I feel the most alive when I am with other breast cancer survivors. There is so much to celebrate! The first question we usually ask each other is, "How long have you been a survivor?" We answer with excitement and give each other high-fives.
An interesting exchange happened at a charity event I attended. I was talking with two other women, and we were sharing parts of our stories. One shared, and then I shared, and then the two of us asked the third woman if she is a survivor. She said no...and there was a pregnant pause. I somehow had the presence of mind to realize what the other woman and I were thinking simultaneously, and I said, "Thank God you didn't have cancer!" For just a moment we felt sorry for her that she was not in the Sisterhood. The bond is strong among survivors, and we feel connected when we're together.
There were about 1,000 people registered for that charity event, but it is likely that only about 50 of us were survivors. One of the Komen Walks I attended had 15,000 people--only a thousand of which were survivors. So the majority of people that attend these events are there in honor of or in memory of someone special in their lives. Those people are to be commended for their loving hearts!
What surprises me every time is the lavish way survivors are honored at charity events that raise money and awareness for the beast of breast cancer. There is often a food table, goodie bags, a pampering station, and a photo op to record the celebration of our victories. We are treated like royalty!
The stupefying revelation I had at my most recent event is that once you enter the Sisterhood, you are in it for life. At the time of writing this I have nine years of survivorship under my belt, yet I am celebrated at events as if I had exited treatment the day before. It is a humbling experience to be honored at every function I attend.