Breast Cancer Chose Me
Breast Cancer Chose Me
by Laura Jennekens

I remember I was still sweating from running a 10K that morning when our family Dr. lobbed the C bomb that devastated our family the Friday before Thanksgiving 5 1/2 years ago.

Me, cancer? But I worked-out, I ran almost every day, my diet consisted of everything from the brown category, rice, pasta, bread. I had two children aged 7 & 11. Cancer didn't run in my family. I'd done everything right.

As fast as it hit me, I rallied. My runners mentality kicked into high gear...keep your eyes on the finish. Let's just do what we have to do. Let's get on with it. I'm not going do die, am I?

As each layer of understanding permeated my heretofore, healthy existence, I could think of nothing but my children. I had no intention of leaving them, and fortunately for me, nor did God at that particular time. My kids were scared to see me sick & bald through chemo. I didn't have much choice about the sick part, but bald, well that's where my story turns.

I cut off all my own hair and my daughter and I turned my freshly shorn locks into braids that I sewed to my bandana. I just couldn't throw my hair out! I chose this over my wig and my kids never did see me bald. It also planted a seed that would blossom later after it was all over. This desperate act of recycling my own hair inspired my new life and career.

I now co-own a company called Echoes in the Attic making an eco-savvy handbag line from materials from post-manufacturing & designer sample other words, potential landfill. We're keeping over 500 lbs of fabric out of the landfill every two weeks for a healthier planet and my kids now see a super-charged, eco-inspired, healthy mom again who loves life and her new career.

Sometimes you have to listen really hard to what a hardship has to tell you.


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About the AuthorAbout The Author

Laura Jennekens is co-owner of Echoes in the Attic a recycling fashion accessories company that has garnered much attention from many Canadian magazines, newspapers & TV. Their salvage-savvy handbags are currently available in 60 stores across Canada, 9 e-tailers & Echoes’ own webstore.

Her career as a writer/producer of TV commercials and reinvention after kids as Interior Decorator eventually morphed into co-owner of Echoes in the Attic she runs with her partner Vicky Gerke from their homes in Bradford Ontario. “Remember, one lady’s trash is another lady’s purse.”

blog comments powered by Disqus Dear Laura

I was moved by your story, and I am inspired by your bandana idea. I think other people would benefit from doing the same thing with their own hair.

I love the spirit in you that drove you to create and make something good come out of bad.

I did the same when I lost my Dad to cancer. I turned my sadness into a song of hope. Not only did writing it
help me process my own grief, I am told it speaks to people.

I would like you to hear the song, it sounds like you.

I love your handbag idea and wish your business a world of success, if you have a website or any promotions that you are doing that requires music, I would be delighted to donate my song for you to use in any way it might be helpful, whether its a commercial or a You Tube promo video, or just something entertaining and free to share with people on your site or at events.

That is of course provided that you like the song, but honestly I could have written this about you, it is for every woman with your spirit. If you listen to the words it is about the moment a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, the first thoughts are about her children, her choice to stand up and fight, is because of her children.

Here is the rough draft version, from when I wrote it, it's a video on You Tube (the lyrics are to the right of the video player in the video description box);=channel_page

Clicking this link takes you to my website where you will hear the song in its recorded version, it will start to play as soon as you click on it. Please let me know if you want an MP3!

With hearts and hugs,
Rachael Chatoor, Vancouver, BC

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