Some of your friends may have found breast cancer so frightening that being around you scared them. Er, well it IS frightening. That’s why. Contagious cancer? That’s what it feels like.
They can’t deal with my feelings, my emotions. The reality of breast cancer is too real for them. I am encouraged to ‘say what’s on my mind’ and then what? My friends disappear. It’s all too scary for them. How do you think it feels for me then?
And really, the reason for my illness is to ‘teach the rest of us what is truly important’. Come on! That’s ridiculous.
I want to end breast cancer forever! Yes I really do. I’d raise as much money as I could if it would make any difference. But it won’t.
Awareness? How much more pink, how many more billions of dollars are the public expect to donate before they realise that nothing is changing.
THE FIGHT AGAINST BREAST CANCER is not working. Truth.
Who is in control here?
So the advice here is that I’m to ‘be honest and direct with family and friends’… but what if they don’t want to hear my truths? What then? What if they don’t want to know?
I want to talk about how bad I feel, I want them to know that too. I want to talk about fear, about how scared I am, about how I wake in the night and worry about recurrence, about dying. But do they want to hear my fears?
We acknowledge that breast cancer can be a ‘roller coaster of emotions’ – but what do I do with those emotions?
Because in breast cancer culture the concept of telling the truth….. seems like it’s a novel idea!
‘I never realized I what a fighter I was until it happened to me.’ Gawd. I hate all that stuff about fighting. I didn’t fight – I’m a lover not a fighter – you can keep your war to yourself. I never considered that I was ‘fighting cancer from head to toe’ – in fact, just how would you do that?
And all that crap about ‘boldly marching forward’…. I mean, really? You have metastatic breast cancer, so you will ‘concede’ to statistics. You will die.
I have friends who died of breast cancer. To say ‘my cancer was a detour… not a death sentence’ denies their experience of breast cancer. Some of us will die. Let’s be very clear about that.
It’s chronic all right. You’re in treatment until you die.
Sounds grim doesn’t it. It is grim. You get diagnosed with a recurrence, this time it’s metastatic, you start treatment. Treatment never ends. You die.
‘Managing’ the cancer as a ‘long-term’ condition? You mean, putting off death right?
That’s 41,000 women who die every year in the USA. Of breast cancer. That’s pretty chronic.
When you have a life threatening disease, and the treatment for it has a high fail rate… is life or death really your choice? I mean, is it the patient’s decision to stay alive? No, it’s whether the treatment works or not.
And no treatment for breast cancer come with any guarantees.
Which is pretty sobering.
‘As you may know, being diagnosed with breast cancer is a life-changing experience.’
As I may know? Are you serious? Yes, I may know that breast cancer is a life-changing experience. Thank you so much for reminding me of what I may know.
And of course, ‘sometimes getting back to normal isn’t so easy’.
Good one. Let’s have a pink parade to share the news!