Together We Fight
Several weeks ago (right around the time of my 2nd AC chemo treatment), the ladies at Burn made me a shirt that said "Together We Fight" and asked me to take a photo of myself in it. I didn't know what what it was for, until I saw a post in our Facebook group, announcing a pre-order for shirts to anyone who wanted to buy one to support our family. I thought maybe 20 or 30 people would buy one, but as I watched the preorder comments roll in, I was absolutely overwhelmed with how many people chimed in to order. Over 170 shirts were bought and made just for me.
This is love. This is sisterhood. This is BURN.
In the past few months since my breast cancer diagnosis, the Hoover Burn family has loved and cared for me in literally hundreds of ways and moments. My "Burn sisters", as we call ourselves, have shown up continuously with gifts, phone calls, cards, flowers, text messages, prayers, meals, [social-distancing] visits, words of encouragement and support in leaps and bounds. Today they gave me the money raised by selling these shirts and I was given the opportunity to thank many of them in person.
Each of these women have touched my life in personal and intentional ways and it was VERY cool to see that come to fruition in a visible way through these shirts. These women are more than just my "workout buddies". They have become friends and sisters as well. I truly feel the army of support behind me and it means the world!
Kortney (above) has coordinated weekly flower deliveries to brighten up our house during quarantine, and many of those have been from friends I've made through Burn.
Kati, Janelle and Magen (above), along with Heather and Ashley (not able to be there today) have been a constant support for me in the day-to-day prayers, complaints, and conversations. They are some of the very first people I told about my diagnosis and (along with family and other close friends) and are the real deal. You often hear that some friends will disappear and fade into the background when cancer comes around, but through this process I've found out that I have incredible friends--and not just a couple of them, but more than I can count on two hands! They don't just show up every once in a while, they show up every day, any minute and I'm so thankful for each one of them.
Today, I was particularly grateful to Jim (Burn's owner), who not only has been kind and generous and supportive of me himself, but who has allowed the Burn community that he helped facilitate rally around me unconditionally.
I love being able to share my experience here, to reveal a little of the mystery and unknown and fear that comes with a cancer diagnosis and treatment. Not because it's so unique, but because it's more common than we are aware. If you haven't already been affected by cancer in your life (and many of you have), someone close to you may be fighting this battle one day. Love them. Talk to them. Encourage them. Hug them [if we aren't in the middle of a pandemic]. You have no idea how powerful and meaningful it will be.
2 comments so far:
Lynne Stephens said:
How wonderful that you have such awesome friends to surround and support you! It is truly great to be enveloped by such love during this time!
I love this paragraph: "As I go into my 6th of 16 chemo treatments tomorrow, I can't emphasize enough that taking care of your body is WORTH the effort. Physical endurance, strength and cardio health make everything in life just a little easier to handle. You just never know what challenges are around the corner for you." THIS IS SO TRUE!! I can't help but think your fitness level before your diagnosis will stand you in good stead as you move forward. You are an inspiration, Andrea! And the shirts are beautiful! Have you still got some for sale? <3
Unfortunately, no. The shirts were a pre-order, so they only printed as many as were ordered initially. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement though!!
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