To be completely honest, cancer is a topic that in the past I have tried to avoid at all costs. It’s a scary word. I don’t want to think about the fact that it is a real. I don’t want to think about potential tragic outcomes.
Last week, I met a woman that changed the way I look at cancer. She is a survivor.
When I arrived at the Help the Hoo-Hahs 5K, I wanted to find someone that had survived a form of gynecological cancer to photograph. As I walked toward the start of the race I saw a group of women in teal tutus. The backs of some shirts read, “SURVIVOR.” I had found my subject.
Joie Godfrey had a smile on her face as a friend painted a teal ribbon onto her cheek.
Godfrey has had three battles with cervical cancer. Each time she faced intense chemotherapy and radiation, and each time she fought back. She went into remission for six years after her first battle. When the cancer came back for a second time, she decided to get a tattoo to remember to keep hope. In between her second and third bouts with the cancer, she got married, and the cancer was discovered yet again on her return from her honeymoon.
She has now been in remission for three years.
The group she walked with in the 5K comprised of fellow GYN cancer survivors and their family and friends. They leaned on one another for strength. One particular relationship that I found touching was between Godfrey and her mother, Vicki Granville. Vicki drove her daughter to her treatments. She also helped plan her daughter’s wedding while she battled. The women walked the entire race with huge smiles.
Thank you Joie, and everyone in the Warrior Women group, for letting me join you in this race. It was eye opening, and I am so thankful for your candor. Yes, cancer is a scary word, but it doesn’t always mean the end.