What happens when five women living through breast cancer sit down together for a chat?
There are tears, certainly. But the tears are in the midst of hope, laughter, encouragement, and even joy. That joy comes from living life moment by moment and from looking forward, not back.
Hoda Kotb sat down with five other women going through various stages of breast cancer to talk about what they’d learned through diagnosis and treatment.
The ladies talked about finding strength they didn’t know they had. They shared about telling the news to their children. They shared about missing their chests and their hair.
Hoda saw that the ladies all had an inner light, even more so than people she knew who were perfectly healthy. It’s easy to see that light while watching them share about joy and struggle almost in the same breath. One woman said, “There’s always something to smile about every day.” These ladies live with that conviction each step of the way.
Sheila shared the story that caused the most laughter. Sheila has chosen to remain bald, and when asked about her decision to not regrow her hair, she says, “I think it’s bold. I think it’s beautiful. I think it’s classy. I think it’s sexy.”
She’s clearly not the only one. One day she was approached by a man with a unique pickup line. He said that her boyfriend must like her bald head. Sheila told him that she was single. “Now he’s my husband,” she said, laughing.
When Hoda asked the ladies what they wanted to share with other women, their responses hit home:
- “Pay attention. And just because you are in your twenties or in your thirties and you think breast cancer happens to older women, it doesn’t have to.”
- “I want women to know that you’re stronger than you think you are.”
- “Life doesn’t stop. So live your life. I want to live.”
The women ended the day by having their heads adorned with henna tattoos. Each tattoo was as unique and beautiful as the women themselves, and the intricately woven patterns crowning their bare heads symbolized the grace and strength each woman brings to her struggle every day.
We hope you are encouraged by the hope they share and the happiness they radiate. Check out their interview below!
Katie Taylor started writing in 5th grade and hasn't stopped since. Her favorite place to pen a phrase is in front of her fireplace with a cup of tea, but she's been known to write in parking lots on the backs of old receipts if necessary. She and her husband live cozily in the Pacific Northwest enjoying rainy days and Netflix.