Tuesday, October 10, 2006


She wore a bracelet sent to her by members of the Masai tribe in Africa. Two playboy bunnies stopped by to wish her well. She was surrounded by friends and we laughed and joked and cried with her the night before she went in for surgery for breast cancer. It was aggressive breast cancer, moving very fast, they said. She had chosen a double radical mastectomy. We knew they expected to keep her a week in the hospital to recover.

That was Thursday night. The surgery was Friday. She came home on Saturday. It was her choice. She wanted to be home where she would be more comfortable and could sleep better. She wanted to be where she could be surrounded by friends and loved ones and her dogs.

She was and is still in pain, but every day, all day, she moves around, gets up and down and does what she can—careful not to strain herself, but determined to do whatever it takes to heal and be well again.

That’s courage.

She’s already prepared for the months ahead. Her hair is cut short in case it falls out. She has a collection of hats ready and big, splashy earrings. She’s figured out how she will do the things that matter most and still make sure she gets the chemo she needs.

For those of us who are writers, this is the kind of woman many of us want to write about—someone who triumphs over every obstacle put in her path, someone who goes on when others might give up, someone who continues to laugh and love and LIVE in the face of terrifying adversity, someone who is passionate in everything she does. In short, she is the heroine of her own story.

May we all find courage to face the adversities in our lives and live and love and laugh as we do so. May we all be the heroines of our own stories. May we all have whatever courage we need, when we need it.