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Courageous Women Fighting Cancer

Courageous Women Fighting Cancer

One third of all women in the US will develop cancer at some point during their lifetimes (American Cancer Society). To me, the statistic is downright shocking and scary.

But the statistic doesn’t give insight into the individuals fighting the condition. As I’ve learned from reading Care2 blogs from Ann Pietrangelo — who has chronicled her journey with breast cancer — cancer can take certain parts of the body (a breast in her case), but it doesn’t have the power to steal the voice or spirit. Her words are more profound than ever.

I was reminded of Ann when I read about a retreat, aptly called Courageous Women, Fearless Living for women experiencing cancer. This retreat seems to also embody the message that women can be empowered and awakened while facing cancer. As stated on the website:

We may lose a breast, our uterus, and most certainly our hair—causing us to reflect on how we identify as women, mothers, lovers, or nurturers. However, when gently and skillfully embraced, facing our mortality and the fragility of life can be a vehicle for profound healing and awakening—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Whether it’s cervical, ovarian, or breast cancer that radically alters our lives, the question is, how can we navigate this potentially confusing and often heartbreaking terrain in the most empowering way?

Heartbreaking terrain — no doubt. But it’s definitely filled with some powerful and inspiring drivers.

For women touched by cancer, you may want to consider joining the retreat taking place at Shambhala Mountain Center on August 23 – 28, 2011. Check the site for scholarship and giveaway opportunities.

We are very lucky at Care2 to have a wonderful team of courageous (women and men!) bloggers. Thankfully, Linda Sparrowe will be joining Care2 as a guest blogger. Linda, an amazing writer, yoga teacher, and mentor, will be leading and teaching yoga at the Courageous Women retreat. We invite you to get to know Linda more through this retreat and here on Care2.

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Megan Zehnder

Megan is an editor and producer for Care2's Healthy Living. Her main priorities are to live simply and build meaningful relationships with the people in her life. She loves to write and talk about environmental issues, healthy living, and women's rights. Beyond that, her interests change daily, but eating and cooking vegetarian food is always a favorite.


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9:39AM PDT on May 11, 2013

A dear female friend of mine, contacted colon cancer over ten years ago. They recommended chemotherapy. She and her husband resisted this, and went down the homoeopathic / alternative route, including Orgone therapy. She was cured because of the Orgone and retains her full head of hair... she's a marvelous woman, who is an inspiration to many, including me.

11:23AM PDT on Apr 20, 2013

I think that anyone who is diagnosed with a life threatening disease does whatever they have to do to survive. My hats go off to the people who stand by them in their suffering, hold them when they are weary and want to give up the fight, but cry alone in the night.

4:58AM PDT on Mar 27, 2013

Very inspiring.

4:01AM PDT on Mar 27, 2013

It's the courage to fight and love to survive making life beautiful

6:48AM PDT on Mar 17, 2012

The only disability in life is a bad attitude. Never, never, never give up! Strength, courage and love go out to all cancer fighters & survivors!

9:24PM PST on Mar 9, 2012

Such beautiful women Graced we are to have you in our midst!

2:05AM PDT on Jul 30, 2011

thank you Megan and Linda...God bless you both

11:21PM PDT on Jul 28, 2011

Here's wishing strength, wisdom and loads of love to all those that are facing cancer in their lives, whether it is you or a loved one. I understand what Amy is saying:" I'm merely following my instinct to survive'. And I think that is an important point....we try to divide the world into those that have cancer and those that don't......and very often people with cancer do receive that 'look' from others .....please think about what that means you are working hard to get better and survive when people give you this 'look' : looking as if you are dying! Hmm....just great isn't it? Downright annoying, discuouraging and infuriating!! However, well meant. I also understand the 'You are so brave' comment......we all think that when/if faced with cancer we couldn't possibly be that brave.......truth is...when push comes to shove....we all want to yep, we all 'are just as brave'. You do what you have to do!! Good post, tks for sharing....and to all those out there facing cancer...I'm not sure if this is the place to do so but a recent movie that I've seen, deserves more attention. Pls forgive me if you think this is out of place. For those interesested: My jaw dropped to the floor a quite a few times watching this documentary. I wish you all good health and a wonderful day!

4:15PM PDT on Jul 28, 2011

I am a 2-time cancer survivor; I wish I felt as strong and brave as everyone thinks I am.To me, bravery is when you have a choice about facing danger and doing it anyway. Cancer treatment doesn't give you many choices; you just have to get through it. Today, I'm stuck on the couch because the post-cancer thyroid meds have made me heat intolerant and I a too dizzy to do anything but be still. Cancer sucks!

10:52AM PDT on Jul 28, 2011

Watching my big sister die of leukemia was like watching the metamorphosis of a butterfly. As the disease and the treatments burned away the inconsequentials of her life, her spirit and the core of who she was burned so brightly that she drew people to her like moths. She was strong, brave, kind, wise, generous and forgiving. She was humorous, understanding, loving, compassionate, tolerant and, yes,again, brave. She was not religious, but she was spiritual and as it became obvious that she wouldn't win her six year battle, she seemed to see her death as the next great adventure. She never saw herself as a victim of cancer. When she died, for a time, all the light went out in the world. I'm sorry Amy D. that you don't see yourself as brave, but heroes always claim it wasn't bravery, but only necessity that fueled their fight. But you ARE my hero and those of us who helplessly watch you and others battle this dread disease, stand in awe of your incredible bravery. We can only hope that should the battle come to us, we too have the strength to face our own mortality and yet fight on.

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