Wendy Hazlett, LBBC friend and long-term Silpada Field Development Director of the Northeast Region shares her breast cancer story and why she’s looking forward to LBBC’s Yoga on the Steps: Kansas City for the 2nd year in a row!
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2011. It was through a routine mammogram and I still thank God each day for the expertise of my radiologist! I never thought “why me?”, but instead jumped right in to “beat this”. We had been thoughtfully watching a lump on my left breast throughout the years, so when the mammogram came back saying that I had cancer in my right breast and my surgeon recommended double mastectomies, I followed the recommendation and had a successful surgery in August 2011.
I had my first reconstruction surgery that December – which my body rejected. This caused me to undergo 3 additional surgeries before being able to close this chapter in my life in December 2012.
This brings me to my relationship with Silpada. I have been with Silpada for 14 years. It’s a company founded by women for women and it is a culture of support, encouragement, recognition and friendship that goes far beyond jewelry! We have our national conference in Kansas City every July and as part of an ongoing partnership, Silpada sponsored LBBC’s Yoga on the Steps: Kansas City. The event immediately attracted me not only because of my personal breast cancer experience but also the wonderful parallels between Silpada and LBBC. Both organizations are about empowering women and supporting women for their most successful future – and about providing education, options and choices along the way! I LOVED the connection and the fact that the event was centered around yoga – with the music, the meditation, the relaxation and the fitness – made it an event I knew I wouldn’t want to miss!
I was asked to share my story during Yoga on the Steps: Kansas City and it was such an honor! As a trainer/coach, I am in front of hundreds of women across the country and take every chance I get to spread the word about mammograms and early detection – I consider it the responsibility in the gift! The event was powerful for me – I had literally just recovered from my 5th and final breast surgery and was just feeling like “me” again. To be able to join that group of women (and men!) to share in the yoga and in telling my story was truly healing to me and allowed me to claim victory over breast cancer out loud and in person! And the thought that my story might give hope to even ONE other person going through the same thing is very humbling.
I loved everything about Yoga on the Steps – the strength of those women and men gathered together for such a great cause, the beauty and peacefulness of the music that literally transported me to another place and brought me to tears, the soft movements of yoga and the focus completely on the instructor’s voice and nothing else – it all made the experience for me. Especially right after the conference, where the week turns into running from one event to the next, it was wonderful to totally relax and meditate. In 12 years of attending the national conference, I have never left with such a sense of peace, calm, reflection, joy and clarity – and this was all because of Yoga on the Steps.