The Norman Transcript

October 6, 2013

Loving those who survived

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Earlier this week, The Transcript published stories of women who have survived, are surviving or fought hard and lost against breast cancer.

The stories, as always, were truly inspirational, and I’d like to personally thank everyone who took the time to send in articles. With each click of a mouse, I continued to be amazed at everyone’s courage. Everyone’s determination. And, most importantly, everyone’s faith.

Breast cancer has touched my life in ways I never expected. My Aunt Dorothy is a double breast cancer survivor. We were all devastated and shocked when she got her first diagnosis.

But, in true Aunt Dorothy style, she fought with everything she had. So, when she was diagnosed the second time, we all were on edge but knew she would come out victorious. Thank God we were right.

She’s had reconstructive surgery and now, at 81, brags about her new, perky 20-something figure. She’s an inspiration to me on so many levels, including her figure, but watching her go through the fight of her life, not once, but twice, is simply awe-inspiring.

Before Aunt Dorothy was Aunt Mildred. I don’t know if I ever knew that Aunt Mildred was a breast cancer survivor until years after her death. Back in Aunt Mildred’s day, women didn’t talk about such personal issues as breast cancer. And, even if they did talk about it, Aunt Mildred wasn’t one to dote on herself.

She was too busy making her famous cinnamon rolls. She was too busy looking her best. I don’t know if I ever saw that woman without her hair done up and her makeup on, dressed well in a sharp pantsuit or a stylish blouse.

She would always compliment me on my skin and ask me how I got that peaches and cream complexion. My secret was that I was only 10 years old.

I know many of us have our Aunt Dorothys and our Aunt Mildreds. They might have struggled silently or they might have fought hard openly, leaning on those closest to them. But they made it. And, like all of our survivors who emailed me their stories, I’m so grateful these heroes never gave up.

Shana Adkisson