One Is Enough

One Is Enough

From Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor's Soul

One Is Enough

Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you.

Aldous Huxley

I was a widow and the mother of two teenagers when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1973. My mother had had a mastectomy in the 1940s, and she had gotten along beautifully. My surgery and recovery also went well. I was able to return to work and volunteered as the Reach to Recovery person for our American Cancer Society.

When my first granddaughter, Heather, was about four years old, she visited my home overnight. I had to take a shower, so I had her stay in the bathroom with me so I could keep an eye on her.

When I was drying off, she noticed I had only one breast. She had lots of questions, and I tried to answer them to her satisfaction. Finally, she hung her head in deep thought and said, “Barney, if you have only one, why don’t you wear it in the middle?”

When I visited new mastectomy patients, I lifted a lot of spirits with this story. God bless!

Mary Ellen “Barney” LaFavers

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