers and learn their life history, but this time, I wanted quiet, which was okay.)
However, I wondered if I was as approachable as these two ladies. Sometimes I’m too busy with my own agenda and desires, but I want to be available to listen when someone needs to talk. I smiled at my book—not seeing the words—as I listened to two women share their experiences.
Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them . . .
–Matthew 7:12 NKJV
My reflections about breast cancer
- One of the first family funerals I attended was for a cousin who lost the battle to breast cancer.
- My friend Cathy has been clear now for several years and approaches life with gusto and a winning smile. Our entire staff grieved over her diagnosis and celebrated the “all clear.” She recently told me she enjoyed the old-fashioned paper chain we placed in a break room to count down her days of radiation.
- I’m praying for a friend’s daughter and Anne Graham Lotz who are currently enduring treatment.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
My daughter, a mammographer, called this designation to my attention by posting a reminder for women to take precautions. I’m so proud of her dedication and compassion. She works with an excellent team which is committed to educate and care for women.
What about those of us who haven’t heard the breath-stopping words, “You have breast cancer?” What can we do for those who suffer with it now?
I’m dedicating my October Gifts of the Month post for this cause.
Here are suggestions for being a blessing to ladies who have breast cancer or for anyone who has an extended illness or disease.
- soft pajamas or comfy shirts
- new robe and slippers for hospital stays
- a new tote bag for appointment days
- a devotional book and cheery bookmark
- a new pillow or throw blanket
- favorite foods that require little prep
- an entertaining book she’d enjoy
- a gift certificate for a manicure
- flowers or a bulb in a ceramic pot
Acts of Kindness
- Plan a home movie night with popcorn.
- Offer to do household chores.
- Run errands and buy groceries.
- Take care of her children or visit her aging relatives.
- Make protein smoothies and stock the fridge.
- Send funny cards and encouraging texts and emails.
- Prepare a stack of cards with encouraging Bible verses.
- Just listen when she needs to talk.
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
-Ephesians 5:32 NKJV
Would you share this post with friends?
And please add your thoughts or experiences below.
By the way, do you need to schedule an appointment?
3 thoughts on “The Pink Hat—Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 2018”
Jeannie, When you spoke of your lack of interaction as the two women conversed, I had to smile. As an introvert, I would have sought out a quiet place to read. I’d listen to their conversation, absorb it, but probably not interact (except to lift a silent prayer). Loved your suggestions to help a dear friend or loved one through treatment. And, yes, it’s time for a check-up.
Katherine, I love your perspective. The funny thing is that I’m an extrovert and normally start conversations with strangers. This time, being quiet taught me so much. I appreciate you!
Jeannie, for a newspaper assignment from my editor, I just interviewed three gals who are breast cancer survivors. Such amazing strength these women possessed!I can’t imagine hearing those words, and I’m always in such awe of the women (and men) who battle this and any other cancer diagnosis! And my prayers go out to them often!