TLC helps Willow Run return the record home for the third time, while living with Stage IV / Metastatic Breast Cancer!
As my followers know, I live with Stage iv / Metastatic Breast Cancer. At this time, Seven years and five months from the time of my Stage iv diagnosis, the disease is in many of my bones, my liver and lungs. I have been searching for the treatment to do the job on this disease for the past two years, but had no luck with anything I tried over that time frame until the past couple months...
TLC has been planning and sharing this event since APRIL 2017, when it was announced what the date would be for bringing the Guinness World Record for the Most People dressed as Rosie the Riveter back home to the Arsenal of Democracy, The Willow Run Bomber Plant aka Ypsilanti/Belleville MI.
Wearing my Polka dot scarf and boots to hospital appointments for months, and where ever we'd go, I handed out fliers, passed out cards, and let people know about the event on Facebook whenever possible. I was so thrilled that hubby agreed to accompany me this year to take photos again (last time, he was out of town at a vintage toy show). Sadly, my daughter and grand daughter could not join us, due to a Softball game schedule for the same day.
This year, I volunteered to help at the Costume Station. I was assigned to tying scarves. Mike volunteered to be a photographer. Below you will see the results of his work (and a few of my photos and videos as well) I had to purchase a new pair of coveralls as my cancer and GERD had caused me to loose so much weight this summer, my previous Uniform literally fell off of me when I tried the pants on two months prior to the event. I was thrilled to be able to fit in a Medium once again, but still a bit uncertain about the weight loss, while on chemotherapy, one needs to keep their weight healthy, in case they become ill and should be at risk of loosing more weight. I had to make sure my immune system was in safe condition for being around so many people, and as I go in for Paclitaxel (Taxol) Chemotherapy on a weekly basis and get my blood checked, we were assured I would be safe. I took my hand sanitizer with me to be even further protected...
I had the honor of getting to sit near the front row this year, near the Original Rosies and in front of honored guest, WWII Air Force Cpl. Richard Pilon and his wife, Jan. Richard served in WWII and continues to perform in Military Reenactments and other educational events and Military related events to this day. He is a gentleman and a true treasure to those of us at Yankee Air Museum / The Willow Run Rosie's just adore him! To honor my late father, whom served as Staff Sgt. of Medical Supply Unit in India during WWII, I not only wore his Military Dog tag, but his Good Conduct medals, His Medical Insignia and US pins, and had my "Rosie Production E" pin that was presented to me by Cpl. Pilon, and my #Metavivor Pin... along with the Rosie the Riveter Dog tag that my friend Jeannette helped create along with Steve Hopper of the Yankee Air Museum after we set the initial record in 2014. I was also blessed to have received my Grandmother Hagen's Sweetheart Necklace, with Dad's Military photo inside from my cousin, whom found it in her mother's (my dad's sister) belongings when she passed away last year. Thank you Nancy for letting me have this special item.
As a result of the metastatic cancer in my lungs, I have been having major breathing problems until recently, at the time of the event, I was scheduled to have a chest draining tube inserted the following week for lung drainage. As I type this, it is in place and I'm happy to report working well enough with the chemo and the drain, that I may be getting it removed very soon. I was so thrilled to be able to sing along with these amazing men and women. I had the honor of officially meeting and getting a hug from our Michigan State Representative, Debbie Dingell; and you will see the two of us in a photo together here as well. Rep. Dingell supports those of us with chronic illness and the ACA and what it stands for, for those of us living with these illnesses. Her support in Congress is crucial to those of us living with Metastatic Cancer and many other such illnesses. After the event, after we learned we had a total of 57 Original Rosie's and a total of 3,755 present for the count; far surpassing the prior record in Richmond CA of 2,229.
Mike and I joined our friends Jane and Jeannette along with some Original Rosies for dinner. We got to sit in the company of Jane Doyle; WASP pilot from WWII whom was celebrating her birthday (see video of crowd singing to her), and three other Original Rosie's as well as these two special friends whom got me involved in this whole thing back in 2013 when I organized a series of Fundraising craft shows on behalf of the www.savethebomberplant.org campaign. The whole thing started, as a way to bring attention to this campaign, to preserve a section of the original factory which was being demolished, to make the new home for the @yankeeairmuseum.org/.
I feel SO BLESSED to have had the opportunity to work with this amazing group of men and women over the past four years. They have not let me down ONCE, and continue to lift my spirits and my soul when I may be down for whatever the reason... either the cancer or just life. As I finalize this post, I am faced with meeting with a Neuro Oncologist very soon based on findings in a recent Brain MRI we had done. It appears that the cancer may be spreading to the lining of my brain. This scares me but I am ROSIE STRONG so I will get through this knowing I am not alone. It helps knowing there are friends like them to help hold me up when I feel weak. Aside from my immediate family, having been home sick for so many years now, outside of Facebook, I don't feel I have many close friends that will come when I call on them. There are a few that do, but compared to when I was healthy and working, going to the bars with so called friends, even after my diagnosis doing weekly craft shows... I feel alone most days. Just hubby, Marcy Kat and me in our little mobile home. Cancer does that to a person after time, it's sad but true. We as patients, become recluses in our homes, only getting out to see the doctor so all we have to talk about when we see someone is our health, or discuss television shows we've both seen. Going to the doctor is our only social outing most of the time. It's pretty sad.
Being involved with this group has given me an alternative conversation subject, outside of Cancer. I love them all! <3