Anna's "Sock Sisters"
Since 2014, RFA's theme has been "crazy socks". Participants are encouraged to wear their craziest knee highs or tights, some runners even decorate their socks with lace and sparkles. When you join us at RFA, will you STAND OUT on behalf of desmoid patients with YOUR crazy socks?
Anna L. from Colorado shares a story of how a small community of women supported her during her desmoid journey:
"One of the most important things for me during treatment was support and encouragement from friends and family. I am not known for asking for assistance. Sometimes it is downright hard to ask for help. When I was diagnosed with my abdominal desmoid in 2017 and was headed into chemo, I knew I needed help to get through it, so I took a deep breath and asked. The outpouring of support was overwhelming. People in your life really want to help in times of need but often do not know how or what would be best. When you ask, you shall receive!
A dear friend has a circle of lifelong friends called the “sock sisters”. They had a friend who was going through treatment for cancer and every day she was “in the chair”, they wore crazy socks to show their support. When it was my turn to start chemo, she asked if she could rally the sock sisters for me. It was an amazing spirit lifter. It made me feel fierce…like I got this. So the day before my treatment, I would remind the sisters and sure enough, that day, I would have photos of the socks posted to my Facebook wall that they were wearing to support me along with words of encouragement. It was so fun. Some of the socks had crazy patterns; others had funny saying; sometimes it was bare feet because it was too hot. It did not matter; it was the heart behind it that mattered. It was so touching because these were ladies I did not even know! Granted, I did get to know them as we went along, so there was an additional blessing of new friends.
As other friends saw this happening, I started receiving socks in the mail to wear on chemo day. I don’t think I will ever have to purchase a pair of socks again! In the infusion center, I shared this story because I took my shoes off to get weighed every week and you can’t miss those socks! Shortly after, when the infusion ladies knew I was coming in for treatment, they would wear crazy socks too! I would pull up my pants leg to show them mine and they would show me theirs. Show and tell! I had great results with the chemo and after 14 treatments I was allowed to stop treatment and go on a watch and wait protocol. On my last recheck with the oncologist, they had me ring the bell as a sign that I was done and they all gathered around with hugs and tears. This was my second family and I was happy to go, but going to miss them as well. To surprise me one last time, they all wore crazy socks, including my oncologist. We snapped a final pic with all our socks showing!
I know it really isn’t about the socks but the unity and support. It also taught me it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help. It also empowered me to keep a positive attitude. My motto was (and still is) “positive attitude equals positive outcome”. Socks do not take away the side effects or change the condition but it certainly makes it easier to take. I am now a sock sister that pays it forward to others."