Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Once there were two friends--different as daylight and dark. We'll call them Sunny and Honey. Their friendship began a little over twenty years ago and though they have only lived in the same town about six of those years, the friendship has remained true and grows stronger every day.

Sunny went to private school; Honey went to public. One went to one church; one went to another--though church is how they met each other. (Presbyterian connectionalism at work) Sunny is a musician; Honey is a scientist. They are different. But they have a solid, beautiful friendship.

They have always been honest with one another. Never has there been, "I can't tell you what I really think or you won't like me." Neither has judged the other in times of crisis. When one needs support, the other is there. Some "friends" come and go; some are tongue tied in the face of illness; some just plain don't take the time and energy to stay connected. Not so with Sunny and Honey.

Right now Honey is fighting for life and Sunny is with her all the way--not physically because they live four hours apart--but in every other way. Honey is 34 years old, is married with two little boys under age four, one of them not quite a year and she has inflammatory breast cancer. You may not know what that is. I didn't and don't fully understand it now. What I do know is that it doesn't present like other types of breast cancer and it is fast acting and seems to be more fatal than some other types. It can be more difficult to detect and not much research money is allocated to it because of its "low cure rate."

Honey is amazing. She remains positive, active as possible and totally involved in the lives of her family. Her hair is gone--her smile is not. After the cheomotherapy she faces a mastectomy, but she knows what many of us know. She is not defined by her body parts. They do not make her who she is.

Sunny is on a soap box to get the word out about IBC and I don't mean the root beer or the ballent competion held in my home town. She's telling all who would listen about this breast cancer hoping to raise awareness, hoping to encourage others to do the same. You know what they say about a squeaky wheel. Sunny, too, is amazing.

You can help. Pray for Honey. Pray for her family and friends that they will know how to support her. Pray for Sunny. Pray for her as she tries to spread the word and still grieves for her friend who is in crisis. Inform yourself and others about IBC. Ask questions of your doctor. When you raise money or make a donation to the Breast Cancer Foundation, designate it for research for this particular form of cancer.

I wish you all a friendship like that of Sunny and Honey. Theirs touches my heart.

Pastor Margaret

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