I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in November after months of excruciating itching and ultimately swelling around my chest, neck, and face. It was eventually determined that blood was not flowing back to my heart properly because of the grapefruit-sized mass in my chest.
While I was scared out of my mind to be told I had the Big C, I was actually thankful to have an ‘answer’ as to what had been going on with my body for so long. I never kept my feelings a secret and reached out to my friends and family immediately because I knew that I couldn’t do this alone. Cancer and chemotherapy can be very scary places without love on your side, and boy did the love pour in! While I certainly wish I didn’t have cancer and had my long lashes and health back, the disease has truly opened up my eyes as to how fortunate I actually am to be surrounded by such an amazing group of people that want me to feel as good as possible during this 5 month treatment process!
Almost every day I have come home to cards or packages from friends and family from all over the world. I have reconnected with people I haven’t spoken with in years, and even forged new friendships from friends who have linked me with people also afflicted by cancer. I have learned about amazing support organizations like Lemons of Love.
Friends of mine with whom I volunteered rebuilding homes in New Orleans almost 10 years ago contacted Lemons of Love after learning of my cancer diagnosis and had a beautiful gift bag STUFFED with all sorts of feel-good items sent to my home, and I received it after coming back from a short work trip. It was such a sunshine-t treat to pore through everything, and to simply know that there are people out there who do this sort of thing purely out of the goodness of their own heart. I’ve been thinking of ways to give back from the moment I was diagnosed, and receiving this goodie bag just made my head spin with the possibilities of what I can do to help out in the cancer community. When you consider the impact of your selfless actions on someone who truly just needs a spot of sunshine in their day, it’s just overwhelming.
So thank you Lemons of Love, for bringing me sunshine and continuing to deliver sunshine to those who need it. I, for one, will certainly be paying it forward.
I loved my Lemons of Love bag! Thank you for your ministry.
Ande Breunig, cancer warrior!