It is with great pleasure that I introduce my dear friend, Bernice, a breast cancer survivor. We have been friends for over 10 years. We love to spend time together with other girlfriends or with our husbands, who are good friends as well. Bernice always has a positive attitude towards life even though she has had some challenges. I admire her strength and I love calling her my GIRLFRIEND, so I asked her to share her story and thoughts with us.
Here’s Bernice’s story:
Just before my 53rd birthday I received a diagnosis of breast cancer. Thanks to the early detection from my annual mammogram my cancer was small. Even so, having cancer is scary and not fun.
I feel so blessed; most of my memories during this difficult period are of friends, caring about me, and the love I received, not of the pain; except for that awful drain, before it was removed, that felt like a pin stuck in my breast.
On the night before my surgery, in my Manhattan hospital, it was like a girls night out with my daughter, my sister in-law, my aunt and my oldest dear friend having fun and laughter and hovering over me till I finally had to say, “ I think I need to sleep, surgery is early tomorrow.”
Post-surgery, when I returned home, I had so many offers of help from old friends, work friends, neighbors and family who surrounded me with love and support all the way through till the end of my radiation treatments. Neighbors, who I rarely saw, were insistent on driving me to my treatments. Calls, cards, flowers, meals and visitors made my recovery and treatments speed by.
How could I thank everyone for all they did for me? I have now been cancer free for over 20 years but will never forget that kindness. Pass it on; help and show compassion for others whenever possible.