I'm tired. Sick and tired, in fact, of the blame game when it comes to breast cancer. Society's message goes something like this: if you are unlucky enough to get breast cancer, it's your fault. If you triumph heroically over the disease, however, you've done something right to combat it. In particular, the message … Continue reading the story "Breast Cancer and the Blame Game"
Post Archives from the ‘Cancer’ Category
A few years ago, on TV there was a teaser for a sitcom. The scene involved a teenage boy and girl in an embrace, while a knuckleheaded parent walked in on them.The teenage boy's pathetic defense for being caught with his girlfriend was an "innocent" blurt-out, "I'm just giving her a breast exam!" The underlying implication was, of course, that he was checking her … Continue reading the story "Sexualizing Breast Cancer"
"You just have to get over it." "You need to get beyond this thing." "You should move on." These are just some of the well-meaning comments that well-meaning people have told me over the years. … Continue reading the story "Getting Over ‘It’"
Beneath an externally beautiful bathroom lurked this -- decomposing wood, mold, and rotting plaster. Pretty ugly, huh?
Well so is cancer.
First a caveat: I do feel positively about cancer public awareness campaigns and events. In fact, I've … Continue reading the story "Cancer is Ugly"
Four years ago today, December 1, 2006, I was undergoing a 10-hour preventive double mastectomy with reconstruction. I am choosing this special anniversary to share a gem I recently discovered, a cancer recovery boutique for women undergoing cancer … Continue reading the story "An Empowering Cancer Recovery Boutique"
I am one of the lucky people. I got to beat cancer. Or did I? Survivors like me are besieged by mind games. If mind games were an Olympic sport, I'd certainly sport the gold medal. When I go for my "routine" physicals, my panic can spike astronomically. My ears are programmed to hear the word "cancer," so when the news mentions … Continue reading the story "Mind Games"
As a breast cancer survivor, I want to usher in Breast Cancer Awareness month by noting what I have to be grateful for. A recent TV commercial features two musicians playing instruments and singing “Happy Birthday to You.” Afterward, a message appears on the screen that many people who have had cancer are still celebrating their birthdays. I’m one of them. Except I have had 365 birthdays per … Continue reading the story "What Being a Breast Cancer Survivor Means"
OK, the verdict is in: my X-ray revealed I have a stress fracture in my foot. I was bracing for this news, so the good thing is that I didn't have a meltdown or an I-feel-sorry-for-me-because-the-chemo-leached-my-bones pity party. I took it in stride, even though I take careful strides these days. But, even with something as straightforward as a stress fracture, there … Continue reading the story "Cracked"
As I write this, a very good friend is battling Leukemia. We communicate regularly, and I have visited her between her hospital visits at a time when she was feeling pretty decent. I call her occasionally when she's living at the hospital for five weeks at a time getting chemotherapy and every other therapy imaginable.I cannot bear the possibility … Continue reading the story "How to Treat a Person Treated by Illness"
I am a cancer survivor. Society and my doctors consider me a success story.But the mental battle of survivorship is a lifelong sentence. I experience triggers as the "new normal" in my life. Any ache or pain, more often than not, triggers fear that the cancer has returned or has never gone away in the first place. A … Continue reading the story "Trigger Happy"