Recently Angelia Jolie came out about her double mastectomy and the press hailed her as brave because she made this decision to reduce her chances of getting cancer. I’m not sure I would classify her as brave. There, I said it! Sure any time you are put to sleep you have to be brave. Sure the whole breast thing and having them removed is a scary thought because as women we associate so much of ourselves with our breasts. But I truly believe there are women, and men, who make bravery much more meaningful to me. Here’s my friend Michele, for one.
Michele and I met at the start of our nursing careers. I was pregnant, she had just had a baby and we immediately bonded. We’ve been through numerous experiences together: the birth of my daughter, the birth of her children, divorces, child care, work and school just to name a few. But nothing prepared either of us for what happened a couple of years ago. Michele worked in the ED and like so many times a GI bug was going through and Michele caught it, or so she thought. But all the symptoms wouldn’t go away. One thing led to another and she found out it was a mass in her intestine. Michele was given a colostomy. Biopsy results reveiled it was cancer. When they went in to reverse the colostomy and remove the mass they found it had already spread to her uterus and ovaries so she had a hysterectomy that day too! So for the past 2.5 years she has been getting chemo, flying back and forth to MD Anderson for checks and tests and raising 3 kids while working! That to me is true bravery! I admire her more and more every day. I’m not sure I could do it!
In honor of her I named a soap after her. I wanted a soap for all brave cancer patients. I wanted something gentle for their skin. Chemo and radiation take a toll on skin as well as make it very sensitive to most cleansing products. Michele has had a hard time with nausea so I also wanted a soap with some aromatherapy features to decrease nausea. Lavender and mint are both good for nausea so I combined the two in the soap. Lavender is also good for relaxation and lord knows Michele, as well as other cancer patients, could use some relaxation! So there are 2 versions of the blue ribbon soap, unscented and lavender mint. A portion of all the bars I sell goes to local cancer care charities.
So now you ask, “why a blue ribbon?” The blue ribbon is the symbol of colon cancer. And blue ribbons always go to the victor, right? I feel sure Michele will win her fight with cancer. She’s already a winner to me!
Be udderly beautiful!