You may get whiplash from this post, because there’s a plot twist in the middle. I’ll try not to give away the ending.
Posted by wendy on 2011/08/16
[Wendy note: I wrote this on the plane ride over, but the shot to the left was taken a few minutes ago with my droid--please note that I have The Pink Eye or, as I see every ailment I have postcancer, "OHMYGODITSEYECANCER!!111!!!eleventy!!" Actually, I think I just need to take a shower and rest my tired eyes a bit, but y'all know how dramatic I can be.]
I’m typing this as I fly 23,000 feet in the air above the fine state of Tennessee—at least I think we’re still over Tennessee—we haven’t been in the air that long.
There is a part of me that feels that it’s wrong to take a trip right now—so much of my life is in flux at the moment. I liken myself to a juggler who has at least four or five balls in the air…and I’ve walked away from all of them, mid-juggle. But, I know that those balls will still be mid-air when I land at Heathrow, and I also know there will be an extra pair of hands to advise me and help me figure out how to stop juggling them all and perhaps lay them in a nice orderly row at my feet. I could use that. He is good for me in so many ways.
Since my diagnosis, there have been moments of absolute, sublime grace for me. I would not trade those moments for anything and I like to look back at how far I’ve come since I found that nasty little lump. I wrote about my first mammogram the other day—but I just discussed the technical aspects of it. What I didn’t mention is the way I felt sitting in the waiting room in my clean white robe listening to the other women chatting casually about their bouts with breast cancer. I was seething with resentment and rage at the time. I hated sitting there with those lovely women, listening to them discuss PET Scans and mammograms. Mastectomies vs. lumpectomies. I did not want to be a member of the cancer club. I still remember that anger I felt towards them for being so casual about the entire thing. What I did not know at the time was that those beautiful, wonderful women were giving me a glimpse into what acceptance and grace can do for you. It took me a while to accept that I had cancer, it took me even longer to reach the point of…see, I want to say that I am grateful, but I don’t think that is quite the word I’m looking for. Well, occasionally, I am grateful. Not for cancer. I mean, seriously—cancer can suck it. But, I am grateful for the clarity I have gained this year. I am grateful for the old relationships that have strengthened and for the new relationships that I have found. For all the hardship in the past year, there has also been some amazing and wonderful things that have come from this ordeal. I am grateful to wake up to wiggly, happy dogs. I am grateful to see my son become more and more the man I hoped he would be. I am grateful to be alive and sitting on this airplane, winging my way to one of the most amazing, generous, loving (and oh, hey sexy!) men I’ve ever known. I am grateful for my life–even the hard and nasty bits. I am grateful to be alive.
I am going to rant a little. Well, I am going to rant a lot. I’ve complained about this before on FB, but I have yet to mention it here and really ‘here’ is where I get to talk about stuff that bugs me at length. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I am no fan of forwarded emails, and copy/paste FB statuses. So, when the two are combined—an email forward that tells me to copy and paste something into my FB status? Urggggh. And, lastly, an email forward that tells me to copy and paste something into my FB status with regards to cancer? Flames on the side of my face, people. I mean, really. Really. [By the way, if you loooove facebook status memes and email forwards…you should probably stop reading now. Go here and do a bit of light reading. It’ll do you some good. –xo]
Here is the thing. Just because I have had cancer, it does not make it okay to send me the ‘cancer’ forwards. In fact, I’m going to take this one step further and say that because I have had cancer, perhaps, you should NEVER, EVER send me a cancer-related email forward again. I hate, HATE, the “put the color of your bra as your status, but don’t tell any males what it means” or that really stupid one that tells you to mysteriously tell us where you like to put your purse. How does this raise awareness, exactly? No, really. Someone needs to explain that to me. And, the Someone who tries to explain this to me should probably make sure they aren’t within my Smack Proximity. Because it really does make my hand all itchy. Cancer is not cute and cancer is not coy. Teasing the boys with sexual innuendo on FB about our [Super Secret and Sexy!! Girl’s Only!!] Cancer is not ‘raising awareness’. You wanna flirt with all the boys? By all means, flirt with all the boys—but don’t pretend you’re raising ‘awareness for breast cancer’ when you’re doing it. The only damn thing you’re raising is my ire.
We raise awareness with discussion. With action. (For instance–Breast Cancer isn’t “Girls Only!”–boys get it, too.) We raise awareness with….oh, for Pete’s sake—aren’t we all pretty well aware of cancer? I’m not so much about raising awareness as I am about finding a cure or prodding my loved ones to get checked, because I know very few people who have not been impacted by cancer personally or through a family member or friend. And, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t know what cancer is. I mean, is there one person out there who’s read “Blue” or “I like it on the floor by the stairs” in someone’s status only to say “Oh my GOD YOUR PURSE! I HAD NO IDEA THERE WAS A THING CALLED CANCER!! I’m so glad you’re wearing a blue bra today! I feel so aware. Where’s the donation button?! I gotta call my doctor and schedule a mammogram RIGHT NOW!!!”??
Not that I’mma tell you not to jump on the meme train. If that’s your thing, by all means…jump away. But, expecting ME is jump on the meme train just because I’ve had cancer is rude.
So stop sending me that crap. I mean it. Stoppit.