Every year I write about breast cancer here in this blog site. This year has been different. I changed career directions. I started a wonderful new breast cancer blog that you can go to right over there on the right side of this blog, and I have a matching Facebook page that is drawing attention. If you are on Facebook my page is http://www.facebook.com/afterbreastcancerrevivingsurvivingthriving
My goals have changed. I don’t want to be a Komen, or a breastcancer.org or whatever else is out there. I won the cruise this year and realized I like being known as a spiritual guide to coming back to thriving after breast cancer. After all I did it, my disease is over 18 years ago. I have been in good health for a long time now, and I have hooked up with some really good people. One such person is Beverly Vote, editor of “Breast Cancer Wellness” magazine. She did an incredible interview about me and my breast cancer, and we are teaming up on new projects for 2012.
At 18 years it is easy to become cavalier about having had breast cancer, but I am always brought back to earth with this question; “Do I, or did I, have breast cancer?”
I can’t answer, all it takes is one rogue cell to break loose and create havoc in my body.
However there have been times when I actually have gone a long time not thinking about it. This year in particular it is haunting me. My own mammogram was not routine. I needed deeper films. Nothing scares the shit out of a survivor/thriver more than hearing the words “we need additional views”.
October arrived and I did not write about breast cancer like I usually do. Then yesterday came the news I have been dreading. Someone in a special group I belong to on Facebook announced to us all that she has to go on hospice. Her breast cancer is raging through her body, lodged mostly in her liver. She is leaving an 11 year old son and a husband who feel helpless. She wrote she feels guilty about dying and leaving them.
Today I learn about another friend who has mets to her pleural lining and her bones.
Tonight I learn that our local ABC health care provider who did a story on me when H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center opened the doors of their women’s center has breast cancer and is having a double mastectomy and immediate reconstruction.
I want to scream and fall to my knees just like 18 years ago. It is like hearing the news all over again. We have made progress over the years, but progress goes to Hell when you don’t have your annual mammogram. You have to be proactive and you have to be brave because my friend who is dying should not be dying. Do you get it? Breast cancer still kills – don’t be fooled by all the women walking around post-diagnosis – breast cancer still kills. While I embrace all their survivorship – it still kills. Sorry if that upsets anyone, or if it makes you sad, scared. How sad and scared are those you could leave behind?
As the Nike ad says “Just Do It”