Friday, May 2, 2008

Prayers for Robyn

Dear prayer posse out there,

Please pray for Robyn Few. I met Robyn in the Bay Area when she was founding SWOP-USA, the Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA, of which she has been a brave and feisty leader. I have just heard that Robyn is in hospital at San Francisco General and has just been diagnosed with B Cell Lymphoma, a non-Hodgkin's disease. It is, Robyn writes, "a very aggressive form of cancer and grows quickly which makes it more vulnerable to treatment."

The physicians are saying Robyn will be on chemotherapy "for at least 4 to 6 months or possibly 1-2 years ( if I can stand it. )." If Robyn is all right after this first stay in the hospital, she will be able to go home on or around Tuesday and rest up till her next round of chemotherapy. The chemo treatment is every 21 days.

As Kirstin has so movingly noted about her own experience and as Caminante often reports about the people for whom she so lovingly cares as a pastor, every cancer story is different. Robin writes about what is helpful to her right now. "We know everybody has a story about cancer but for now if they'd just keep the stories to themselves, we'd truly appreciate it." She does have a good support system in San Francisco. On the aesthetic front, she reports that her hairdresser is going to visit this weekend and shave her head and that when she gets through the first bout of chemo and feels better, she will write again and send pictures.

Carol Leigh, a good friend of Robyn's, intervened to get her to the hospital and the doctors say she saved Robyn's life.

Robyn is sad that she will miss attending the Barcelona International Harm Reduction Conference, which she was going to attend this month. In honor of her work, have a look at the link. (What is Harm Reduction? See here.)

Please pray for Robyn, for strength, for healing, for endurance. Pray for her advocacy work on behalf of sex workers. And pray for all those whom we stigmatize because of their occupation, their sexual practices, their drug use, or their health status, and for all those who stigmatize them and see them as less than human and unworthy of love -- and pray in thanksgiving for Jesus, who never hesitated to have dinner with the sex workers of his day.

(And I am still kicking myself for forgetting to post last December about the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.)

I commit myself to praying daily for Robyn, and I just wrote her telling her I was enlisting my prayer posse. Thanks, friends!

Photo: Thor Swift for New York Times


johnieb said...

Prayers for Ms. Few, Ms. Leigh, and all those who are distressed, and for those who care for them.

A moving post, Jane: "Truly I see Godde shows no partiality,".

pj said...

Prayers for Robyn. (I won't write a silly one here like I did up above; I'll just add her to the distressingly long list of people I'm praying for in my own weird way. Too much with the cancer, already!)

Paul said...

Prayers for Robyn beginning now on my end.

Caminante said...

Prayers for Robyn... yet another one joins the 'cancer sucks' crowd. (I've decided that, even as a priest, there is no really elegant way to state the obvious.)