SILVER LININGS

Maurice Setter said that “too many people miss the silver lining because they’re expecting gold”.

The weekend of the 18h of October we at COPPERSTONE had our annual cancer HOPE Shoot. We usually post highlights from the weekend on the Monday after the shoot. But this year it took a bit longer to put the emotions into words.

Every year we meet incredible cancer warriors who share with us their stories of overcoming this illness. And this year we were again blown away by the ladies we met. They searched for the silver lining in everything they did, whatever they went through and however hard that road might have been.

It is easy to feel sorry for yourself when you go through any life-threatening illness. And you should. But you should also “get up, stand up and put your lipstick on” (quoting one of these ladies). Some of them felt that they didn’t get enough support from their husbands or loved ones. But in the same breath, they looked for that silver lining, and realised that not everyone copes with the possibility of loss the same way. It is important to understand that what the spouse and extended family go through, is, according to them, even worse than what they go through. One of the ladies made it clear that from the start she told everyone who knew her to treat her the same as before, or they wouldn’t see her while she was fighting her battle.

They all made it clear that it is so important for anyone currently battling cancer, to clearly tell their loved ones what they expect from them. To tell them when they’re feeling down, to tell them when they need attention and when they just need to be left alone. Family and friends try to help, but they often don’t know how to react or what to do. They all agreed that the spouse and close family members should all go for counselling during this time. And ask how they can help. An ostrich approach isn’t beneficial to anyone.

During our chats, talking about the country and the world at large, one cancer warrior said she wishes that everyone who complains about the small little things, about politics and all that’s wrong in SA, should just go to the cancer ward for one day while an elderly person literally screams from pain while being probed by needles while undergoing chemotherapy.

I think the biggest lesson we learned this year is while going through any traumatic life-threatening illness like cancer, not to expect gold, but to see the silver lining in everything. Two of the ladies this year never shed a single tear. It was a decision; they were adamant about beating this intrusion and they survived to tell their stories.

On the 23rd of November at our annual GALA Event, we will launch this year’s HOPE Shoot videos to inspire those currently battling cancer. And everyone else. These stories of inspiration will make you think twice about worrying about stupid little things.

We want to thank everyone who made this year’s HOPE Shoot possible. Indaba Hotel for your generosity, beautiful rooms, and for treating the ladies at Mowana Spa. Thanks so much to Protea Fire & Ice Menlyn for the warm welcome and beautiful messages in the rooms. Time Square, thanks for treating these ladies to a ridiculously tasty meal at J Something. Then to the sponsors who made these ladies look and feel like a million bucks: Espavo for the hair styling, House of Superior Clothing for the designer wear, and MUD Make-Up for the make-up, thanks so much for always helping where you can. Then to Jelly Bottle Media and Natasha Bouma Photography, thanks so much for an amazing shoot! It was an absolute joy entrusting the technical aspects of the shoot in your capable hands. This year’s Shoot definitely left a mark on all who were involved. Alan and Natasha, thank you both for the passion and expertise you brought to the Shoot. Special thanks also to this year’s Talent Search SA finalists and Estelle Swart (herself a cancer warrior and a previous HOPE Shoot lady), who all showered the ladies with special gifts over the weekend, and to Rialien Furstenberg, who helped with all aspects of the Shoot.

Then to this year’s 4 HOPE Shoot warriors: Susan, Martjie, Vanda and Corrie- thanks for coming into our lives, sharing your stories, and for all the fun, love and positivity you brought to the weekend, it was an absolute honour spending time with you. We salute your bravery, your optimism, your inspiration and most of all for teaching us the importance of never missing that silver lining. Thank you!