Get [talking] with us. [Part 1]
In 2016, Living Beyond Breast Cancer is recognizing 25 years of service to those impacted by breast cancer. Throughout the year, we’ll be featuring not only the stories of the women and men who have turned to LBBC for help, but also the stories of individuals whose commitment to the work we do have made an indelible impact on furthering our mission of connecting people to trusted information and a community of support.
Mark Plamondon is one of those people.
You know that feeling you get when things in your life are RIGHT? Not the kind of right when you answer a question correctly or still make it to work on time even though traffic was horrible. I’m talking about the kind of right when life is RIGHT. All caps. Maybe an exclamation point, too, for emphasis. If you’re like me, you’ve probably come to find out that the times RIGHT happens are few and far between. But they do happen. For me, one of them was my wife, Lee. When I was with Lee, things were RIGHT. Exclamation point. We met while working at the same advertising agency, where we were introduced to each other through a mutual friend. Lee was fun and smart, had a great laugh and was a fantastic communicator.
Lee was fun and smart, had a great laugh and was a fantastic communicator.
She could talk to anyone about anything all while making them feel like they were the only person in the room with her. It made her great at what she did professionally. More importantly, it made her great to be around personally. People gravitated to her, myself included. Amazingly, the courage needed to ask her out on a date returned later when I asked her to marry me. Lucky for me she said “yes.” Both times. And off we went.
In 1994, Lee was nursing our second son when she noticed something that made her uneasy. A visit to her doctor led to a series of tests which led to the news she had breast cancer.
My 34-year-old wife, the mother of my two young boys, had been diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. We were told Lee’s best option, at the time, was chemotherapy. So that’s what we did. We hoped for the best, of course. She was young and healthy but for the breast cancer. Which tests indicated was early-stage. So, you can imagine our shock two years later when it was discovered that the cancer in Lee’s breast had metastasized. To her bones. And liver. And brain.
My 36-year-old wife, the mother of my two young boys, had been diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer.
Earlier, I shared with you that Lee was a communicator. What made her so amazing at it professionally (her marketing jobs) and personally (everything else) was an understanding of its power. She was amazed, even dumbfounded at the lack of anything she found to be of value to help her make sense of her diagnosis and what she could expect. And then she found Living Beyond Breast Cancer.
Be sure to to read the second part of Mark's blog to learn how Lee used the power of communicating to help establish a core LBBC program and inspire Mark to use his experience to help LBBC grow in ways neither of them expected. If you missed it, here's the first blog in this series: Get […..] With Us: Celebrating 25 Years of Living Beyond Breast Cancer by LBBC CEO Jean Sachs, MSS, MLSP