My Breast Friend

Oct 31, 2020

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

“You have breast cancer” she said with as much emotion as “pass the black eyed peas” at a southern dinner table. My mind raced. Dark places. How can this be? Not now! Why me? Oh God!

I was 42 years old, the CEO of a start-up healthcare company and the mother of two under the age of 5. Why me? Why now?

I had also just, and I do mean just, had multiple procedures and surgeries for a life-threatening heart condition. I was struggling terribly with a daily cocktail of medications trying to keep my heart beating regularly. I felt slow, often slurred my speech and “out of gas”. When I had a cherished moment alone in the shower; I cried.

“I don’t think I can survive this.

I don’t feel like me anymore.

I have to get me sorted.

I have two young babies!”

So, given the complex situation, I did the mature thing! I told no one. Days passed. I needed to have the lumps removed and biopsied. “Maybe next year” I’d whisper out loud to myself in the shower before the tears came. Crap. Shit. Damn. I still say C-S-D when things go wrong!

I didn’t want to tell anyone! Why? Well, because I honestly felt like I’d used up all my “pity points” with the first issue – my heart. To this day, most people, including some of my extended family have no idea. I just didn’t want people to worry. Better put; to add to my pile of worry. Who would raise my kids? C-S-D!!!

I began to talk to my breast friends. That’s not a typo. I mean my breast friends. I’d cup them tenderly with my own hands and whisper I want you. I love you. You make me feel feminine, sexy, attractive. I need you with me. I want you to stay! But, if you can’t we can reconstruct them. Please stay. Please don’t need to be removed. Please! You’ve been with me my whole life. You comfort me. You’re my breast friends!

It would take me several years to fully ascend what this dis-ease came to teach me. I’ve worked with hundreds of women presenting with left side breast cancer since. And, girl would we make a hell of a tribe! So consistent how we roll.

Left side onset breast cancer typically visits women who are overachievers, “on ever committee”, take care of everyone else’s needs before their own. Give, give, give. They rescue stray animals and wayward people. They always include; never leave out. They sense things. Feels things deeply. They hurt for the world. They’re known as great listeners, loyal friends, “there” for others. Home is everything; welcoming, safe, warm. Family is more than everything. They weed, hoe and tend to immediate family as the source of all nourishment. They’re seen as graceful perfectionists. And, the list goes on.

That’s the “light” list.

The shadow list includes the awful repeating voices that tell us “lefties” that you’ll never amount to much, try as you might. Or, the weight of the world is on your shoulders; bear it. You’re responsible for everyone’s happiness. Well, actually, you’re really responsible for anything bad that happens; ever. You have to be perfect to be worthy of love. You feel unseen. You’re afraid to be witnessed for who you really are for fear of ultimate rejection. No one will be there for you; best be completely self-reliant; You’re ultimately alone.

The messages from cancer in my left bestie were all of these. If my left breast sat me down and gave me a talkin’ to it would go something like this.


I love you. I always have. And, thanks for all those cupped hand cuddles of appreciation. We’ve loved those. I speak for “rightie” when I say that.

I’m so sorry but I’ve had to slow you down woman. I’ve had to communicate with you through dis-ease! You won’t listen to me any other way.

Now read that list of light and shadow messages again. Please!

Do you read anything there that isn’t true?

No, it’s all true I’d admit sheepishly

And, I can hear you thinking…if I let go of all my shadow aspects, I won’t be able to be the light person. You like the light person. Am I right?

I’d whisper yes. But, admit that being that person is exhausting.

So, my friend, can we agree that you can’t keep going like this? 

Yes, I think so but I don’t know how. How do I stop being like this?

I understand. So, let me help you. I want to give you the short list first. Consider and imagine each one as a dial. The needle can go to either extreme but the goal is balance. The goal is for you to learn how to keep the needle in the middle, balanced. Find center!

I don’t understand!

Ok. I’ll make it clear. You are a giver yes?


Are you a taker?

Very very rarely.

So then, this is an example of the needle being over on the giver end and far from the middle. Yes? 


So, in order to be more balanced can you work on being a taker?

Not really. I don’t take.

How about instead of the word take, can you become more comfortable expressing your needs to another? Telling someone close to you what you really need or want.


Ok good. Stick with me. Can you see a dial that has highly energized on one side and exhausted on the other? And can you tell me where your needle would be most of the time?

Yes, I can visualize that and my needle would be on exhausted most of the time. But, I don’t show it. Don’t even admit it to myself.

Same process for listening versus sharing. For fixing versus letting it be. Being utterly self-reliant and asking for help. Being responsible for everything (and everyone) to being responsible for self.

Yes, I see what you’re asking me and I see how out of balance I am with myself. Self-care. Self- love. Giving me a break!

Great! So, now you have the break. You didn’t stop when we visited you at the level of heart. So, we’ve come back to wake you up again. Now you really need to slow down and make some changes to the way you live, love, work and are of service. 

Yes. Yes, I agree I do. 

And I did. I made a plan. My breast plan ever. I literally drew all these dials and “took them on” one by one by one. I told 4 friends of mine what I was up against and what work I was doing to make significant change. One friend sat on a beach with me and she bawled. She’d seen all these patterns in me and had wanted to say something years prior. But, she was sure that I’d fob her off. And, she was right. I bawled with her and we’ve been breastie besties ever since!

So, a long journey short, I’ve been revisited with this same issue a few times. Each time, I’ve taken a full pause and re- visited how I was living, loving, working and being of service.

And, irony of all ironies is that when I was most out of balance, I would be revisited with bad results from a scan! But I knew. I believed my body was talking to me. Lovingly. But, sadly in the only way I took her seriously. When dis-eased.

Each time I had a bad scan. I changed what I was eating, scaled up my love relationships, worked on what was wrong, balanced my “dials” and covered my breasts with magical oils, soothed them with mantra, and made sure my prayers were heard and that I believed (truly believed) that I had a reason to live.

And, I’m here. Cancer free.

Checking my dials…daily!



I am here if you need to talk.

Send an email to me at [email protected] or explore


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