By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen


Cheryl's Adventure - 
Ladies Night Out
By Cheryl Copeland

Some men often wonder why it is that women get so ridiculously excited about a “Ladies Night Out.”  Well Gentlemen, let us break it down for you with three simple words to help you understand: Ladies – Night – Out! 

Cheryl CopelandIf you’re still a tad bit confused, it’s quite okay!  Even I didn’t fully grasp the true significance of these priceless events until after I began my cancer adventure.  Yes, I occasionally spent an evening out with friends, but typically it was with other couples or large groups of mixed company.

 For several years my rendition of a Ladies Night Out consisted of my best friend Sandy coming over to my house.  We spent countless hours laughing and chillaxing, all typically done while completing chores and tending to my children.  

Sandy sat with me for each and every chemo treatment.  One day, in the infusion room, I had the biggest revelation – and it saddened me deeply.  I thought about what Sandy would say if she were ever asked to speak at my funeral.  In my best Sandy voice impression I said, “Cheryl was my very best friend! We enjoyed taking care of her kids and cleaning her house.” We both burst out laughing, to the point of tears.  Quite frankly, Reality Bites!  Not only was my impression fairly accurate, we agreed that we’d become completely complacent with simply “hanging out.”  

We made a decision THAT day to begin LIVING!  Since no one has had an expiration date stamped on his or her foreheads, and sometimes can happen unexpectedly, we decided not to waste another moment.  With chemo still dripping into my veins we began planning our very first trip together!  We immediately called my sister and told her she would need to book a flight to Atlanta – we were planning a Girls’ Weekend at the beach! 

It was on this trip that I fully understood the importance of spending uninterrupted quality time with my best friend and sister, who lives across the country.  We decided we’d make this an annual adventure since the memories made together were simply priceless!

Sandy and I continued to find simple ways to enjoy our daily lives, even while going through the cancer crap!  Going out to lunch with friends after chemotherapy and attending Friday matinees after radiation treatments happily replaced organizing my closets and cleaning my kitchen!

Last October we attending our first Breast Cancer Awareness “Ladies Night Out” benefit (sponsored by Eastside Medical Center and Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia - RCOG).   We had a blast celebrating with several other survivors and supporters that we decided to add the event to our list of friendship traditions!  

This year’s “Ladies Night Out” was being held at Radiotherapy Clinics of Ga – Snellville facility – the same clinic that administered my thirty-three rounds of radiation!  A week before the event Ms. Beverly, from RCOG, called and asked me for a small favor, “Cheryl, would you be willing to be the guest speaker for our event – simply share a piece of your story?”

WOW! What an honor! I was being given my very first opportunity to stand and deliver a live testimonial speech to an actual audience!  I hadn’t held a microphone in front of a crowd since the last time I sang karaoke – and all I had to do was follow the words on the screen! (And, yes, I sang for entertainment purposes only).

This was definitely going to be an adventure! Regardless of the preparation and practice I put forth for this speech, there was no guarantee how words would unfold in real time.  I figured as long as Sandy was there by my side, everything would be JUST fine – and if not – we would boost our immune systems from laughing hysterically, together, as usual! 

I’d love to share with you the message delivered that evening.  Rather than to transcribe my speech we thought we’d invite you to watch it via YouTube!  After all, it is better to hear a speech than it is to read one! And, if you’re still unsure why women love “Ladies Night Out” evenings, the video will answer this question in the first 30 seconds! 

YouTube:  Breast Cancer Ladies Night Out Speech “What Was She Thinking?”

Cheryl Copeland is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about life’s lessons and her personal adventure with breast cancer.