I have become a bit of an exhibitionist as of late. Just yesterday I found myself yanking up my top, unclipping my bra and unveiling my chest to a woman I had just met. This display of nudity however seemed natural to me. You show me yours and I’ll show you mine played through my head. Ana Maria (the sister of a colleague) had just revealed her freshly inked areola tattoos. It was our first time meeting one another. We had never spoken nor connected, yet I instantly felt a bond with her.
I studied her carefully as we swapped stories about surgery, medications, hot flashes and weight gain. I noticed everything about her, the fine hair on her head, her eyebrows fully in tact, and the glow of her skin. She was a ball of fire, passionate and full of energy despite her recent flight. I didn’t tell her that I had thought about her many times over the last year wishing her good health, wanting her to come through her treatment unscathed and cancer free. I was her silent cheerleader imagining her fear, worry and pain, thousands of miles from where she was in Miami. It didn’t matter that she was Cuban American and I was Canadian, we were apart of the same sisterhood. Breast cancer after all is global it knows no borders and speaks every language.
Today as I celebrate Canada Day I am grateful that Ana Maria and I are both healthy and I am happy that we had our show and tell session earlier this week.