WOW! On Friday, March 15, my friends held a Friends of Loretta get together. I knew that this event was going to happen, I just didn’t know what it entailed. Boy was I surprised! Scott, Fiona and I arrived at the gym a bit after 7:30. David and Jan were there. (Rachel was sick and couldn’t be there. I am hoping one of them writes about buying the flower from the two of them). Waiting for me were friends, family, co-workers and clients. (Actually, I should say all my friends who happen to also be clients, co-workers and family.)
This event was put together by my dear friend Roberta. It was a “good wishes for the next phase of my recovery” party. After an introduction from another friend, Alexa, and a few words from me, the well wishes began. Every person or couple brought a flower and were given a bracelet. As I met each person, they gave me the flower and the bracelet and hugs and well wishes and hope and love.
Scott took some photos of the event that you can see here.
The flowers were made into three gorgeous arrangements. The bracelets went on my wrists. There were 53 bracelets symbolizing 20 weeks of chemo and 33 days of radiation. I had originally thought that I would get 33 bracelets at the start of radiation and remove one after each treatment. That idea was taken one step further to include the weeks of chemo. Since wearing all 53 bracelets won’t be feasible (I still have tests to be done that all metal needs to be removed from my body) I have decided to wear them in groups. Small goals on the way to the ultimate goal.
The first group will be 8 bracelets for the 8 weeks (4 cycles every other week) of AC. The second group will be 12 bracelets for the 12 weeks (once a week) of T. I will then take a little bracelet break for surgery. The third group will be 33 bracelets for the 33 radiation treatments over 6.5 weeks. AND THEN I WILL HAVE MET THE BIG, FINAL GOAL!!!!!
I received a basket with slips of colorful paper written with words of encouragement, jokes, more well wishes, etc. I have read them all and will keep them close for the times I may need a little pick me up. I also received a montage picture of friends and family who weren’t able to attend. For those of you who couldn’t make it or are just now hearing about this event, I still feel your love and support.
It is hard to put into words how much this evening met to me. Knowing that my friends wanted to do this for me and seeing all the people gathered for me was very humbling. All the kind words of love and encouragement will stay with me forever. Each hug made me feel mentally and emotionally stronger.
Today I received a card from a good friend of my mom’s (my mom died in 2005 from pancreatic cancer.) She wanted me to know that she and my mom’s other friends are sending prayers from Virginia. She also told me that my mom called me courageous. I don’t know about that. But I do know that it is easier to be courageous when you are surrounded by people who so freely give you flowers and bracelets and well wishes and hope and love.