Geralyn Lucas. Does the name ring a bell? I had never heard of her before but she is a breast cancer survivor and wrote a book entitled, “Why I Wore Lipstick To My Mastectomy.” My mom invited me to a luncheon at Oakland Hills today sponsored by Congressman Knollenberg and she was the featured speaker. She was AMAZING. She was diagnosed at age 27 with breast cancer and is now a 13 year survivor. She spoke today with humor and tenderness and pain about that chapter of her life. Geralyn described herself as a woman who was always a little afraid to show the world who she was; she was intimidated by the women who seemed confident of themselves and could walk around wearing red lipstick as if to say to the world, “Look at me! I am fabulous!” When she was diagnosed with breast cancer she made a choice….she decided that she was going to show the world who she was come hell or high water and from that moment on she has embraced the world. She was lucky (in the way someone is lucky if they are hit by a train and live) that she survived and went on to have two children and share her humor and joy and suffering with all of us. She was a terrifically natural, conversational, not scripted speaker…completely genuine. All 360 of us at one time or other during her talk cried and laughed out loud and I suspect we all walked away with a greater sense of contendedness in our own skin. Wonderful.
The other joys of my day included seeing my cousin’s baby at Troy Beaumont (a gorgeous baby girl) and attending field day at Quarton with my boys. The weather was fantastic and the kids all loved it. Mary Ellen Turner, the phys ed teacher there, is great. She has the ability to make every kid, no matter what their physical strengths are, enjoy being physically active. One of my kids has some special needs and will never be an athlete in the traditional sense but under her guidance (and others too) he has found a joy in being active that I am thrilled about. She was able to find out how to reach him and motivate him and that is a true gift.
My last comment on this theme of motivation is that I have been so lucky to have gotten to know my brothers better over the last year or so. I know it sounds odd, but we always loved and looked out for each other as kids and young adults but were never really close. Over the last year, we made a decision to meet weekly for breakfast and I have loved it. I have grown so close to them that Chuck will be occupying space in my suite and the thought of having him with me every day is wonderful. He is a man who is unable to see the glass as half empty. He has faced much adversity in adult life and only finds joy in it. He sees every roadblock as a challenge and every challenge as an opportunity. He is so in touch with his feelings that it makes it easy for my other brother Tom and me to admit our own. Nice! He met me today at the office and I snapped a photo of him I wanted to share.
here’s a photo of chuck.
Eat, love and play and every day will be your best day!
Molly O’Shea, MD