Living my lifePosted: September 30, 2011 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Houston, life after breast cancer, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, pinkwashing, Race for the Cure, Susan G Komen, Sweetwater Country Club 9 Comments
I’ve been quite busy the last few days living my life.
I’m going to say that again — living my life. Those are 3 beautiful little words to someone dealing with cancer. Past or present, once you’ve tangled with the beast, the idea of living, i.e., surviving, is sweet. The idea of living your life, even sweeter because it means that in some way, you are getting back a semblance of the pre-cancer life.
It’s almost October, which brings a multitude of conflicting emotions and thoughts. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is confusing for me, and for many other cancerchicks. On one hand, I’m grateful to Komen for destigmatizing what once was a shameful disease. I’m thankful for the research and the advances that have been made, which allow women like me to deal with BC much more easily than my pink ribbon sisters before me. On the other hand, I’m uncomfortable with all the pinkwashing that occurs. At what point can we declare enough with the awareness? Is there really anyone who’s not aware that BC exists and rips people’s lives apart to the tune of 1.3 million worldwide every year? More on that later.
While I’m torn about the Komen issue, I decided last-minute to do the Race for the Cure, which is tomorrow. The Houston version of the race usually attracts nearly 40,000 people so it’s a big deal, literally. I’ll be among the sea of pink tomorrow morning, wishing that the organization putting on the race would focus more on research and metastatic disease and less on putting a pink ribbon on products from fried chicken to dog treats to toilet paper. I’ll proudly wear my hot pink SURVIVOR shirt, basking in the glow of having made it through the plethora of crap cancer threw at me, but I’ll also mourn those who didn’t make it through.
But that’s tomorrow. Today I’m going to be kicking some butt on the tennis court. It’s the annual member-guest tournament at our club, and Christy and I plan to dominate. She’s a fierce competitor who wants to bring home the hardware. Me too, but I’m also happy to be living my life.
I’m just happy to be playing with you, my friend. Oh, and if we kick butt…that would be an extra bonus 🙂
Rip it up today, girls!
Living your life is the best medicine of all. But kicking some butt Puts the icing on the cake. Good luck in the tennis court and in the race. See you soon. Love Elizabeth ( trying the name on for size with people who call me Bettyanne) How does it fit for you?
Can I say two things for Komen?
1) It has the most informative website for someone who has been diagnosed. What I especially like was their willingness to link to actual studies and data instead of just telling you to ‘ask your doctor’ about the statistics. It still isn’t quite as useful in that regard as, say, Cancer Math: http://www.lifemath.net/cancer/breastcancer/outcome/index.php but overall it’s great source of information.
2) It gives at least $500k per year to our favorite charity for breast cancer, The Rose: http://www.the-rose.org/MajorDonors.html
Live it up my friend!
“Living your life!” That phrase is even more poignant when you’ve had cancer, isn’t it? Like you, I have a mixed bag of unresolved feelings about Komen. My gratitude to this organization for raising breast cancer awareness and giving money to research overfloweth, but like many of our blogging community, I would like more transparency and a sense that Komen is not just hell bent on fundraising, no matter what.
I did the Komen Race in Houston last year. If I’d known you were going to participate, I would have arranged to come and do it with you. Have a great day!
Have fun on the tennis court, and in the game of life. And beware of the pink brigade!
Living your life sounds pretty healthy and fantastic. Have fun at the race!
Yes, yes, yes!!! I ran across this blog a few months ago. I love the way you very eloquently write about issues like the one in this post. It isn’t a “gift”, it isn’t “fate” and it most definitely isn’t because you have “unresolved issues” I was told this by hair stylist when getting my hair cut for the first time after losing it to chemo. Pissed me off!!! “That’s like blaming the victim” I remember saying…and “what about children? It’s one of the leading causes of death for children in the US…what are their “unresolved issues”? He couldn’t think of much to say after that. Needless to say, I did not go back.
I see from your most recent posts that you’re beyond the awful nightmare of your surgeries and subsequent infections. I’m glad for that. It really sounds like you went through hell and back.
I’ve been on the fence about having restorative surgery for a number of reasons…am finally considering it again after finding a surgeon in my hometown who offers diep. Yes, I’ve done my research and I feel as comfortable as I ever will, he’s working closely with another surgeon who’s performed many DIEP procedures. Previously I would have had to go out of state. I still feel very ambivalent about it which is hard to talk about unless it’s with someone who’s been through it.
Anyway, all a bit much from a complete stranger…just wanted you to know your posts have been very appreciated.