An Army of Women for Shelly

Breast cancer. We all know or love someone who has been touched by the pink plague. In my family, it’s been our mom. She’s only a few weeks out from her surgery and we still haven’t heard the final verdict on chemo, but her experience has rocked our entire world.

Last week I heard about an old friend from grad school days. She’s my age (30), has five children, and back in the day gave me the best haircut I’ve ever had (Jason still begs me to recreate it–impossible without Shelly).

She found out on January 15th that she has stage 3 breastcancer. In the last month, her entire world has been flipped on its rear, and she’s already knee deep in her chemo treatments. (That means she’s still got a ways to go.)

And Shelly is absolutely awesome.

She keeps a blog, writing about her experience as she goes, and I am amazed at the deep well of strength this woman has. She isn’t asking “why me?”, she’s asking, “what can I learn here?” I doubt I would be so insightful.

I’d be too busy working manipulative phrases like, “Well honey, I guess I’ll do the dishes tonight, it probably won’t kill me…oh wait,” and “I could really use some Cafe Rio,” and “You’ll have to speak in sacrament for me, I’m too weak to stand at the pulpit.”

But not Shelly.

Shelly is strong and beautiful and optimistic. She’s more than a survivor, she’s an achiever. She is taking this experience and looking at her life through new rose-colored lenses.

And that’s what our trials are about. Maybe the rest of us won’t have to go through cancer treatments, or experience the heartbreak of losing our hair and our physical strength, but we’ll all be challenged over and over. I just hope that when mine come, I can be like Shelly and look up.

Because of the women I love who are struggling with breast cancer, and per Shelly’s suggestion, I’ve signed myself up for the Army of Women. They’re one of the many groups fighting breast cancer, and I want to be part of that fight.

So if you have a second and a desire to do more than wear a pink hat, sign yourself up. And take a moment to check out Shelly’s journey. Let’s shower her with words of love and support.


  1. I will definitely head over there.

  2. She sounds amazing. I’ll head over there too!

  3. That is so sad—for Shelly and your mom. I LOVE/HATE hearing stories of these courageous women who are battling cancer…and whatever other obstacles. I LOVE it as I learn so much from them and I HATE it as I feel like I would be such a failure in the throws of “trials”. I know that of myself cause it seems like during a trial (and we have had a BIG one in our family the last 2 years) that I am at my weakest. I don’t know why. Obviously I have a long way to go—alot to learn. So maybe these people can help me. I will see about signing up for the Army of Women. Love to your mom and Shelly

  4. I am always lacking on what to say in these kind of situations. I don’t know of any harder trial than to see someone you care about suffer so. I checked out your friends blog, what an awesome lady! I pray for the best for all of your situations!

  5. I love to hear stories of people that take negative experiences and learn from them. I will definitely check it out.

    Speaking of breasts, I get to have an ultrasound on mine. My doctor found a little something. She thinks it’s nothing and I don’t believe it’s anything serious either. She thinks it’s just a little cyst, so I’m not that worried. Still, it gets me thinking. Scary how things can change over night.

  6. Sad, hard, amazing and I wouldn’t want to trade places with any of them. (But as you know I’am a little jealous of the excuse to be bald.)

  7. You may not suffer from it yourself—but it’s clear you suffer along with those around you. If nothing else, it seems to me that you’re learning a lot and DOING a lot to help those that have breast cancer.

  8. Thanks for posting this. I lost my mom to breast cancer so I signed up for this last night. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  9. Oh, Annie-thank you so much for that. You are so amazing with words. And dont think for a second that I dont use the “i need a nap, I have cancer” card. It kind of has its perks!!! Gotta have a bright side, right?!