I'll be the first to tell you, if you need to be told before noticing, that I was blessed with the good genes in the tatas department. I might also mention to you that it's actually a big pain in the ass at times. They are a nuisance and get in the way. And I'm not going to lie, I have wished them away on numerous occasions. However, I am reminded this month that there are too many humans who have not wished them away and yet somehow they win the gift of a chemo party and an unexpected boob job or they brush doom when they think they might have it. And we can't forget their families who face the terror, sadness and utter fear that always accompanies that bitch named cancer. I decided it was time for a hashtag revolution so if you are reading this post, please take a moment to rock the pink and snap a photo with the tag #wefight4pink. Anyone who posts on Instagram will be included in a fun contest for the most creative.
So, let's talk about fighting. I asked my friends and family to share some thoughts on a life changing moment that they had with someone they knew or with themselves regarding breast cancer. Grab a tissue, these are beautiful and heart-felt. Thank you to those who sent them in. I applaud all of you for bearing your soul.
A: "I haven't told a lot of people about my own experience...was just screened for breast cancer. Turns out its just a cyst. However, I was an emotional wreck for several days, since I had to wait over a long weekend to find out the results.
Have lost a grandmother to breast cancer (hers spread to her liver as well) and have watched my mom and other grandmother brave the battle, manage the side effects of chemo/radiation and remain in remission. So glad you are doing a post about this."
C: “I accompanied a woman to a lumpectomy. She was in her early thirties and pretty alone in the world. She needed someone to help her face it and to care for her after the same-day surgery. Once at home late that night, she was in a lot of physical pain. I wrapped her chest tightly in a huge makeshift ace-type bandage to help relieve her physical suffering. I hope I never have to go through that. The good news for her was that the tumor was benign. Another woman, who I love very much, but from whom I was too far physically to be of any direct service, went through the same procedure only to learn that her tumor was malignant. Knowing there’s a lump, and not knowing what the news will be when you wake up, is some of the worst anxiety there is. Hearing good news in those first waking moments is like being given a second chance at life. Hearing bad news feels like a death sentence.”
M: "After my grandmother died and my mother was undergoing the treatment for the 2nd cancer, she told me that she was going to proudly be her age because she fought damn hard to get there. Never be afraid to get older she told me, many people don't get the chance."
J: "Nothing life changing, but just remember that men can get breast cancer too. P's dad had it a few years ago."
K. L.: "Not life changing as mortifying. My grandmother had a mastectomy and she had Alzheimer's. So one morning at the breakfast table she lifted her shirt to ask what the bandages were for. Seeing grandma's one breast during breakfast was quite horrific."
A: "My mom died of breast cancer and something my brother said really helped me. He said that mom was not defined by her cancer and she wouldn't want us to dwell on it. However, she used the cancer to teach our family about service in a real hands-on way. Mom stopped being able to drive or do several things for herself as the cancer progressed. As a result, we, as her family, learned more about service through necessary, daily acts due to her condition in a more hands-on way than she ever could have taught us otherwise (short of another disease)."
I had the great opportunity to hear the founder of Happy Chemo speak at a women's luncheon here in Utah. Wow! She's an incredible woman and has created an alliance of awareness and support for cancer patients across the world. I highly encourage you to take a peek at their website ---here---
In closing I hope we will all remember this quote from the lovely Eleanor Roosevelt.
The moral of the story: when life hands you lemons, an unexpected boob job and a chemo party, take courage and fight. Fight like hell.
Until next time, my lovelies!