A Breastie Bond Is Like No Other
As we sit to write this (in our respective corners of Durham Region), we realize it is exactly two years to the day since we first met. This is not your typical “friend I met in the waiting room story”. By the time we first met, both of us had completed active treatment and were just about to learn the importance of really letting that fact settle in. We were both wondering what our future would look like after the devastation of this disease.
We met July 31st, 2018, at Rethink’s “Stretch, Heal, Grow” retreat. Neither of us knew what we were in for, but we knew that we were “all in” for it. We kissed our loved ones goodbye as we traveled north with two other young breast cancer survivors. Carpooling with these two other amazing ladies couldn’t have been more fun! What a great start to a weekend away. We laughed and we connected immediately. My (Steph’s) first thought was, “these ladies are all so young”. They were all so much younger than I was. I was worried I’d be too old for this retreat. Whereas my (Stacy’s) first memory of Steph was “she is so friendly and happy!” Both of us were thrilled to have found someone to be able to talk about the hard stuff with and we felt blessed to have met this group of girls and not feel completely alone. We both knew that this was going to be great because no matter what else happened, we had made some amazing friends already.
The group of women from that retreat have become an online support group of friends. Thinking back, spending time together while we searched our own souls and processed our own experiences in the woods at the retreat, quickly made us aware that we would continue to be “in this together” long after our three days in northern Ontario ended. We ALL said that this was one of the best experiences of our lives. To this day, our group of ladies are still supporting each other daily. We celebrate all the wins, big and small. We cry together at the crappy news or the losses. We are there for each other. We care about each other.
We are so blessed to have each other. We call each other our “breastie”. We, like so many others, are so grateful to have such a special person walking with us through the cancer journey. You know what we are talking about – the special bond and memories that breasties share.
Now, two years later, we (Steph and Stacy) have continued to stay connected, and we now get to be colleagues! It’s not unusual to find us texting and talking on the phone a few times a day. Since the day we met, we have shared many wins and losses, trials and tribulations, both in health and in our careers. We both eventually achieved our own personal goal of obtaining employment in the Canadian cannabis industry. We now work together to educate the world about the cannabis plant. We work passionately as medical cannabis educators, teaching with heart-forward intention that this medicine is not as scary as the stigma suggests. We teach with truth and evidence-based facts and empower other strong educators to teach and follow their passions as well. Using our cancer journey as a source of strength and motivation and sharing our stories have given us greater purpose. Recently, we discovered that our Zometa infusion schedules were lining up and that we both benefit by using medical cannabis for pain relief and other associated side effects of life after cancer.
Despite the different corners we originally came from, we both took a chance on a new opportunity and we are so grateful for Rethink for helping us connect. We are grateful that we have each other, and that through our ability to accept support from others, we can pay it forward – and we hope you will too! – Stephanie Massey and Stacy Bobak