Fighting Like a Girl!

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.

Be empowered.

If you don’t fight for your own health, who will?