Learn how Alice Schnaidt had felt the power to go into the battle with cancer by beating drums with her friends 2 days prior to the operation.
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Alice: It's been three and a half years since I've had my breast cancer surgery and getting together today is so important to me to be able to let each one of you know how much you’ve been part of my wellness. Michael Tucker: Today, Alice Schnaidt is saying thank you to friends who showed their support by holding the drumming circle just before her surgery. Alice: That drumming ceremony was two days before my mastectomy. It carries the strength from each one of you, literally inside of me. Judie: As I was pounding the drum I can keep her well. Michael Tucker: Three and a half years ago, it was life as usual but then everything changed. Alice: I found a lump and that wasn’t there before. Michael Tucker: That lump was a call to action for Alice and this group of women who are now bounded at a level not easy to describe. Female: It's spiritual. It's from the heart. It's from the brain and it's from the body, very powerful. Michael Tucker: For this close circle of friends, Alice’s breast cancer became a new experience for them all. It was as if they had gathered the troops, picked up their drums and headed into battle. Alice: Because of all the emotions that I was feeling having that diagnosis of the anger of the “why me?” “no cancer in the family, why me?” “I exercise. I eat healthy, why me?” And then I realized that it was okay to reach out and to be physically supported and emotionally supported. Judie: With the drumming and prayer circle, it was a way—I don’t know. Everybody seems to say “let me know how I can help you, what can I do.” Well we did something and it made Alice feel better but I have to tell you, it made me feel a lot better too. I walked away that night feeling like wow! That was powerful for me too. I learned a lot from it. Michael Tucker: Drumming with spiritual roots in ancient cultures was far into these women at first but it soon became their uniting rhythm and soul. Alice: I came out on the other side. We came out on the other side because we did it. It's not “I” it's the energy of the five drums of the five women behind it whatever life brings us I am here for you and I know that you're here for me. You’ve already proven that. With this have happened, had I not had breast cancer? Not at the same level, not at the same color, not on the same flavor, not in the same harmony. So, damn I have it but, I'm blessed. Jill Eikenberry: We have followed Susan through her diagnosis, surgery and chemotherapy. She’s moving on in her journey. It's still hard but the direction is upward. Fortunately for Susan, Tim and their family, this battle with cancer is not one they must face on their own. Their church family has provided much needed emotional and tangible help. Susan: People have come to sweep my floors, scrub my shower, gardened. That’s healing when you feel so loved and encouraged and appreciated. That was healing. Tim: Our church has showed so much love to us that it's been indescribable again. Just going through with Susan the number of cards, prayers, phone calls and visits that we have received. Jill Eikenberry: After five months, the casseroles are still coming but Susan’s thoughts regarding cancer have changed. Susan: I originally saw cancer as a disruption, something that totally was going to ruin my life and control my life. I don’t see it that way anymore. Tim: I believe that God uses things like this in our lives to stretch us and to grow us, to really depend upon Him. So there are times that we go through or seasons that we go through that cause us to draw closer to God and closer to each other. I wouldn’t trade that but I would trade all the pain that Susan has gone through. Susan: I think I would go through it again because of what I have learned, because of what I've experienced. Jill Eikenberry: Women find the fortitude to get through this challenge in many different ways. Susan turned to God. Susan: It's an experience that God allowed to happen to me and I'm just trying to live so that it brings