The Gift

“…I don’t wanna forget the present is a gift; And I don’t wanna take for granted the time you may have here with me . . .”
Alicia Keys

red ink…

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“The Gift” by Drew Richardson

Though I usually don’t answer calls when I’m working, I glanced down and saw that it was pink ink!   We just got off the phone, and I’m feeling grateful . . . See she’s been tied up trying to stay alive … seriously.   Since I left there on Friday, I’ve been wondering how she’s doing and what’s happening with her and her B’s.   Even though I text or call her cell almost every day, I do so not expecting a response.   Mostly, I just want her to know that I’m thinking of her.   I get that she needs all of her energy to focus on getting a little stronger especially following the excitement of last week, with the play and all of the visitors from in and out of town who wanted to lay eyes on her.

After a few minutes, she deftly turned the conversation away from her, and we talked about normal things.  We talked about lil B’s halloween costume, and about the colleges that my #1 son is applying to.   As expected, she told me that I had to at least consider letting my son spread his wings and go to the school of his choice even if it is far away from Chicago!   She wanted my honest feedback about the play, and shared her actual timeline from conception to completion (which is astounding given all that she has been through)!  When she started to sound tired, we brought it to a close.   How I miss these “sharings” . . . Today’s gift was a surprise and truly one that I don’t take for granted and will hold in my heart.   I remember those days when I was “too busy” (she had them, too), and try to remember how precious these moments are when I’m talking to my other special folks.   You should too . . . Remember to savor those moments like you would a sip of really fine wine – and think of pink ink!  Here’s hoping that you recognize and enjoy your gifts today…

Oh What A Night!

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imageArriving to a receiving line of cameras flashing, smiling faces with headsets on, pink ink had her red carpet moment. At last! Once inside the door of the theatre, a special center seat awaited her where she was surrounded by love in every seat and on every side. The place was packed. Pink ink’s play “Life in the Cancer Lane” debuted last night in Phoenix and she was there to see it all. Now let’s be clear, this was no small feat. She left the hospital yesterday morning, rested for a short while, and rallied to get herself up and ready for her big night! So many of us worried about whether it would be too much for her to make it out because she was still weak following her hospital stay, but she, as always, was determined. The night before, she basically threatened the nurse who was administering her night medications saying “you’re NOT going to stop me from going to my play!” I think the lady was a little scared honestly. Lol! Pink ink’s play has been a labor of love. She has poured her soul and her journey into writing this wonderful series of vingettes that chronicles, not only her journey, but that of many other breast cancer survivors. It’s real talk, full of insightful advice for anyone going through this themselves or with someone they love. She hit every topic imaginable from the expected “diagnosis” and “chemo” to the more sensitive like “hair,” “sex,” and “crazy-ish people say.” I laughed out loud and cried unconsolably recognizing some of our conversations in the play, all within the span of a couple of hours. For me and everyone in the room, it made us think about the effects that breast cancer has on everyone it touches. She took the task of telling this story more seriously than almost anything else I’ve ever seen her do. She was disciplined and precise about her writing process, and deliberate about soliciting and receiving feedback. I don’t know that people, including me, understood how serious she was about this at first, but her commitment made each of us get on board, one by one, so that we became as invested in her achieving her vision as she was. She inspired me and so many others (We started writing at the same time and my book still hasn’t been published BTW.) She wanted to be heard because she had something important to share – and last night all ears were open. There are a whole host of people to acknowledge – to be clear, I don’t know everyone. Just know, whoever you are, that I’m certain that pink ink is eternally grateful for everything, from the smallest thing to the most monumental, to make her dream a reality … from her girls in Phoenix who had the idea to put up the show, secured the backing for the show (Thank you Cox Communications), and laid out the beautiful reception, to those who recorded every bit of revised dialogue and stage direction to those who assisted with props to the unseen narrators, to those who traveled from near and far to fill the house, to her husband who gave her introduction in her stead, and to everyone who inspired one of the monologues. It was a beautiful night. At the end of the night, she had just enough energy to spare to spend a little bit of time at the reception to take photos with the “cast” – those in the play and the rest of us who are in her much larger “supporting cast.” Everyone wanted her to know that they were there to be a part of her vision, and by the looks on every face – we were all SO proud of her. Pink Ink you made your mark! My mother always said that she wanted to “receive her flowers while she could still smell them.” Just before leaving the reception, someone walked up to pink ink and put a single pink rose in her hands. She got into the car, exhausted, and on the way home and held that flower in her lap, and no doubt, took in the scent of sweet success. Now on the to book and the movie!

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Have you had yours?

SONY DSCred ink. . .

Talked to pink ink today and promised I’d post.   With much hesitation, I went to have my annual mammogram today.  It was clear and  I am truly grateful.   Honestly,  given all that has happened to Pink Ink, I was scared to go in and delayed my appointment until after my birthday.   My breasts are lumpy (benign fibrocystic my doctor tells me), and I had to have a biopsy 3 years ago, so I worry maybe more than most.  Pink ink has shown me how your life can change in an instant.   I was just about in full out panic (kind of like the “turbulence on the plane” panic that pink ink and I share) when I reminded myself about the other valuable lessons that pink ink and others have taught me . . .  Lessons about the importance of early detection and how finding out early can extend and save your life.   So I put on my pretty pink bra and matching big girl panties and headed off to my mammogram.  Not knowing is not caring for myself, or my husband or my kids.   I had to do this.   My doctor’s office makes this the best experience possible, but at the end of the day, there you are boobs out in a cool room being smashed to a pulp.   The worst part was waiting for my doctor to read the films and give me the okay to get dressed and come to see her.   I tried to look at magazines, got a cup of tea, and tried to be calmed by the office fountain.  None of it worked.  I exhaled when she came in and told me that I could get dressed.   I knew the routine.   I knew then that I was o.k. today.  I thanked God and posted on Facebook to remind people to get their mammos no matter how scared they are.  As I said there, reach out to me if you’re scared!   Today I celebrate, and  I won’t stop touching these tatas during my regular self-exams, which are just as important (remember pink ink found her lump herself after having a clear mammogram months before)!   Don’t wait another day…make your appointment and by all means, regularly touch your tatas!   We owe it to Pink Ink and to all the survivors out there.  Make it happen!