Living through a breast cancer experience does not make you a hero. How you deal with cancer, and how you let it affect your life and the lives of those around you is what makes you a hero. Lindsay MacPhee is a hero of mine.
I first met Lindsay in the late spring of 2008 when I went to Winnipeg to attend the World Conference on Breast Cancer. I think there were over 600 of us there and, in particular, I was struck by how many young women had already battled this killer disease. I had been 45 when I faced it the first time and I remember thinking "I am too young to have breast cancer." At this conference I saw women far too young....... Lindsay and I made a connection as the saying goes. We kept in touch. I wrote about her in my last book. We reach out to each other and have become friends.
One of the many things we share is our love of LouisV (if you don't know Louis' last name the pictures will fill you in.......)
In October Lindsay wrote to tell me that she and her mother had been on the trip of a lifetime together. They celebrated her mom's 60th and Lindsay's five year cancer free mark. A celebration indeed! They were in Italy (Rome, Florence, Venice) as well as to Switzerland, Germany, Paris and London to name just a few of their stops.
While having dinner at the Eiffel Tower to celebrate her mom's birthday Lindsay gave her a white gold and diamond pendant of the Eiffel Tower. Her mom gave Lindsay an envelope from her husband and written on the front of the envelope was "Do not open until Paris." I won't share the entire letter with you because that is Lindsay's story to share (she will write a book one day I hope!) but he did tell her to buy the bag of her dreams. He told her to go to the LouisV store and try on every bag until she found the one that "fit." When Lindsay shared with the staff her story behind this purchase out came the champagne. She left the store with her bag and a new fresh start and lease on life. "I am so thankful for breathing" she wrote.
This attitude is what makes Lindsay my hero.
I will get to Ottawa to visit you one of these days Lindsay and I really want to meet that husband of yours!