Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Be Strong Ring, Part Deux

I hope you all enjoyed Part One of the "Be Strong" ring. Now I will share with you about SEE Pink's "Be Strong" ring.

Last year Woody and I stopped by my office (Exit Realty Clarksville) to visit with a few people before I went to the hospital for bloodwork. It was September 18th and I was scheduled for surgery the following Tuesday. As we arrived there was a group of ladies that came out to greet us. Jane Barker took a ring off of her finger and put it on mine. Although she didn't say, "this is a 'Be Strong' ring", that is exactly what she meant. I have always felt stronger when I had it on...kinda like I had super powers or something! It has a big beautiful pink stone and the ring itself is sterling silver and just fun! I will post a picture later. It fit my personality just right!

A couple of weeks ago, I began thinking about Dayna's "Be Strong" story and thought this ring was PERFECT to start the tradition as Kelly and I were starting SEE Pink. Before I passed it on there was a couple of things I needed to do. I took it to McKenzie & Smiley, a local jeweler, and they tightened up the prongs to better secure the awesome pink stone, shined it up, and engraved "Be Strong" on the inside. The "Be Strong" ring was ready to begin a journey of representing many beautiful women!

Kelly was naturally the first person to receive the "Be Strong" ring. I gave it to her and told her to wear it as long as she felt she needed it. Kelly has been forced to deal with more than three times the chemo than I did and she has shown such strength and grace. I'm so amazed by her. Her faith has taken her through the worst of breast cancer and it will bring her through the rest, which involves over thirty radiation treatments.

Jane Barker, thank you! Thank you for unknowingly becoming a part of something bigger than us all. I couldn't have picked out a more perfect ring to become SEE Pink's symbol! You are too sweet!

I think this fall the "Be Strong" ring will make its way to another deserving lady facing a difficult challenge! With each finger it graces it will gain in strength and history. I look forward to hearing about the ladies it touches and their stories. We will be chronicling the journey of SEE Pink's "Be Strong" ring right here, so stay tuned for more!

Have a blessed day.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The "Be Strong" Ring, Part One

My dear friend, Dayna Paine, shared a wonderful story with me a couple of years ago about a simple little gold band called the "Be Strong" ring. I will retell this story as best I can and then share with you how Jane Barker unknowingly blessed me with the start of See Pink's own "Be Strong" ring!

Dayna's story:

Dayna graduated from Clemson and is not only a great friend, but she is also a rabid Clemson fan! This really has nothing to do with the story, but with football season about to start I would be remiss if I didn't mention it!

Dayna has a dear friend in Clemson, Esther, who owns Nick's. It is a Clemson institution and holds many memories for many alumni! If memory serves me correctly (which it doesn't always do!), then someone at Nick's found a simple gold wedding band while sweeping. The ring was held onto for quite sometime, but it was never claimed by anyone. Esther began wearing it as a thumb ring, I think. Anyway, she left it a friend's house and this friend began wearing it so that she could feel Esther's closeness while she was going through a difficult time. (Esther is one of these wonderful women that loves her friends with her whole being, so they naturally pull strength from her whether she is physically there or not.) Well, story has it that once her friend made it through her difficult time, she returned the ring to Esther and told her how she derived strength from it. Thus, the "Be Strong" ring was born!

The "Be Strong" ring was bestowed upon Dayna while she was dealing with a long deployment separation from Jeff, who later became her husband. Once Jeff returned, and Dayna felt stronger, she returned the ring to Esther. Two years ago I met Esther and learned of the "Be Strong" ring. Dayna and I were in Clemson for a football game (yes, I'm ashamed to say that I actually wore an orange shirt with a tiger paw on it!!)...I digress...we were charged with bringing the "Be Strong" ring back to Tennessee to Mandy who was pregnant with her first child and whose husband was scheduled to deploy before the baby was to be born. Dayna not only shared the ring with Mandy, but she stood by her side as Mandy's precious Logan was born!

The "Be Strong" ring isn't about a piece of jewelry, it is about the women behind it. The sisters who are there for one another, now and always. It is about finding strength when you think you have none left. Whether you are fighting cancer, struggling with a deployment, or simply going through a transitional time in your life, having friends that you can count on is crucial to victory! A symbol such as the "Be Strong" ring just works as glue to bind friends and strangers together forever!

I hope you have enjoyed this story. I will post the story behind See Pink's "Be Strong" ring later today. Kelly is on her way over for coffee and to discuss See Pink's big Open House in October. Stay tuned for those details!

Have a blessed day.


Friday, August 14, 2009


Welcome to our blog! Let us first introduce ourselves.
My name is Kelly. I'm 32 years old and a former Pediatric ICU nurse. I never in a million years would have EVER guessed that I would one day be a patient...much less a cancer patient. But that is now my story and I am proud to be able to share my journey with you all. In January, I did my first self breast exam and found a lump. Two weeks later, I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer thus beginning this journey. I had a lumpectomy first and then a mastectomy as the cancer was found to be in the lymph nodes. Shortly after surgery I began the first of 16 rounds of chemo. I am about to finish up that part of treatment and then will have 30-35 radiation treatments. There are many many things that I have learned and am continuing to learn through this experience. Briefly, the most important thing that has happened to me has been a tremendous growth spiritually. Through that, I have seen the faithfulness of God and the way that He has been my strength through this. I have had to rely on Him and His promises more than any other time in my life. Am I glad that I got cancer? Nope. Has it been tremendously hard? Yep. Have I been angry, scared to death, depressed, and anxious at times? Oh yes! But am I happy about what I have gained from it all though? Yep!!! The other things that I have learned through this is that my purpose and calling is to serve other women who are battling breast cancer. We are all sisters in this and I just have a passion to make sure that my sisters are cared for. I want to meet you all, pray for you all, encourage you all, and help you all in any and every way that I can. Please leave comments telling your story and prayer requests so that I can start going to Jesus on your behalf. Love you girls!!!

My name is Lynne, I'm 44 years old, happily married to a wonderful man, Woody, and I'm a breast cancer SURVIVOR! I know it is true because it is tattooed on my right calf!! (I am the one who cracks jokes all of the time!) Humor has really helped through this journey called breast cancer. I began having semi-annual ultrasounds about 3 1/2 - 4 years ago after I found a lump on my right breast. It was determined that I have such extremely dense breasts (visit that I needed to incorporate the ultrasounds into my normal screening routine, which mainly consisted of an annual mammogram. (Dense breasts are more difficult to detect breast cancer in through a normal mammogram.) It was also determined that my breasts were filled with cysts! It was crazy to see the ultrasound. Most women who enjoy an ultrasound are looking at sweet little babies on the monitor, while my husband and I were looking at tons of little cysts everwhere!! It was insane! I digress...once my surgeon saw the situation, he advised that I should see him twice a year.

There have been a few times that he felt a biopsy of some sort was needed, so when he did a needle biopsy early last September I really thought nothing of it. However, being the chicken that I am, no WAS, I took my friend Destiny with me (my husband, Woody was at Ft. Bragg for a few weeks) to receive the results. Dr. Steely felt another biopsy was needed, one with tissue, so we went across the hall and made it happen. The following week, with Destiny by my side (Woody still at Bragg), we received the diagnosis. I didn't fall apart, there was no time for that! We simply got down to business! I scheduled my lumpectomy and appointment for bloodwork at the hospital and then I called Woody! He came home and we really got to work kicking cancer's behind! After surgery I began chemo and followed it up with radiation. I am now cancer free and I HAVE HAIR! Really, I do.

If I ever wondered, which I did, what my purpose was here on earth then cancer brought it to the surface. Like Kelly said, you do a lot of praying when something like this happens. There is always a "why me", but early on I felt the "why me" had to be a positive and not a negative. I have always thought that my one true talent was my vocal, I cannot sing but I sure can talk!!! Ask anyone!! So, I believe God thought it was high time I put those vocal chords to good use and talk to as many people as I could about early detection. That is my passion now. I am so excited to partner with Kelly in this venture. I know that we can touch many lives through See Pink. Helping others through service and education will empower them to see the future and to fight for theirs!