Originally published Friday, 09 May 2014.
“It took cancer to pull out the writer in me.”
So says Vivian Mabuni in the closing remarks of her newly released book, Warrior in Pink: A Story of Cancer, Community, and the God Who Comforts.
And I nod my head, and say, “Me, too.”
I started my first blog seven months before my mom died of cancer. For me, writing was a coping mechanism. It was therapeutic. I haven’t stopped.
And now, remember how I just said in my last book review that I feel that God is bringing the exact books into my life that I need to read? First it was Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa-Jo Baker, then it was Hot Chocolate in June by Holly Mthethwa … and now this:
I actually won a copy of this book in a giveaway on my friend’s blog … and I never win anything! So, obviously, it was meant to be. ;-)
And look! The author was so sweet to send me this beautiful bookmark and personalized message honoring my mom.
I might have choked up a little when I read it. (The first time, and the second every time.)
Warrior in Pink is the story of one woman’s journey through breast cancer, and how God orchestrated every step through every trench, hill and valley.
As many of you know, my mom fought the same disease for nine years before the Lord took her home two-and-a-half years ago.
Reading this book was like stepping back in time. The initial shock of the diagnosis. The preliminary scans. Surgery. More tests. More surgery. Doctor’s appointment after doctor’s appointment. Grace. Chemo. Exhaustion. Radiation. Friends. God. Repeat.
Though I was not the patient and did not experience everything firsthand the way Vivian has endured, her description of the events and emotions was spot on.
The whole time I read, I kept finding myself saying, “Yes. That’s exactly what it’s like. She gets it. She knows.”
The surgery to lodge the temporary port in place; the dreaded shedding and shaving of hair; the hot discomfort of the wig; the reclining chairs at the oncologist, and the cocktail chemo drip. The blasted compression sleeve to combat lymphedema.
The fear of death.
The rest in our Savior.
Vivian Mabuni gets it all, and she invites you and I into her journey.
As a friend of mine put it, reading Warrior in Pink “gave me an inner voice to the situation.” This book could do wonders for helping people understand the ins and outs, medically and emotionally, of fighting the all-too-common enemy of breast cancer.
They say some people view the world through rose-colored glasses.
Those who have been affected by breast cancer (either through personal diagnosis, or that of a friend or relative) — they suddenly see the world through rose-tinted lenses. Not in the sense that everything seems more pleasant than it really is, but perhaps the opposite. Everything looks pink, because all of life has been affected by this new, altered perspective.
As Vivian recounts, “Now I noticed every cancer billboard, radio commercial, TV ad, and every pink ribbon on a potato chip bag. When I received news of someone newly diagnosed, my heart would sink. Cancer was personal now. And death was no longer a far away, eventual thing.”
Equally powerful in Vivian’s testimony was the faithful, sacrificial support of her husband, Darrin. He even shaved his head bald when Vivian lost her hair, to show his solidarity in the fight. Vivian shares about how he said to her one day, “Viv, you talk about how battling cancer was like a marathon run. Well, while you were running the marathon, I also ran right along with you on the outside of the race tape — only I carried a huge backpack. No one cheered me on. No one held up signs.”
This is such a poignant snapshot into the life of a caregiver — one to remember as we continue to come into contact with families affected by this disease.
Vivian says it took cancer to pull out the writer in her. And while I would never, ever, EVER wish cancer upon anyone,
I’m so glad it did.
May the Lord use this book for His glory.
Want to join the fight against breast cancer?
The pictures below were taken last October, when two of my sisters and a friend walked 60 miles in Philadelphia. The images were shot during the Closing Ceremony, upholding the tradition to raise one shoe in honor of breast cancer survivors.
They raise their shoe for Vivian.
They raise their shoe for my mom.
They raise their shoe for you.
Click here for more information:
Every dollar is one step closer to a cure.