Reflections by Faith Wylie
We had fun getting smashed with the girls. Writing about it was even more fun.
Winning the state column contest with my humorous account has topped the entire experience.
The girls have had quite an adventure since I wrote that column in August.
We scheduled the party because one of the girls had a lump. But the girls all tested negative for breast cancer. Hurrah!
In the column, I wrote that our adventure failed to make the local television news. Well, it turned out KJRH reporter Erin Christy planned something better. In October, she featured our mammogram party on The List, a national television show, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
That same week, I tried to accept a cancer diagnosis.
It couldn’t be cancer, I argued. Maybe cat scratch fever or lupus.
Well, it couldn’t be too serious, because I didn’t feel sick. Other than the strange rash that showed up in June. And the swollen lymph nodes. And the trouble swallowing.
When the metastasized tumor showed up in my brain, the doctors debated whether to call it stage 3 or stage 4.
Since I wrote that column about breast cancer awareness, my appreciation for cancer survivors and caregivers has grown. I had lost family members to cancer, but I’ve never been on the front line before.
My spirits lifted when I learned I won the 2013 column contest.
I shook out my free blonde wig, bought a new outfit, and went to the Oklahoma Press Association convention for some smashing fun.
Cherokee Ballard, the communications director for ONG, presented the award. Later, she shared that she was a 15-year cancer survivor. Of lymphoma. And her first symptom was a crazy rash. Receiving encouragement and support from Cherokee was an added bonus.
Oh, yeah. I also got $200. Smashing!