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Meet Joan

January 24, 2019: The radiologist who had done the breast biopsies called and said, “...if you had to pick a type of breast cancer, this is the one you’d want to have.” From that moment forward, that was how I broke the news to my loved ones. (I tend to be a bit of a Pollyanna when it comes to my own medical issues.)

I ended up with two unrelated types of cancer in 3 different cities. I may have had 3 surgeries including a double mastectomy, but I didn’t require radiation or chemotherapy. As I compared myself to others, I hardly felt I had earned my breast cancer stripes. As I went through my breast cancer journey, I frequently tried to make others feel better and reassured them that I would be fine. What I did not realize was that, in many instances, I was holding back some of my own feelings of fear, sadness, and grief.

I debated about applying for the retreat, as I felt like I was fine like I “had it all together” and I did not want to take someone else’s spot who might need it more. Shortly after finding out that a spot opened up and I was an attendee, more emotions surfaced that made me realize I DO need this experience.

Having only met 3 of my retreat sisters in person, I have developed very close relationships with these women thanks to Cynthia, Laura, and of course, ZOOM. God has placed me right where I need to be.

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