LikeTheDew has shared many stories and videos during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is relevant, even if you choose to turn your eyes away and pretend otherwise. You do – will – or have, know (or known) someone who will be diagnosed with breast cancer. We have shared many pieces highlighting startling statistics. No one wants to be just another number in most anything, unless your number comes up in the survivor column. Looking now beyond the numbers and more intimately into a real life – once on the brink of death, I am introducing you to Rosemary Griggs, a Saint Simons Island sculptress and breast cancer survivor who has fought to be in the survivor column.

Rosemary is graciously sharing a visceral glimpse of the roller coaster ride of breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and survival. If you think roller coasters are fun, think again. The highs and lows, unexpected whiplash inducing turns, the unknown ahead, the brakes, followed by the accelerator – and the brakes again – the screams, the wind-whipping tears, the nausea and dizziness, and the line you waited in, plus the cost to get there – no, this is not fun. Still, Rosemary offers hope molded from heartache, just as she does with her clay sculptures. Here are her own words and pictures. There will be more each day until the end of October as she shares her Stroll Down Mammary Lane.

In Rosemary’s Words

“A Stroll Down Mammary Lane is an illustrated journal chronicling eighteen months of our experience with breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and cure. During the long convalescence, I spent most of my time horizontal healing from multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and other treatments. I was unable to work in my pottery studio and my career as a full time ceramic sculptor was put on hold while I focused on getting through one procedure at a time. I wasn’t able to do much but I did draw and it resulted in about 90 illustrations of my process of fighting breast cancer.

Sketch 1 by Rosemary Griggs

The Phone Call

“After the follow up magnification mammogram, the sonogram, the first of several biopsies and a long two days of waiting for the phone call, my husband, David Ray, and I wept in each other’s arms at the news that the unimaginable was real. I had breast cancer. David Ray got very efficient with the caregiver duties and he consoled, nurtured, changed bandages, drove, fed, sang and continued to tell me how beautiful I was, even when my breasts were gone and I was sick and bald.”

Terri Evans

Terri Evans

Terri Evans is 25+year marketing communications professional, a partner at LeslieEvansCreative and Bcauz marketing (cause-related). She has been a food columnist for Atlanta Intown and Atlanta Buckhead newspapers, and a contributing writer for Georgia Magazine, the Atlanta Business Chronicle and other publications. Evans was also a finalist in a Southern Living cooking competition. She is (and has long been) at work on a novel set in the South (of Georgia) and the South (of France). She's always cookin' up somethin'.