Have you ever had a deadly disease? I and approximately millions more have had cancer and other equally, if not worse, diseases and maladies that could or would kill you. Not just the illness but the treatments thereof, that will leave you broken, maimed or simply dead. Since being diagnosed in March 2013, I have lived through 2 Pink-tobers that have left me with my head shaking in disgust as I watch every retail outlet sell pink crap that supposedly raises awareness for the disease. I have heard people say to me, oh you at least got the good cancer.
First of all, is there really a good cancer? Who decided this? was is Satan? It is now December 2014 and I am here to tell you that there is nothing good about this disease. I have lost both breasts, gone through the seventh circle of hell known as chemotherapy, had painful tissue expanders implanted in my chest area for 1 year only to have them replaced with what are now my painful silicone lumps. These “breasts” or as I call them, Beasts, are sitting where I used to have actual body parts and the best thing I can say is they look damn good in a shirt. Uncover them and what you find are 2 mummified baby heads with stem to stern scars across each. I am not in a relationship now and have not been for about 4 years. I can’t even imagine showing these sad bumps to any man ever.
Then there is the issue of October being breast cancer awareness month. I am appalled that folks think by purchasing a pink t-shirt and ball cap, or a pink keychain or any other manner of pink garbage, that they somehow feel the disease is being handled, maybe even cured. When you make a donation to any organized charity, you are empowering and financially supporting a group of suits to have a job. Which, by the way, I was fired from my job because of cancer. Thank goodness the Pink-tober employees will still get a paycheck. Here’s what my former employer told me as he fired me, after I fought tooth and nail to show up for my job while still feeling death in my veins: ‘I can’t be sure you won’t get sick again’ along with ‘ I have lost confidence in your ability to do your job’. What? you mean when I was bald as an eagle and gray skinned and had lost my finger and toenails and had thrush in my face and throat for eight months and unable to concentrate on anything for more than a minute due to the chemo eating my body and brain, this has made you worry for your landscaping business?? If you asked anyone who knows him he would be described as the salt of the earth….
Finally there comes a point when, for the most part, you have lived through your disease, your hair is grown in somewhat, no longer going to multiple doctors visits per week, no more surgeries on the docket, that everyone is ready for you to be well. Oh so very well. They don’t seem to want to talk to me in fear that I’ll bring up that now boring topic of how I really feel. Everything is better now, right? they ask hopefully and with shining, fearful eyes. They don’t want to hear the answer. Even my own family members will not say to me, how are you? They, along with everyone else has had enough of it already and I have developed several pat answers so as not to make anyone uncomfortable.
It’s not like I want to talk about feeling unwell or the fact that I can hold my upper body upright for only a couple of hours at a time before I need to retreat to my hidey hole and sit with 4 pillows supporting me. Quite often, I have nothing at all to say to anyone. Then there is that little voice in my head at 4am that says, maybe the cancer has returned. I have been assured that if any issues arise in my tissues, I will be a stage 4 metastasized mess with no treatment plan on any horizon. Having the triple negative kind of BC limits any future options for me personally.
Finally, I can say that I survived cancer…for now. I can say I have boobs…but they are problematic. I can get another job eventually….but do I tell them about my situation. I can hang out with friends….as long as I say I feel great. So I live my life quietly, I don’t make too many plans because I don’t know if I will feel well enough to do them when they roll around. I don’t know what the future holds for me which helps me to feel like everyone else on the planet…so I live day to day to day trying to pay my bills on unemployment income. I plan my days so I can go home to my comfy spot as soon as I need to. And I don’t ask anyone how they are doing just so they might not ask me the same question. I know nobody wants to hear my real answer anyway.