Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My Ode to Pinktober

Breast cancer is not just a disease that strikes at women. It strikes at the very heart of who we are as women: how others perceive us, how we perceive ourselves, how we live, work and raise our families-or whether we do these things at all. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

This entry was inspired by an article I read in the Daily Mail (yes i know some of you will disown me as a friend with that admission!) this week about an upcoming Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign to mark the month of October. October is of course breast cancer month where pink is literally everywhere. Being a breast cancer survivor myself, I flicked through the glossy heavily airbrushed photos of celebrities posing in scenarios that had literally zero connection to breast cancer. If anything it made me feel worse looking at their perfect bodies and pert breasts and than thinking back to myself and my mangled body. Now I am of course totally up for raising money and awareness of this horrific disease that affects far too many, but sometimes I think we lose sight of what it really means. It isn’t about t-shirts with slogans like “Breast cancer sucks” or putting a pink ribbon on every product around – it is about the people fighting and remembering those who have lost their fight. It is about making women take charge of their health and of increasing funding in the hopes of finding a cure.  I was inspired to write my own ode to Breast Cancer Awareness month and highlight some of my own experiences and some of others that I have been fortunate enough to meet and know through this experience. This is the real face of the disease – the raw, flawed and painful side that somehow has a beauty and grace to it all at the same time.

She is the woman who when faced with those three words thinks immediately not of herself but of her family who need her so.
She is the woman who crinkles up her eyes tight to stop the tears from flowing so she can shelter her child from seeing any of her pain.
She is the woman who puts her unborn baby’s life first over her own.
She is the woman who hides two long red scars, marking her long journey to hell and back, beneath her clothes .
She is the woman who still manages to laugh at your jokes and be herself despite the pain she hides - so much so that you forget that she is even sick.
She is the woman who longs for the gift of a child or even the chance of having another but must chose survival over fulfilling that dream.
She is the woman who acts as if nothing has changed or that nothing is wrong and remains  the person you know and love.
She is the epitomy of grace and style with or without hair.
She stares down her enemy head on and never once puts down her sword to rest.
She is the woman who is still there for you when things go wrong reminding you that no one’s problems are too small to matter.
She seems like a superhero but like all of us she sometimes just wants to roll up in a ball and cry.
She just wants the chance to grow old and have a face filled with laugh lines and a head full of grey hairs.
She is a sister, a wife, a mother, and a friend.
She is a warrior dressed in pink. 

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