I have always liked the phrase, when you want to get something done, give it to a busy person. While I still believe that to be true, my life has taught me that it is even better if that person is a woman!
This is not going to be about men bashing at all. In fact, I have been fortunate to be surrounded by many smart, powerful and compassionate men in my life. What I believe it comes down to is consciously choosing to surround yourself with inspiring, competent folks.
In October of 2013, I was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. As far as cancers goes, it’s not a great one. I mean, none are great, but ovarian does not have a real cure yet. Roughly 21,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year and about 14,000 of these cases result in death. What has changed is the shift from seeing it as a terminal illness to a chronic disease. Doctors do not yet know how to cure it but they are learning how to keep us alive longer.
I went through a CT scan and an ultrasound on a Monday and by Tuesday, my diagnosis was confirmed. Within 24 hours, my girlfriends went to work (along with many men too!). They researched top docs in Chicago, pulled strings and made phone calls. They found friends and family near and far that have lived with ovarian cancer. They tracked the best nutritional regimen for cancer, clothes for chemotherapy comfort, wig shops and dealers. One friend sent me headcovers and made me hats with hair by knitting caps herself. Another friend, kept my house looking beautiful with weekly fresh flowers. They found a woman who lived in my community that could talk me through my initial panic and guide me throughout this terrifying process. They located alternative therapies, massage therapists and support groups. That was all within the first week post diagnosis.
It gets better… Once I received my chemo schedule, a friend of mine put a chemo companion driving schedule together. On and off for 1 year, my friends endured the nearly 3 hour trip to and from the hospital, watched me cry as my port was accessed and managed to make me laugh hard through the worst possible days.
It was very important to me to eat a rather specific diet throughout my treatment. The talented and uber knowledgeable, Susan Taves, of Sweet Casava (www.sweetcassava.com) was hired to cook a few meals a week for me. One of my friends put out an email and in lieu of gifts, the entire community (seriously) donated money to pay for my delicious food.
There is more. Another friend created an email sign up to prepare meals 3 times a week for my sons. Several times a week another busy, talented woman would ring the doorbell around 6 with a seriously delicious meal. I mean like there were no casseroles or frozen dinners for 1 year! My house was filled with a constant flow of amazing, pretty healthy, high quality food. I still feel badly if not all serving dishes and Tupperware have been returned to their rightful owners. If this is you, please feel free to look through my supply.
As a Psychotherapist, professionally, I support and empower women as they navigate very challenging life cycle issues. In some small way, I am honored to give back in any way I can to women experiencing any challenges. To all of you out there in my personal front row, in 1 week you performed with the efficiency and strength of the Israeli army and for that, there will never be enough thank you’s.
It is because of this massive collective of girl power that my dear friend and I were inspired to create our company, Bwell 11 and the Coverage YOU Can Control Philosophy. To all the women out there, we say, who doesn’t want to cover a little something in a bathing suit? We’ve got a great solution, so be sure to check out our products like the Bandtastik™ or Bandiva™ and let us know what you think. They were created by women, who were supported by women, who want to pay it forward and support other women.