October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month had passed, but Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital (SGCMH) was still seeing pink when it held its second annual Sprit of Pink on November 8--this time at the new Bloomsdale Medical Centre.
Dr. Theresa Cavins, breast surgeon and Medical Director of Breast Care Services at SGCMH, welcomed the crowd of nearly 90 women to the event.
“When I was working in St. Louis, I had women coming from as far as Paducah, Kentucky, and I knew that we needed something in this area, but I never knew that it would be this nice,” said Dr. Cavins complimenting the new Bloomsdale Medical Centre. “This is probably better than we thought it could be, but I think you ladies truly deserve it.”
Dr. Cavins thanked all the local artists for their generous donations to the event’s silent auction and said all women are artists.
“I know that your lives are a work of art—I see it in your eyes when I talk to you; I hear it in your voice. I think we all live our lives that way,” she said.
Cavins described the evening’s guest speaker, Diane Katzman as not only an artist, but as a warrior, a friend, a mother, and a wife. Katzman, a breast cancer survivor, spoke about the need to balance family, career and community.
(At right, Dr. Cavins pictured with Diane katzman)
“We all have the same number of hours in the day,” said Katzman. “We’re strong women with a lot to live and a lot to give and how we spend those days requires grace, integrity, a sense of humor and balance.”
The balance in her life began to tilt when her home designer jewelry business began to take off in ways she hadn’t imagined.
“I knew if I was going to have balance in my life, I had to separate my business from my home with a husband and three daughters,” she said.
Her sense of balance became even more important when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She uses a simple five-letter alphabet principle to help her stay on track.
A is for authenticity--“It’s essential to focus on your strengths and passions,” she said. “Five years ago, I was worried that without my hair I would be perceived as weak, but it’s not how bald you are, it’s how bold you are. I found out wigs weren’t for me. I wasn’t myself when I wore them. Without hair I felt like a magnet attracting energy.”
B is for boundaries--“It’s important to take stock in what’s important to you. It’s okay to say no. Yes and no decisions are rarely life and death decisions.”
C stands for taking care of yourself--“Take care of yourself or you won’t be able to take care of others. People also want to help you, so don’t turn them down. I felt so pampered and loved when I was undergoing my cancer treatment. I was able to focus on healing.”
The letter D is for delegate--“Always align yourself with the very best, positive people, and let them do what they do best. Remember people may not always remember what you did for them, but they will remember how you made them feel.”
Katzman’s final letter to keeping balance in your life is E for evaluation--“We must continually take stock in how we’re doing when we’re the most busy. That’s when we may need to rebalance the scales.”
Katzman had her last radiation treatment five years ago and recently ended a course of Tamoxifen to help keep her cancer away. She had high praise for Dr. Alan Lyss, her oncologist at Missouri Baptist who also practices at Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital at the Alan P. Lyss Center for Cancer Care and Clinical Research.
“I am blown away by the beauty of all of you and the beauty of this fabulous new facility,” she said in closing.
Women attending the Spirit of Pink were treated to a little wine tasting by the Show Me Shop; had fun with Sheila Henderson’s photo booth; enjoyed tours of the facility and chair massages. A Starving Artist Silent Auction was added this year to benefit the Friends Foundation and was very well received.
“We’re so lucky to have artists of all walks of life right here in Ste. Genevieve,” said Dr. Cavins.