Tomorrow when I gather my family around our chaotic dining room table, I’m going to thank God most sincerely for my sister Kathy’s eyebrows, because they’re dark and lovely and brand spanking new.
They gracefully arch over dark blue eyes that reflect profound courage, dignity, strength and optimism.
My mom used to chase Kathy around the house with a tweezers when she was younger, much to the amusement of us pale-browed siblings. As she grew older, her eyebrows and lashes became her best feature.
“I hope I don’t lose my eyebrows,” she said with typical stoicism upon hearing her diagnosis of Her2neu positive breast cancer.
I hoped so too. I hoped it a lot.
But cancer doesn’t take requests and, shortly after Kathy lost her hair, she lost her eyebrows too. It hardly seemed fair because, of course, it wasn’t.
Eyebrow-less, Kathy pushed on through a double mastectomy, chemo and radiation, anxious to reclaim her life.
“I don’t look like myself,” she said, her only complaint throughout a process that included several surgeries with their requisite stitches, drains and nausea.
“You just need your eyebrows,” I said bluntly in a well-intentioned bit of cheerleading probably unsanctioned by the American Cancer Society.
This past Sunday Kathy showed up at our pre-Packer game tailgate, all bundled up against a brutal wind chill. Among the many things Kathy refused to concede to cancer was her coveted presence in section 117 at Lambeau Field.
“Hey!” I said as I she made her way towards us. “Your eyebrows grew back!”
She wiggled them a little in glee.
Kathy has five more weeks of daily radiation and several months of Herceptin treatments until she’s officially finished.
Meanwhile, we’re grateful for simple things, like eyebrows, and the next time I’m tempted to roll my eyes toward my own scrawny eyebrows, I intend to remember what genuine obstacles some people overcome to reclaim their’s.
Happy Thanksgiving from Molly B and Me and may God bless you all.