Friday, October 01, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Month....

Yikes --- for someone with breast cancer, it's a long month.

Frankly, I've had two years and 5 months of Breast Cancer Awareness.... the rest of you are only aware of it in October, lucky you...

I'm aware of it every day, in my pjs I'm lop sided -- in my bra, I can feel the breast form... yep, aware.

I look in the mirror and see the thin hair at the front where it will never come back after chemo... yep, aware.

I feel my left thumb -- where there is a little bit of permanent numbness due to chemo... yep, aware.

I have a clean PET scan report on my fridge.... yep, aware.

I have a lovely oncologist and his nurse's number in my phone... yep, aware.

I have annother check up with my oncologist in January... yep, aware.

Go ahead and do all the fundraising stuff you want, please -- if it helps you, do it. Buy stuff with pink ribbons if you really think part of the proceeds go toward helping breast cancer research. Run, walk, crawl sing or do whatever you want to do to ward off the demons of breast cancer...

I contribute in personal -- very personal -- ways. I was part of a drug study to see if the drug worked on non-metastisized breast cancer. I give individual advice to folks in my life who are struggling with it -- I'm kind of the breast cancer spokeswoman in my circle of friends and students - they come to me when they need to understand, when they need to have something helpful to say to someone they are close to. I do this all year long...

It would be easier, much, much easier for me to spend some cash and buy stuff with pink ribbons on it... and, frankly, I'm very glad that most of you don't have the kind of personal experience with the disease that I have.... so you can't contribute like I do.
Honestly, I'm glad there's a great lobby for my disease. I'm glad there's a fantastic marketing campaign for my disease. I've benefitted from those efforts both directly and indirectly -- and I'm grateful -- don't get me wrong... but, the month of October is long and full of breast cancer talk in the media etc.. and it's a constant reminder of my disease -- that it could come back and kill me.


Seeking Solace said...

I don't blame you for feeling the way that you do. You don't need to be more "aware" of something that is around you 24/7/365.

On some of the RA blogs, there is talk of "awareness". I shutter to think of the possibility of a "RA Awareness Month" at the level of "Breast Cancer Awareness" month.

I am glad you are doing well. Here's to continued good health!

Anonymous said...

I imagine it must be like that. And you're so much more than your cancer, so it has to feel quite trying after a point.

phd me said...

Yep, aware. Still trying to manage the tamoxifen side effects. Still adjusting to the loss of control in my life. Very aware.

And once again, the newspapers had pink front pages while I was visiting my parents' last weekend. They don't need any more awareness, either.

So, I'm with you when it comes to all the walks and runs and ribbons and cereal boxes and soup cans for awareness. Do it for you but don't do it for me.