“I find joy in every moment . . . “–Mary

By Molly MacDonald

Two years ago this month, The Pink Fund held a meeting for a few select volunteers, all Survivors wanting to make a difference as a result of their breast cancer experience.

One of them, was rubbing her right temple, complaining of “an ocular headache”, which appeared to me as a red flag, signaling the cancer had metastasized to her brain. I said nothing, but recalled our first meeting weeks earlier, when she shared with me her journey as a Stage IV Breast Cancer Survivor, and her successful treatments at The Block Clinic, while confessing, things could change any day, but until then “I want to help.”

This woman found joy in every moment.

The next day I shared with our Board, that while The Pink Fund is in the business of delivering Hope ( and joy) for patients in treatment through our financial respite and recovery program, the reality is we are going to lose some of them, even our volunteers.

The following Monday, I received this email, “This is a sobering update I must give you. On Friday, January 8th 2010 we received the results of my most recent CT scans. My doctor informed me on that day that I have a rapidly growing brain cancer.”

Nine weeks later, our friend took her first heavenly breath.

Death is very much apart of my life these days, so much so that the news two weeks ago, from a devoted Pink Fund volunteer, that she too had received the “I’m sorry, you have breast cancer,” diagnosis, stunned me, I know in order to keep on going, I must choose to “find joy in every moment” or I cannot perform the work.

Just yesterday I received an amazing note, which included two checks, one from a cancer patient and the other from her parents. This patient and her mother attended our Crazy Sexy Cancer Luncheon last fall featuring Kris Carr, www.crazysexylife.com. Her mother had called me a week earlier and told me what a fan of Kris her Mary is and that while Mary was quite ill and might require a wheelchair, she very much wanted to bring her to the luncheon.

I made a decision to tweak the luncheon  schedule so that Mary, her mother and Kris could have a few minutes of alone time.

Little did I know what effect this meeting would have on Mary or her mother, and now The Pink Fund.

While the families financial gift was indeed generous, it was the accompanying note that helps me to “find joy in every moment.”

“Dear Molly,

Our donations are late for 2011, but never really late.

Mary & I have talked so much about your loving action on behalf of people who need a $ boost to the downward stress of cancer.

You were kind & thoughtful when you made sure Mary met Kris Car before the luncheon. (Mary said you are a “do-er”). We’d like to add –we loved meeting you as well

Your actions and Kris’ inspiration, research, life have greatly motivated Mary.

She is now resting a lot. Waking this morning to briefly say “I find joy in every moment.” And smiling before slipping back into a peaceful sleep.

One more note: I really appreciated having you look me in the eye, giving me a hug and saying “
‘Please keep in touch and let me know how you are doing.”

Here’s my favorite 6 word mantra–‘I see peace instead of this.’

Wishing you a joy-filled 2012.”

So inspite of all this, I choose to see joy in every moment and peace even when death is imminent.

It is not easy, but our work depends upon it.

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