My aunt could teach Martina Navartilova a thing or two. Okay, maybe not on the tennis courts where Navartilova is a legend having amassed a career total of 167 wins, 18 of those being major championships. I doubt my aunt has ever picked up a tennis racket. Or maybe not on running triathlons or playing ice hockey both which Navartilova does even at the age of 53 and my aunt does not do. No, my aunt could teach her a more important lesson in my eyes. My aunt can teach her how to survive the horror that will afflict over 12.7 percent of women born in the United States according to the National Cancer Institute. My aunt can show her how to handle breast cancer.
One of the strongest women I have ever had the privledge and honor of knowing has slayed the beast twice, and I am sure she will tell you that while it wasn’t easy, she never gave up hope and she always kept her faith. When she was forst diagnosed, I was a little too young to understand the seriiousness of the situation. I just remembered thinking that PJ could be taken from me by a disease that strikes anyone it pleases. The prospect scared me more than any clown, tall building, or bump in the night ever would. But in her always calm, always reassuring (and sometime sarcastic ) tone she said and I believe I am quoting, “I’ll be fine.” My young fears were squashed. I could hear in her voice that everything would be ok.
Fast forward a decade and a few years, the reprehensible and dastardly foe decided to strike my dear PJ again. Much like her first diagnosis her reply to me one night after a call was a simple, “I’m fine.” The cancer didn’t want to accept this answer but really, didn’t stand a chance. As she courageously went through another bout of chemotherapy I am blessed to say my aunt is still here and she is still kicking. Her sarcastic tone and style of saying the craziest thing and keeping a straight face is still there and she is just about back to 100 percent.
I guess the whole point of this rambling and at times incoherent rant is just to show how proud of my aunt I am and in awe of her inner strenth and faith. While Navartilova may have more wins on the tennis circuit, I think my aunt’s two wins are pretty big in their own right and hopefully Navartilova can join her club.
A super human indeed