Walking as a Survivor

What a powerful morning to share with my family – walking with so many Breast Cancer Survivors for the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure.  The highlight for me for sure was running into my Oncologist Dr. Nathalie Johnson.  It just felt so special to see her there – knowing she is both a Survivor and most amazing Healer.  It just brought me right back to it all…all the many stages and moments of this journey.

It was the small moments – the woman in the coffee shop who stopped me and said, “Hey are you a survivor?  Congratulations to you – that’s so fantastic”!  Or the many groups of amazing volunteers who cheered, sang, performed on the sidelines.  One was a group of adorable girls who were cheerleading.  One of them placed a pink envelope in my hand.  It was a hand-written note of support…from a total stranger.  I was just so touched – I welled up with tears.  But of course that doesn’t take much for me!  Or the woman who gently touched my hand on the day I was picking up my Race packet who said, “I think you should be at the Survivor Tribute”.  Like she just knew – she knew the rawness, the freshness of this for me, and the significance of now identifying as a Survivor.

a heartfelt letter from a stranger (teenaged girl)
a heartfelt letter from a stranger (teenaged girl)

Another meaningful moment was running into a mom I know from Avery’s soccer team who was walking for a friend of her mom’s.  She was absolutely floored that I was a survivor.  I shared part of my story with her as we walked and she just couldn’t believe it.

There is something so powerful in sharing our stories – whatever they are.

Even as I shared it, I thought “wow, that all really did happen.”  Somehow every time I share my story, I learn something new about it or it becomes more integrated in my body…more a part of me.  I think that is partly why this blog has been so helpful too!  And her response, “wow you just never know what people have been through” reminded me of something Brene Brown talks about in her new book “Rising Strong” that I am reading and absolutely loving!  She talks about being generous with our assumptions and responses to people.  I love this concept and have always strived to live by the belief that people are doing their best with the tools they have.  Living from this place offers a softness even in the face of mean spirited or aggressive energy.

And then being with my family – witnessing together that this is now part of who we are as a family – what we faced together. Awaking on a Sunday morning and riding downtown by 8 am was no small feat!  And even minimal complaints from my kids after a 3 mile walk! 🙂

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8 thoughts on “Walking as a Survivor

  1. Erika, I have loved your posts. I almost miss them where they land in my computer. I hope you got the note I sent to your office. Love you dearly and have you always in my prayers. I am in Israel for the jewish holidays with Natan and his family, and have been gone since June…much healing and beautiful energy back at you. I have been dancing nia in Israel, and finding amazingly beayoutiful women teachers who are reaching out! Love, Linda

  2. Love it!!!! I just love reading your blog. What a wonderful way to keep a record of this process and also keep everyone up to date. You’re a great writer. Today looked like a wonderful day!

    I am so happy to see those earrings on you! Xo Jefna


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