“Wear Pink for Tammi” Day
After being diagnosed with breast cancer, some people want to keep the news to themselves or share it only with a small group of loved ones. I was the opposite. I wanted to tell all of my family and friends. I wanted to serve as a “cautionary tale” to prompt my friends in their 30’s and 40’s to perform regular self-exams and get annual mammograms. I also wanted to surround myself with as many well-wishers as possible.
I am fortunate to have a wide circle of friends and family who are loving and supportive. People from all over the country asked me, “What can I do? How can I help?” I came up with the idea of making my mastectomy date “Wear Pink for Tammi Day”. I asked everyone to send me pictures of themselves, their family members, and even their pets wearing pink as a way to cheer me up after my surgery.
The response was incredible. On July 14th, the day of my surgery, I received more than 50 photos from friends, acquaintances, and friends-of-friends I didn’t even know, all of them wearing pink and wishing me well. When my parents and husband visited me in the hospital they wore matching t-shirts airbrushed with my name and a pink ribbon. When I came home from the hospital, our nanny had decorated the entire house in pink. She and my young sons made a photo collage on pink construction paper of themselves wearing pink and hung it in my bedroom so I could admire the photos as I recuperated in bed. My neighbor’s daughter made a pink beaded bracelet for me and I wear it every day.
I understand that this approach might not be meaningful to everyone, but for me, it was the best I could ever ask for. I felt completely enveloped in love and support which kept me in a bright disposition even on days when I was in pain or scared. I believe that this love and support helped fuel my recovery and I feel truly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. I am very grateful to Sharsheret’s staff for the care packages of literature and comfort items they sent, and especially for providing ongoing support and connecting me with peer supporters. I recently signed up to serve as a peer supporter for other women facing breast cancer and look forward to sharing the kindness and compassion I received with the women of Sharsheret.