One of the most powerful gifts that can come out of a cancer experience are the people you meet along the way. The "C" Club or the "Sisterhood" of breast cancer survivors, is not one that any of us choose, but once initiated, we embraced with open arms of compassion, practical advice or a knowing hug. Within and without, there are numerous Angels -those wonderful souls who seem heaven sent to help or watch over you, and Butterflies, beautiful kind beings who are with you on your journey, who come to us in all sorts of ways.
|Joining the Sisterhood, 2005|
Encaustic, collage on wood
One such butterfly who I have shared my journey with is Maria Carzia Boyes. I first met Maria - through a phone conversation when I heard from someone close to each of us that she needed a copy of our book to share with her young daughter Eva. Later, when Maria was going through her treatment, I was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. And unlike the first diagnosis 8 years ago, I would be facing chemo and radiation myself. Maria and I would often check in with each other to see how it was going, what to expect and for some mutual support. We were able to chat easily and enjoyed checking in with each other, on the phone, email and FB- but had never met in person.
|Maria with her daughter Eva at|
the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 2012
UNTIL I was in NY at my surgeons office for a follow up earlier this year. After my examination I was asked to return to the waiting room to schedule a future appointment. Lost in thought, I heard my name called and went up and sat at the desk when all of a sudden a woman with an electric smile comes up to me and says, "Nanci Hersh?" Never having met Maria in person I didn't recognize her, but coincidentally we had the same breast surgeon and had an appointment the same day. Within moments we were hugging and continue to be cheerleaders for each other. In October Maria was interviewed in Central Jersey. Com and now, you too can meet Maria and see what a beautiful butterfly truly looks like!
|Eva, Maria and Jim|
Who has been a butterfly in your journey?