Yes They're Fake... My Real Ones Tried to Kill Me!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Real Estate Cafe LLC

Yes They're Fake... My Real Ones Tried to Kill Me!These past couple of months have been tough, really tough.  My tenacious spirit has been stretched beyond limits.  I've been knocked down, defeated, and even depressed at times (which is just not me).  And while I wouldn't invite such troubles into my life, they've managed to slip through an open door without my consent.  My human frailty has risen to the top like cream and it's spilling over into every area of my life.   

Last week, I was on needles and pins.  After my biopsy, it was time to drive back from CA to Oregon for a quiet reprieve.  I've always found comfort in familiarity.  My surroundings provide a sense of peace, and my cushy bed and pillow offer a cozy resting place too.  Southern Oregon has become my retreat and I feel blessed to live in the Pacific Northwest.   

When I arrived home, I had a hankering (I love that word) to visit my favorite boutique in Medford Oregon called Prism.  Not so much for the shopping, but for the friendship exchanged with the gals who work there.  We know each other by name and we've shared a common bond of friendship over the years.  When I walked in the door, they said... 'Mel, where have you been?'  We shared stories and through laughter and small talk, I began to unwind from my 10-hour drive from Cali. 

Then, a young gal entered the store.  She was immediately greeted with the same question... 'Where have you been?'  I knew instantly that she was a regular too.  I eavesdropped a little as she told an all too familiar story...  She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and she just had a radical mastectomy of both breasts.  She said, 'I'm 38 years old and I'm lucky to be alive.'        

I was so touched by her story and her beaming spirit, that I walked up to her and said, 'I don't know you, but I'd like to give you a hug!'  She turned around and embraced me as if I were family and said thank you!  I told her how impressed I was with her courage and positive attitude and that I would be praying for her as she continued to go through the grueling process of reconstruction.  Then her parting words really kicked things up a notch.  She said she's become a cancer survivor warrior and she's in the process of getting a t-shirt that says... Yes They're Fake... My Real Ones Tried to Kill Me!   We laughed hysterically! 

Human frailty has a funny way of stretching us beyond our limits and teaching us how to relate to others in the midst of crisis.  Hugs and laughter can go a long way in healing the mind, body and spirit.  Perhaps that was my needles and pins lesson.  Today, my Doctor called and said my tumors are benign.  I'm feeling pretty damn lucky too!


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David O'Doherty
Raleigh Realty Inc - Clayton, NC
Clayton NC Homes, Raleigh, NC

Mel, all the best, great line, I hope I don't see too many shirts like that! Cancer is a curse! I know so many people fighting it none more so than my Mom, her third battle with it.

Mar 27, 2012 05:26 AM #103
Bryan Robertson
Intero Real Estate - Los Altos, CA
Broker, Author, Speaker

I'm very glad the prognosis is benign and that you don't have to go the difficult route of mastectomy.  I think your attitude is incredibly positive and you're an inspiration for any woman dealing with the issue.  Stay strong!

Mar 27, 2012 05:50 AM #104
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

~I lost dear friends and family to cancer, it affects all....Remember one foot after the other is the only way to walk..

I would just add, focus on the positive stuff, if you look hard enough positive is right around the corner!


@ don't forget you're great!

Mar 27, 2012 06:03 AM #105
Debbie Nachman


I saw on your blog that the tumors are benign! Awesome and thank God! I just love your spirit through all of this are seriously one kick ass kind of woman.

All the best and look forward to seeing you soon


Mar 27, 2012 06:53 AM #106
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Hey sweetie, I am so relieved to hear the news. You KNOW you have been in my thoughts and prayers. Hurray.

Isn't the human spirt awesome - I love that woman's attitude - and her t-shirt.

We just had a scare with my daughter - emergency surgery for an ovarian cyst - non cancerous. And most recently, she was back the ER with a complication.  Yikes, all is fine now.

It makes me so grateful when everyone I love is happy and healthy. ( And that goes for you too!)

Mar 27, 2012 07:55 AM #107
Melinda (Mel) Peterson
Real Estate Cafe LLC - Bend, OR
Curator of Happy Endings

Thanks Alexandra!  I'm almost at a loss for words too for all of the kind and tender thoughts expressed here.

Those catchy titles have a way of reeling ya in... Bill ;)

I hear ya Dave... the 'C' word should be registered as a naughty word!

Too cute Bryan... I don't expect to acquire anything fake in the near future ;)

I don't have to look to far Jon... there's beauty all around me... and sometimes I forget!  ;)))

Hey my cool chicky friend (Debbie)... I'm so glad you're watching over me!  Thanks for the kick ass kudos... you know I luv ya!

Hey Deb ~ I'm so glad you got to visit Alaska... looked absolutely beautiful!  Things are good on the home-front and I'm on the mend.  Wow... about your daughter.  I hope she's okay!  Thanks for your thoughts and prayers... can't wait to see you girls. 

Mar 27, 2012 01:12 PM #108
Curtis Van Carter
Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group - Yountville, CA
Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire


Just checking in to see how you are doing and something to help cheer you up, cvc

from Steve Peters in an earlier AR post

The Husband Store
A store that sells new husbands has opened in New York City , where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates:

You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are six floors and the value of the products increase as the shopper ascends the flights. The shopper may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!

So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband. On the first floor the sign on the door reads:

Floor 1 - These men Have Jobs. She is intrigued, but continues to the second floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 2 - These men Have Jobs and Love Kids. 'That's nice,' she thinks, 'but I want more.' So she continues upward. The third floor sign reads:

Floor 3 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, and are Extremely Good Looking. 'Wow,' she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going. She goes to the fourth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 4 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and Help With Housework. 'Oh, mercy me!' she ex claims, 'I can hardly stand it!' Still, she goes to the fifth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 5 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, Help with Housework, and Have a Strong Romantic Streak. She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 6 - You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.

PLEASE NOTE: To avoid gender bias charges, the store's owner opened a New Wives store just across the street.

The first floor has wives that love sex.

The second floor has wives that love sex, have money and like beer.

The third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors have never been visited.


Mar 28, 2012 05:20 AM #109
Melinda (Mel) Peterson
Real Estate Cafe LLC - Bend, OR
Curator of Happy Endings

OMG... Curtis... that was hilarious and made laugh out loud!  Thanks for stopping by to check in on me... I'm feeling better ;)))

Mar 28, 2012 05:28 AM #110
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Mel, I'm happy that you're diagnosis came back the way it did. I'm also really happy that you "get it." People are strange beings and you're one of the special ones!

Mar 28, 2012 12:08 PM #111
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Oh my Gawd, Mel,I just got goosebumps!!  What FABULOUS NEWS!!  I'm so glad you got featured (and not just for your boobs!)

Ha! Love ya, missy--okay we HAVE to dish on the phone, SOOOOOOONNNNN, (put down those celebratory cupcakes).


Mar 28, 2012 12:56 PM #112
Larry Lawfer
YourStories Realty Group - Newton, MA
"I listen for a living." It's all about you.

Great story Mel.  My mom survived breast cancer and colon cancer twice over a period of 12 years. What killed her was the liver cancer because she couldn't adjust to being a survivor rather than a victim.  She drank to numb the fear rather than facing it.  Your survivor story exemplifies how we should feel when we overcome adversity, but it also shows that we are human and we can control how we feel about what life shares with us.  Thank you for your stories Mel.

Mar 28, 2012 11:28 PM #113
Curtis Van Carter
Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group - Yountville, CA
Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire


That's great news, here is another wish, cheers cvc

Mar 29, 2012 04:52 AM #114
Melinda (Mel) Peterson
Real Estate Cafe LLC - Bend, OR
Curator of Happy Endings

Thanks Eric!  I do 'get' it... regarding your post... I've learned not to expend too much energy on people who piss in your cheerios... it's just not worth it.  I enjoyed your post and hope you're having a better week!

My cupcake days are over for now Gayle... I'm doing a macrobiotic diet and no sugar for awhile.  We'll see how long I can resist chocolate ;)  Let's chat soon!

Oh Larry, that is a heart-breaking story about your Mom.  My mother suffered from MS for most of my life and she died too young (55), but she provided me with the best lessons in being a 'survivor' and I cherish them everyday!  I wish I could tell her how much I learned from her... maybe one day ;)))

Ahhh, thanks Curtis.  It's sunshine and rainbows from here on out ;)

Mar 31, 2012 02:15 PM #115
Peter Michelbach
International, IT
i Sell Real Estate

Mel ~~~

I spurted quickly to my German - English dictionary to check 100 % on the world benign...such heart touching news, happy ending, the world and beyond  is yours! You crossed the Rubicon!!! Be well.

Mar 31, 2012 10:53 PM #116
Melinda (Mel) Peterson
Real Estate Cafe LLC - Bend, OR
Curator of Happy Endings

Peter ~ Benign... also means Blessing... in the Mel Peterson dictionary ;)

Thanks for stopping by John... I'm glad you enjoyed the story ;)

Apr 02, 2012 08:49 AM #118
John Fauth
Coldwell Banker King Thompson - Grove City, OH
Turning your dreams into an address!

The power of the human spirit never ceases to amaze me. Strength can come from the most unexpected places. This was a great story and I would have never guessed the true story behind the title.  Uplifting to say the least.

Apr 02, 2012 08:50 AM #119
Jennifer Burgett

My friend is fixing to have a double mastectomy and she has found inspriration in the shirt "You're damn right their fake......The real ones tried to kill me" I must get her one. Please tell me how.

Thank You,

Jennifer Burgett

Jan 15, 2013 09:24 AM #120
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

We had an agent in our office with breast cancer and I have a dear friend that just suffered a double mastectomy.  This was a great post

Mar 03, 2014 11:16 AM #148
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

Mel ~ I have seen these t-shirts and read a story similar to this one.  True grit!

Mar 03, 2014 01:09 PM #149
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Los Angeles CA

How are you doing Mel these days?

I hope, you are well after all you went through.

Apr 27, 2015 04:37 PM #150
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Melinda (Mel) Peterson

Curator of Happy Endings
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