So, on this the last day of “Breast Cancer Awareness Month“, I wanted to DO something more than just show my support by purchasing everything I could think of in pink and pray for my friends that are currently fighting this dread disease.
Having had my own small scare with Breast Cancer a few months ago, when a mass was found in my breast, I have spent some time thinking about what I would choose to do if I ever received a positive cancer diagnosis. After all, being the oldest of 4 girls, the daughter of 1 of 3 girls, and having 2 daughters of my own, statistically speaking, chances are pretty good that I will deal with this disease sometime in my lifetime, first-hand.
It struck me how quickly things seemed to unfold from the time my mammogram was “suspicious” to when I finally received an “all clear” for another 12 months – it was like a surreal carnival ride that I didn’t even know I had agreed to ride. I was thrust into a world where there were pink ribbons EVERYWHERE, inspirational quotes as if I was going into some kind of ring with a formidable opponent, and lots and lots of paperwork…complete with discussions about “living wills” and power of attorney…
And all the while, I got the impression that it was up to me: How tough was I?, How hard could I fight?…
Yet, I didn’t really get the impression that anyone expected me to be ultimately successful.
I was inundated with sayings like ”Fight Like a Girl!”, but I had to wonder if it really was a fair fight.
We are told that October is all about Awareness, but are we really made any more aware…
So, I decided that if I was, more than likely, going to have to face this issue head-on, either now or in the future, I should “Fight Like a Girl” and educate myself.
How to deal with issues as serious as Cancer is a personal choice, but I just made up my mind that I was not going to go into this new world of middle-aged battles without it truly being a fair fight.
That’s how I choose to fight like a girl.
Here’s some of what I’ve learned…just a small portion, actually, but in honor of Awareness, I couldn’t let October end without at least bringing another side of the story to the table:
(From Cancer to the Ironman):
“Sitting in the doctor’s office awaiting the results of a breast biopsy, I was positive that this was going to be just a little blip in the road of life, that there was no way it could be cancer. I was a runner for 14 years, had even run marathons, and ate what I thought was a good diet, you know, chicken and fish, low-fat dairy, all the “good proteins.” I was the healthiest, fittest person I knew, in fact.
So when the diagnosis came back with metastatic cancer, I was shocked, stunned, and devastated! Then the denial set in. There must have been some mistake, so I got a second opinion, but same cancerous result. A third, fourth, and even a fifth, were no different — I was now a cancer patient.” (Excerpt from, “From Cancer to the Ironman” - Ruth Heidrich, Ph.D., one of the star patients in the movie Forks Over Knives)
We are resourceful and strong, we women, and it is correct that we should declare: I Will Fight Like a Girl!
Let’s just make sure, for our own sake and for the sake of generations to come, that the fight is fair.
If you don’t fight for your own health, who will?