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Mission Moment | Colette

"A common theme is that we lose our friends when we get diagnosed with cancer and go through it. I lost two really good friends. ... [so] I am so glad I found this place. At The Pink House, nobody judges."


 

Photo of Colette

January's Mission Moment was written by Alicia Roberts, CBF Volunteer


When asked to choose a theme song for her breast cancer journey, Colette Wagoner didn't hesitate to name "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" by Judas Priest.


This rock-and-roll music super fan also celebrated the end of chemo by striding out of the infusion center to the sound of AC/DC's "Hell's Bells." And she showed up to the most recent Pink Boots on the Lawn fundraiser dressed in black leather, her Harley Davidson hat and, of course, a big, pink wig. The rock-and-roll skeleton hands on her T-shirt surrounded a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon.


Rock music has long been a vital part of this Survivor's daily life, carrying her through many, many ups and downs over the years.


But, after going through the isolation of chemo during the COVID-19 pandemic, Colette needed more than colette 2rock-and-roll to lift her spirits. That's when she found CBF and fun, community-building events at The Pink House.


It's also where she connected with one of her new best friends, Cynthia.


"I met her at the very first meeting I went to at The Pink House," Colette recalls. "She said she likes to go to biker bars and raise money, and we just hit it off."

Last fall, Colette and Cynthia volunteered at Independence Harley Davidson for a fundraising event to benefit CBF during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Colette, who has been riding motorcycles with her husband, Rick, since he got his first one at age 18, is already making plans for next October's event.


That's the thing about Colette. She always has plans to make things better, to connect with more people and definitely to have more fun.


Colette and husband

And it's where The Pink House has been a lifesaver for Colette. Diagnosed with HER2+ ductal carcinoma in situ the day after Thanksgiving in 2021, Colette began a challenging treatment path that included weekly chemotherapy for five months to reduce the size of the tumor, mastectomy of the affected breast, and radiation.


Not all of her friends were prepared to support her. It was an isolating time, and unfortunately she didn't learn about CBF until well after her chemo was over. Now, she goes to every session and event she can. She loves the jewelry-making classes and can't wait for the next Survivor Happy Hour.


"Had I known about it sooner, I could have at least talked to people on Zoom," she said. "It [helps] a lot to have other ladies to talk to, who can understand what you're going through."

*Colette pictured top left on her last day of chemo, and bottom with her husband, Rick, who she says is her "main support person."

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