My mom says I sound like I’ve swallowed two frogs, and to my students I’ve told them I was punched in the throat during an underground cage fight – I won, of course. But really, the weather change and the end of first semester for my classes took my voice. I keep attempting to communicate with everyone but only shrill sounds barely resembling words are coming out of my mouth. As someone who LOVES to talk, just look at all my grade school report cards, it’s frustrating not to be able to say what I want to say.
On Wednesday, I went to my first cancer support group. Surprisingly, I wasn’t nervous at all. My husband was running late from work and it was already 6PM, so I resolved not to go until the next meeting in two weeks. As the disappointment set in, Kevin reminded me of how I committed to “showing up” this year and said even if I was late, then at least I was there. Thrilled, I threw on some jeans and a jacket and made my way to a building I usually see only on Sundays: church.
As I was led to the room by a young lady from the information desk, I tried to memorize the turns in the hallway so next time I wouldn’t look lost. When the door opened, three bright smiles greeted me as if they were waiting just for me. As we talked together for an hour, we shared how we conquered with faith: cancer, chemotherapy, some had radiation, hair loss, and re-occurrence for others. Though we just met, we all understood and nodded to each other as if to say, “Amen. Amen. Thank God. Amen.”
We weaved our stories, intertwining our pink and teal strings with the common thread of our faith.
Each one of us explained the kinks in our strands and told tales of how we picked up a dropped stitch of our life from cancer. This was the most powerful moment and our most hope giving gift.
Our stories. Our voices.
I hope I never forget to tell my story, every piece of it, and never lose my true voice.