I wanted to welcome everyone to my month, or as I can be found saying these days, "Happy Breast Cancer Awareness Month." I say this tongue in cheek,or course, as I am a breast cancer 'survivor' and I don't think there's anything happy about that.
But I do think it's amazing, and I am grateful, and yes I suppose happy, that there is such a national spotlight on this ridiculous disease. I hate breast cancer. It changed everything I knew and loved about my life and completely flipped me upside down. For many long months I endured body-exhausting treatments that have left a mark on me to this day. I have no breasts but I sport three mini-tattoos where the radiation was mapped on scarred chest and bad gums and a tendency to say "cucumbers" when I mean "jellybeans." Thank you, chemotherapy.
But the good news is that I am surrounded by a sisterhood: 1 in 8 women in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer each year. That means your mother or your sister or your daughter or your girlfriend, your aunt cousin, niece, we are all susceptible. And at the very least one of them will know someone with cancer, and I hope that knowledge for them-- or you-- is never intimate.
But we are strong. We are fighters. We are winners. And even when we lose our fight, our message, our courage and our spirts live on. I truly believe that. I have to, it's the way I live my life now. I will not be forgotten, especially since I still get to be here. I still get my life. And I am honor bound to all those who didn't survive their fights to live that life to the fullest.
So here's to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a month I love to hate, but a month I am so very grateful for. To all of you who care about this month, who see the pink ribbon--on soup cans and clothing labels and bottles of lotion and everywhere else--know that this ribbon is more than an ubiquitous marketing symbol this month; it has a face. It has many faces. It has too many faces. Mine is one of them.
If you do anything about that pink ribbon this month, whether it's buying that lotion, or choosing the breast cancer stamp at the post office--or if you walk or run or bike or fish in the name of someone you love who's had breast cancer. Or whatever other way you may choose, including just sending out some strength and love to we-of-the-traveling-wristbands, then I send this blog out to you.
And I thank you.