Monday, November 16, 2009

Hope is Contagious

I love this photo. It spoke to me today about contrasts:  the smile in spite of the cold, the sparkle of a red scarf against the pale sky of early winter.  All of us know someone who manages to prevail despite the odds, the person who sparkles in the face of stunning adversity. We don't always how, but sometimes we can sense a miracle in process, a diamond where there was nothing but coal.

At this moment I could list people who are in treatment for cancer, either between treatments, waiting for treatments, or waiting for bone marrow transplants -- who would be the first one at a party to make sure YOU were comfortable. These are the men and women who want to know if you are doing OK even while their blood counts are plummeting. They know something about the harsh facts of life that most of us rarely brush up against.  They need our strength.  And as importantly, we need them.  To keep us real.

Within the last several months I have met some extraordinary people, starting with Lynn Lane, the excecutive director of  Voices of Survivors (, an incredible video project that gives a face and voice to individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer.  From the LiveStrong Global Cancer Summit  I have come to know advocates and bloggers from around the world, notably Marie Ennis O'Connor, who has encouraged my work and advocacy, along with fellow survivors and advocates from the Netherlands, across the U.S., Canada and Japan.  These relationships encourage and inspire me.  My own focus evolves.  Hope grows.

In the next few months this blog will change.  I'm moving from my work for the LiveStrong Challenge (which always continues) to building a community for all women with cancer.  As a breast cancer survivor I've always felt that the rest of our sisters -- with cancers of the blood and bone, lung, bladder, ovaries, lymph system -- were somehow shortchanged.  I can tell you a million things about breast cancer but know that lung cancer kills more women on a yearly basis.  And with advancements changing every day I want to create a place women can turn to for updates.   This new effort -- Women With Cancer -- will become a place where any woman with cancer will feel at home.

I hope you will stay with me and share your thoughts about this journey.  Please comment.  Pass the link on to a friend.  Write me.  Tell me what you think.  Our time is never enough.  And today, this is where  I begin.

With love,


chari olmedo said...

Dear Jody,
I wish you all the best for this new challenge you are facing. I'm positive your posts will be a source of Wisdom and Hope to all female cancer survivors.
I'm very proud of you

Debbie said...

Dearest Jody, You rock! And I love what you are starting here and I hope I can help you along the way. I can only say I am so thankful that you found me on Twitter and responded to me one day because that changed everything for me as a Cancer Survivor! You have quickly becoming someone I turn to when I need support, encouragement,inspiration, information or cheering up! You lead the way Sister!!
Love, Deb

Jody said...

I hoard your comments!! I admit this! You both are such loyal friends. Thank you so very much. I look forward to the time where we will all be sitting across the table with our own survivor/cosurvivor forum.

Thank you!

Jody said...

P.S. Stay tuned. I'm seeing a friend from Washington DC and excellent photographer on Thursday in Dallas. I promise Irish Rose, that I will get a new avatar!!

Anonymous said...

Well of course, I need to declare from the outste that I am biased here! I think everything you do is fabulously uplifiting and encouraging - that being said, this is a wonderful introduction to your new direction in the blog. I adore that picture you have used and it is a wonderful illustration of what you have written about. Finally, I am honored and humbled to be mentioned in your post. Wishing you many blessings and good health on your journey dearest Jody x

Raima said...

Great post, Jody - and you make an excellent point. Cancer is a tough disease regardless of which part of the body is involved. Thanks for taking this step.

Annemieke said...

Dear Jody,

I loook forward to see how your blog wiil change but I'm sure it will be full of wisdom and passion and comapssion as your blogs always are because they show you. You in all you kindness, wisdom and compassion, taling care of all of you. If you ever need the help of a non-survivor you know where to find me. You are an awesome advocate and I love you for it (among other things). Big hug, Annemieke said...

Really thoughtful blogs. So great you're expanding to all cancers.
Best, Brenda Coffee,