Posts tagged healing heels
STRONG & BEAUTIFUL - NO MATTER WHAT

Mondays, for me, meant seeing my oncologist and sitting in a chair for about 6 hours to get chemo.  For me, it was a weekly routine. So when my chemo nurse kept asking me how much longer before I was seen, I was confused?  She popped her head in the room about 5 times while I was waiting, normally she wouldn’t come in at all.  When I finally saw my doctor she had asked me “...did you find your shoes?” and while I was a little confused, I tossed her question out of my head.  

Walking to my chemo room, the first thing I saw as I walked in was this pretty silver box with a blue bow.  As I walked in further, I saw two beautiful ladies who I’ve never seen before, so of course I had to have walked in the wrong room.  As I turned around to walk out they asked me my name and told me that the box was actually for me!  Nothing good (except a large pepperoni pizza and breadsticks) has ever happened to me at chemo, so I had no idea what could have been inside that box.  I’m the type of girl who appreciates the kind thoughts left in cards so naturally I read it before opening the box and the card said, “To kick cancers ass, you’re gonna need a kick ass pair of shoes.”  So full of excitement, I took off that silver wrapping paper and saw a blue box that said, “Healing Heels.” I took off the lid and saw something that reminded me that I was a woman, these sparkly blue heels with spikes!

 

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Seeing something so stunning, yet tough at the same time is, to me, the pure definition of a woman.  It reminded me of what I had forgotten - that we are strong and beautiful no matter what we go through.  Unfortunately, cancer was trying so hard to take from me the things that made me a women.  I lost all of my hair and I was soon to lose both of my breasts.  So during that time I forgot that I was still a women and my heels reminded me of that.  My #SoleSisters remind me of that, and that no matter where each of us are with our battles, done or not, we still are and always will be women.  If I ever forget that, I have a group of women in my life who understand, which is something rare to find - someone who truly understands.  There is no better feeling than being around people like you, who currently or in the past have went through what you are going through. I am forever thankful for my heels and my sisters for the strength and courage that they have given me, and for reminding me that I am a woman regardless of what cancer throws my way!

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Ready to Rumble...

I remember when I was first diagnosed and some well-meaning person said "God knew you could handle it, that's why this is happening." As an aside, that person is an idiot. Okay, not an idiot because I’m sure they loved me and were just trying to make me feel better. But really, who the hell knows how to handle cancer?! I mean, it’s like being at this boxing match. You’re not really paying attention--kinda just fiddling with your phone. All the music is going, it's loud, all sorts of lights and things. Then you hear Michael Buffer: "Let's get ready to rumble!

THEN all of a sudden there is this huge spotlight on you “Courtney will be our challenger tonight” (this boxing analogy is going to fail soon because I’ve never watched a complete match before, and I don’t know what they say after “Let’s get ready to rumble.”) Point is, you look up from your phone and you think “This is a joke right. I’m clearly hallucinating.” Then they start repeating “Courtney, come on down!” (I think I’ve just switched over to ‘The Price is Right’). So you get to the ring, and people are like “Yeah Courtney! You can do it! Kick cancer’s ass! Show them who’s boss!” And you’re looking around thinking “Either I’m sleeping or ALL of these people have lost their damn minds!” Before you know it, they’re suiting you up—you’ve got these golden gloves, pink boxing shorts and tank top (you don’t even like pink). Mouth guard is in. Somebody is next to you muttering things like “keep your arms up, jab to the left, guard your face.” You don’t even know what all that mess means, you’re just trying to find an exit route. There’s got to be a way to get out of this nightmare and run, right? WRONG!

Before you can even complete your thought BOP!! You’re seeing stars, maybe even birds. Who hit you? Good grief! And why you?! You didn’t even want to be at this boxing match in the first place, let alone in the ring. Wait, and did the bell even ring? You’re pretty sure that was an illegal hit. When did the fight start?! Then you get to thinking, this opponent of yours must be reasonable on some level. You’re certain that if you could just get off this floor and try to reason with him, he’d be down for a peaceful, non-violent communication. So you push yourself up (still dizzy) and before you’re able to get stable again on your two feet BOP! BOP!! Two hits straight to your gut—he’s got you on your knees. And in that moment you think ‘Oh heeeeeeeellll no!’ You tried to be nice and civil but this opponent of yours is not about that. You don’t even know if you are in a dream or in reality but whatever it is, it hurts like hell and it seems the only way you’re going to get out is to fight.

Thing is, you don’t know how to fight! Never threw a punch in your life? Are there rules in boxing? Probably. Do you know them? Nope. Does it matter? Nope.

Because:

a) the plan is to do whatever you have to do to get out of this damn ring and...

b) If you are suspended from boxing for the rest of your life you are very okay with that (especially seeing as you weren’t trying to be here in the first place).

So you’ve made up your mind—you and this opponent, Cancer, are about to duke it out. And let’s be real, you’re dizzy and tired, and your ribs hurt from the few jabs he got in. But IT. IS. ON. When you get to your corner and they’re pouring that water on your face and fixing your cuts, someone says you forgot your shoes!!

Out of the corner of your eye (the swollen one) you see these super shiny, spiky, glittery blue shoes and in that moment you’ve got your strategy—you know exactly how you are going to win this thing. The bell rings ::ding ding ding:: and you are on fire—you’re pissed! You charge straight ahead towards cancer, full force. And WHAM! A kick right to the balls! You may not know how to throw a punch but you sure can hit ‘em where it hurts!

One of my most prized possessions going through chemo was my pair of Healing Heels. I wore my shoes during each of my chemo cycles. On the days when my body was too achy to bother, they sat on the ground right next to my chemo chair. It goes without saying that these shoes don't make all the pain, frustration, exhaustion, and cancer disappear. But they sure are FIERCE! They say powerful, resilient, beautiful, strong, and unstoppable. They say "cancer, you're an idiot for stepping to me! I am so ready to kick ass! By the way, have you seen my shoes?!?!" These shoes say “I am this strong and this powerful even as I sit here snoring during my chemo infusion or vomiting into this bag—so, don’t get it twisted!” As you continue in this very-annoying-unwanted fight, remember to:

  • Laugh a lot
  • Cry whenever you want
  • Call/text me when you start panicking (anytime day/night)
  • Try to relax
  • Pray always
  • Let God.

Love you, sis. Hit ‘em where it hurts!

- Lou

Post written by our @solesister, Louisa.  Pictured above rocking her Healing Heels.

Post written by our @solesister, Louisa.  Pictured above rocking her Healing Heels.

The Fighting Spirit

I have the great honor of managing the Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center Creticos Cancer Center.  That’s quite a mouthful, but nothing compared to the incredible cancer journey that our patients and their families take in partnership with our team.  I have been a family member and friend of cancer survivors on this journey and I can tell you that the spirit is so important to heal and nurture through and beyond the treatments.  A few years ago, we had the honor of meeting Lauren, Sidne and her cheerleaders.  We were still in our previous facility, where there was limited space to accommodate family members and friends and the décor was somewhat dated.  All of that was outshined by the bright spirit that Lauren and her friends brought to each and every visit.  That bright spirit was captured in the spiky blue heels (her chemo shoes) that she wore to every visit and everyone around her saw that as a sign of hope and “fight” in her to get through her cancer treatments.

 

A close family friend was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year.  I bought her a pair of The Janet's and gifted her with them the day before a key doctor’s appointment --- her face lit up with the magical smile that I have seen in our cancer center over and over again when Lauren and Sidne have hand delivered the Healing Heels to our patients!  It is amazing to me how these heels truly uplift our patients (sometimes literally if they are wearing The Lauren) and it is amazing to me that Lauren and Sidne have continued to pass forward that fighting spirit, so that other women can be inspired, uplifted and to be healed.

 

-Maritess

 

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