Sheryl Kraft, a freelance writer and breast cancer survivor, was born in Long Beach, New York. She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband Alan and dog Chloe, where her nest is empty of her two sons Jonathan. Sheryl writes articles and essays on breast cancer and contributes to a variety of publications and websites where she writes on general health and wellness issues. She earned her MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 2005.Full Bio
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It’s oftentimes hard for me to talk about breast cancer. It can be so loaded, so insidious, so sad. Not only because I have personally dealt with it; it has also affected a cousin, an aunt, countless friends and acquaintances. And who knows how many strangers we pass in our everyday lives who have experienced it? Do they look at me and know my history? Surely I know not theirs, either.
Sadly, my two best friends died from the disease. The repercussions of breast cancer are huge, especially when you lose those you love.
Early-stage breast cancer stands the best chance of being cured. But there are 155,000 people in the United States whose breast cancer knows no cure. These are the people whose cancer has spread, or metastasized, to other parts of their body. Cancer cells break away from the primary tumor, enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system, taking shelter in organs like the brain or lungs. It’s still breast cancer - but now it is housed somewhere different. And now it’s armed and dangerous.
Hope is the only thing you have to cling to when you’re diagnosed. Feeling hope is like knowing there is an "Emergency Stop" switch on a runaway train. It’s like knowing you have an umbrella even though you have to walk outside in a torrential downpour. Hope is an invisible force that propels you through sludge. It can turn a frown upside down and fill you with warmth, even though it’s bitter cold outside.
And imagining no hope is something that feels akin to feeling dropped from thousands of feet up with no safety net; feeling completely and thoroughly deserted.
Today is a day to recognize people whose only hope is the hope of a cure.
This Matters> Please watch this video:
Spoiler alert: it may make you cry; I did. But by watching it, you’ll be donating $1, through Genentech, to metastatic breast cancer initiatives.
Let’s all get hope started – NOW.