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How Have You Been Supported by Pinkie the Bus?
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Haylen_WebMD_Staff posted:
October 1st kicked off Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we want to really showcase this community and all of the wonderful interaction that takes place.

One of the most unique features here is "Pinkie", our virtual vehicle that delivers member-to-member support.

We'd like to welcome newcomers who find their way to us by having each of you share a little about how Pinkie has helped you. We'd also like to hear your thoughts about the friendships you've made here.




Who's first?

Haylen
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rachael67 responded:
As official driver of "Pinkie" guess I should lead this one off, Haylen! I say "official" driver as that position has been contested in the past when one Jaydee attempted frequently to take the wheel from my hands! He even stooped low enough to accuse me of driving over a curb or two during my duties! This, of course, was disproven, and eventually he resigned himself to the rear of the bus, far away from my the controls. (Truth be told, I do believe that is where he wished to be all along as he was then the center of attention among all the lady passengers! )

I came to these boards back in 2003 post surgery and about mid-way through the radiation treatments. As it was so long ago, it difficult for me to recall just why I sought out this group. I had never been connected with any other group nor affiliated with any internet social board before. I do know that I had a few concerns about over-treatments especially concerning the "boost" given at the end of the rads.

I first only read for a few days to try and see just what kind of group this might be. At that time they were called Breast Cancer Friend to Friend Board.... rather non-threatening. Now, I wanted to check them out to see how knowledgeable they might be, how supportive, how willing to accept a path different than might have been expected.

I quickly came to not only admire the community, but to begin to trust that I could be "safe" among them. (When one is in such a vulnerable place in life, trust is not so easy to come by!)

Slowly I began to post. And as I did, I was able to find my place among the membership, and I was beginning to know my neighbors as well. (I try hard to never simply refer to the "sisters" as too often we have had males both as patients and as family members/friends of patients. We would be very wrong to think of ourselves as only a female community!)

I learned which members I could regularly rely upon for information; which I could count on for reassurance; which always supplied a laugh when I really needed it; which might suggest a new way of thinking/treating a symptom; which were constant supporters.

Everyone brought a gift! Each had a miracle in their pocket! As each snowflake is made in its own unique shape by what it encounters on its pathway to the earth, so too was each F2F member fashioned by what they had lived and what they had found effective in making this journey less stressful for themselves and those they love.

I have grown to love many; to sadly loose some; to see even more get well and go on to live a life so full they could not find time to return here except on rare and very sweet occasions! And, very wonderfully, I have shared in face to face meetings with several of the community. One one occasion a group of us gathered on the shores of Lake Michigan and each released a pink balloon in honor of our Warriors who had fought valiantly but were forced to leave us too soon.

It is always disheartening to see "newbies" as that means the battle continues and new Warriors are drafted much again their will! However, at the same time, aware of how much this board has help me and so many others, I am glad it is us they have found! Here is "Home" in a very real sense. Here is "Family" as well. Here is a safe harbor where no question is dismissed, and no individual is left without a hand to hold!

Our community knows no color, is limited to no sex, or faith or nationality...we are world-wide! In fact the Pink Bus was given the name "Pinkie" by our Norwegian artist friend residing in France...as beautiful as her art!

So, tho drawn together by a beast, we survive by strength and love and fellowship...Open 24/7 for one another because WE CARE!


Blessings.
Rachael
A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song.
Maya Angelou
 
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cindy12345678 responded:
Haylen,
I came here half way through chemo ,very scared and
worried , still facing surgury.
These ladies ( fierce warriors!) really came through for me.
They had so much knowledge and answerd my questions
like no one else could have. Because they had been there.
These ladies boarded "pinkie" and went with me to all
my chemos and surg. I never felt alone anymore.
So now I can try to help the next person who may need
support.
Thanks ladies!
Ciindy
 
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Olivia_WebMD_Staff responded:
I wanted to pop in and say a few things. First of all, Rachael that was a beautiful post! I can't imagine new folks who find themselves here, whether they have breast cancer or are supporting someone who does, wouldn't feel the warmth of this group just from those words.

I also wanted to let you all know that Pinkie and this community are being featured today on our WebMD Home Page (http://www.webmd.com ) and also on our WebMD Facebook page.

This group is such a blessing for anyone who needs support and guidance. I hope that others who need that helping hand and warm hug will find themselves here.

Take care,
Olivia
 
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mhall6252 replied to rachael67's response:
Coming here was a natural progression as I have been a participant on the Diabetic Type 2 Board for many years. I found warm, compassionate women and men who share freely their fears, successes, knowledge and love of life with one another. We welcome every "newbie" with open arms, and we remember that even us "old-timers" need frequent support, hugs and love during treatment, scans, and all the other "stuff" that comes with forever being a breast cancer warrior, or survivor, or patient.

What we are not is "victim."
Michelle
Read my blog at www.mch-breastcancer.blogspot.com
Smile and the world smiles with you!
 
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brcansur responded:
Haylen,
I came here after my surgery and treatment but even so it was a very hard time in my life I was having some issues and needed support and some questions answered and everyone here made me feel very welcome and helped the best they could.
I remember Rachael was the first and her words are always so welcomeing and warm to read it really made me feel calmer just reading them.
Then came Judy with all the research info she could come up with for me on the issues I was having and telling me to not give hope and to make sure to ask questions no matter what stand up for my self boy she was right on about that one and I am so good at not keeping my mouth shut I am sure you have all learned that by now lol.lol.
Then came every one else with great words of advice and great friendships that have grown over time. This board has helped me a lot and is always there for me in good times and bad times you can hold me drea and near to your hearts and even laugh with me I love that about each and every one of you and want to thank you all for that. I don't know what I would do at times if not for all of you and this board of lovely ladies and gents. Please keep up the great work and stay strong and healthy sending angel hugs Roberta,
Roberta
 
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Caprice_WebMD_Staff responded:
Thank goodness for Pinkie and for all who keep it going. Rachael, thank you for such a wonderful post which really illustrates how essential this community with its accompanying bus can be.... and how FUN it can sometimes be!
Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you'll help them to become what they are capable of becoming. ~Goethe
 
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Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to cindy12345678's response:
Cindy,

My grandmother was diagnosed in the early 70s when it was "embarrassing" to talk about cancer, especially breast cancer. I know she felt isolated and would have loved an opportunity to connect online.

Thank you for sharing your story and continuing to hop onto pinkie to support others. I love the phrase "fierce warriors"!

Haylen
 
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butterflygarden responded:
I saw this on the WebMD front page, and wanted to drop in and say that I wish this group had been around 20 years ago when my first cousin was going through breast cancer.

She never had anyone to talk to who really KNEW what she was going through day-to-day. I am sure that she would have had many days when a ride on your pink bus would have been just what she needed.

Bless all of you for being such a great support system for each other and welcoming others in who need to just feel validated.

Butterfly
 
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rachael67 replied to butterflygarden's response:
Butterfly, how very kind of you!

It's one thing to be the patient and to appreciate community and support among those in similar situations, bit it is rarer to find one such as yourself who cares so much for another that they can put themselves into another's shoes and realize how, given the same circumstances, they would feel! If only we could pepper the world with folks just like you!!

Thank you for the kiddos!

Blessings.
Rachael
A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song.
Maya Angelou
 
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Coni_lee responded:
Haylen,

I have came here from my grandmother Gloria whom died of breast cancer and my aunt currently has breast cancer. My mother has had lumps removed. I just want to be of any support.
 
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GGrandmaJan replied to rachael67's response:
Rachael, again your lovely awesome post has said it all. Thank you so much for stating what we all feel on the support and love this board gives us.

I came to this board in '05 after my dx of bc. How I found it I have no idea, now. I believe I stumbled on it when researching info on breast cancer. Once I found it and realized how caring and supportive everyone was---I stayed.

Thru-out the years, (can't believe it has been 7 yrs) these women have held my hand, my heart, and painted my toenails. Yes, we do have some fun on this board.

They have all been my Rock!!!

The ride on "Pinkie" has had some awesome times both sad, supportive and at times very ridculous!!! Of course, once the driver situation was sorted out, (sorry JD) things did get a mite comicial as Rachael was our official driver. She does need a lot of help tho, to stay off the curbs. LOL. I would say tho, thru the years she has done a supreme job.

I like how this board is open 24/7 with "the light always on" to quote a friend.

Yes, thru the years, I have made many long-lasting friendships. But unfortunately have also lost several "Warriors". It distresses me to keep seeing many "Newbies" each year. We NEED a cure!!!!

One of my goals is to welcome each one that comes to the board and give them any support or/and info I can share with them.

Thank you WebMD for providing us such a forum to do so.

Hugs, Prayers and Blessings
Jan
He who laughs at himself, never runs out of things to laugh at.
 
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Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to GGrandmaJan's response:
Jan thank YOU for being such a great "greeter" for those who come to us scared, confused, in need of information and maybe looking for an "off-topic" discussion between friends.

I never fail to LOL at some point during a post requesting a ride on "Pinkie". I think the combo of serious/supportive/informative and light-hearted is perfect. As you all know, I never miss an opportunity to invite George and Brad along for the ride

(((Hugs))) back to you Jan and to all of the wonderful "warriors" here -

Haylen
 
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freefeather replied to rachael67's response:
I pulled up my couch and brought a tall glass of water one day way back (really seems like yesterday some days) when I was told my breast cancer mutated it's hairy legs over to the other breast back in 2005, when I poked my head into this site for survivors like myself called Friend to Friend or F2F, and wow, the group there put a nice fluffy pillow up under my back, filled up my water again as I read and shared stories with this wonderful supportive group of people going down the same road or journey I was going down. I wish I had met them back in 2000 when I was first diagnosed!
So I guess I'm one of those warrior's who has been there and done that, but my story is so different from others as their stories are so different from mine...that's why we are here...TO SHARE! You will meet and greet a lot of wonderful, funny, amazing, awesome, talented, loving, caring, compassionate and so much more special folks right here on this bus ride. And the seats do feel like your couch at home, and the stewards tend to your needs with all of the above qualities as well...your water glass is always full!

You know Rachael and if you don't you soon will. Hi there Rachael! What a woman ! And she can sure drive this bus any where, anytime.You just know you have a friend with her and she is and was my biggest support buddy along with many many other ladies and gents...and Jaydee? Such a ladies man. I do so enjoy coming back to visit from time to time, I know Rachael would love to see me sitting behind her on that pink bus more often. Well, life is just getting better for me these days and each day is better than the last one, growing and learning being strong and healthy, letting go instead of hanging on seems much more natural to me these days. I still have boot straps and I do pull on them from time to time, the beast is like a shadow sometimes and you get a glimpse of it from a peripheral view from time to time, it's life really for us survivor's and warriors. Stay focused on the day your in, be positive, read a novel or some sobby romance, take up letter writing, adopt a kitten! Stay busy a little bit at a time if your doing chemo, don't over tax yourself, tomorrow will take care of itself with you in it! and call for the Pink bus as often as you need to...I know the driver, she knows where you need to be and will help you get there!
Love ya Rachael!


~My laughter is good medicine~
Kimberly
 
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rachael67 replied to Coni_lee's response:
Coni, thank you so much for adding your voice and heart to this community. With the history of your losses you can offer both care and support to so many.

Your aunt and your mom will be in our thoughts as will you! We look forward to seeing your posts!

Blessings.
Rachael
Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!


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