Kathy Digorgio is one of five vibrant and strong women selected to represent Living Beyond Breast Cancer during Fashion Bug’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month Campaign. Throughout October the women’s clothing store, with nearly 700 stores across the United States, will support LBBC by donating 100% of proceeds from the sale of a one-of-a-kind inspirational tee and by asking their shoppers to make a contribution by rounding up their purchase to the next whole dollar.
For women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, October is often a month filled with emotion. While every woman expresses their approach to the month differently, Kathy reminds us of how her life changed when she heard, for the first time, “Kathy, you have breast cancer.”
As we all know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In celebration of Pinktober, our senses are going to get bombarded with everything Pink. Pink will be everywhere. We will see Pink, hear Pink, taste, smell and feel Pink. Some of us embrace it and others of us want to get as far away from it as possible. (I, personally love it – Pink is my favorite color. )
With that said, since I was one of five women selected to share my story through a Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign sponsored by Fashion Bug, the idea of the five senses became an alluring theme. Each of us have a breast cancer story, of course. But from person to person, our story is a reflection of one ideal sense that created the most appealing significance in our individual journeys. For me, it was my ability to hear.
Three years ago, I heard those dreaded words, “you have breast cancer.” It’s funny how there are many levels of hearing… You not only hear words, you feel what’s behind them. At first all I could hear was “blah, blah, cancer…blah, blah, blah chemo…” I could hear the terror in not only my own voice but in my family and friends’ voices as well. I could hear the sadness and worry. Even though they offered words of hope and encouragement, they wondered if those words of encouragement were empty words. I could hear the unawsered question: “Is this a losing battle?” The future felt dark and scary.
I could hear the voices of my parents, who both had passed from cancer. My dad had passed away just five months before my diagnosis. I’d hear them saying, “you can do this. You’re going to be okay. You are strong!”
Ha! I didn’t feel very strong.
Three years later, I hear laughter… I hear voices of hope…I hear words of encouragement with a firm conviction behind them. A few weeks ago I heard the camera flashing as I stood beautifully – simply because I had breast cancer and the camera’s lens wanted to capture my story.
It took a while, but hope really does float – I floated above my terror and fear. And by example, I’ve taken the fear and uncertainty out of the hearts of my family and friends. I can hear confidence in their voices now when they enourage and support me. I don’t think I could have come this far, so fast, without the support of lbbc and all of the courageous women (and men!) that helped bring me here.
Throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Fashion Bug stores will donate 100 percent of proceeds from the sale of an Inspirational Screen Tee to support our educational resource Guide for the Newly Diagnosed and LBBC’s Survivors’ Helpline, a personalized matching service that connects women in similar circumstances in a confidential setting.