a little c

because I refuse to give it a big one

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

My hair is about to hit that awkward "over my ears" stage that I always used to hate. I love my awkward hair.

[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.

Twist.

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.

24 Responses to “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.”

  1. go wendy go..go to heathrow and emjoy the luxury of love and kindness and someone having your back…it is why we are here, not to juggle..

    and yes for gods sake as katie said, “Is there anyone who is not aware of breast cancer?” You are dead on, I am not the poster child for cancer nor are you. You are the poster child for how to be the coolest cat in the cave with cancer. Love the word wiggly, and love the story about the two women being your mentors without knowing it. good stuff girl…have a good week and I sure hope that isn’t eye cancer…..

    xo

    L

  2. wendy said

    YES. ‘poster child for cancer’ is really spot-on–and we’re so not. grrr. I think I get more stuff now than I ever did before, and I’ve gone from ‘annoyed’ about them to ‘my block finger is itchy’.

    I actually GOOGLED eye cancer this morning. I’m pretty sure I’m safe for the moment. hahahaha!

    You are one of the many things I am grateful for, woman. Just so you know. ❤

  3. Kathy said

    Oh my god dude… I HATE those effing meme’s. They are so STUPID. Sorry I just had to let that out. They make no sense and accomplish nothing. Whoever started that crap should be tarred and feathered.

    I’d rather see someone raise money to help fund advances in treatments and a cure, or remind your friends to go get your mammo scheduled. (I got the referral for my own and am making the appt this week) If you like meme’s do one that isn’t linked to some bullshit claim to help. /rant

  4. wendy said

    Sandra called them slacktivists over on FB. I LOVE that term. hahahaha!

  5. alie said

    I ❤ you tons for this.

  6. wendy said

    yay! Thank you, alie. 😀

  7. Camille Sauvager said

    Bam! Thank you! My husband died of an agressive cancer, and I just shake my head when people send me that crap “because YOU will understand”. Thanks. Thanks for reminding me about cancer. I’d forgotten. Sigh….
    Have a blast with your man, Wendy.
    love,
    Camille

    • wendy said

      ❤ Thank you, Camille. I had no idea you'd lost your husband to cancer. Sigh. It's hit us all on so many levels. Yeah, I'm thinking that we don't actually NEED bra-reminders.

  8. ann said

    “Bolero” was playing on the Musak while I got my mammogram in April. I felt so dirty…and a little closer to the Tech.

    All clear!!

  9. Renn said

    Couldn’t agree more, especially with the *twist* part of your post!!

    (All pink makes me think is Pepto Bismol.)

    😉

    -Renn

    • wendy said

      ahahaha–it’s been so frustrating for me. I loved the color pink before my diagnosis–now? I could live without it. haha!

  10. I done tole ’em, Miss Wendy! I tole ’em! *tweets*

  11. mikey said

    You don’t want to wear the ribbon? WHY WON’T YOU WEAR THE RIBBON?!?!?

  12. Sarahnoid said

    Oh my god, dude. I’m reading this on the laptop while MasterChef is playing in the background and I got to the “Blue!… Oh my god!” section and started laughing so hard my mom put down her knitting and asked me how I find these things that make me laugh so fucking hard. (I guess I laugh a lot?) So I read it to her. Then we both laughed a lot! And amen dude.

    I swear, I’d love to get some snarky chicks together to write a cancer collective type book. Like, “hey, I have cancer–that doesn’t mean you have to death-whisper at me.” Or like, “I just got diagnosed. That doesn’t mean I’m glass-fragile now, just because I know what I have now, as opposed to three days ago. Can I have a REAL hug, please?”

    But you know, since you asked, my bra is black. And it’s a sports bra. And it’s a miracle I actually have one on right now. Don’t you feel so AWARE now? Aware of what my tits are all slung up in? Hahahaha!

    • wendy said

      You know, I had totally forgotten about cancer until you mentioned your boobs. THANK YOU SARAH!!!! (and YES–real hugs, please. Being handled with kid gloves always made me feel sicker.)

  13. Meeta said

    Huge props for this rant 🙂 I totally get what you’re saying here. Possibly one of the many many reasons I left FB and am glad its outta my life. The plus….still debating how much I like it. And btw, I love the word slacktivist 😉

  14. feistybluegecko said

    Oh yes!! coincidentally I read your post the day after posting a rant on the very same topic. The latest meme is just way off with its inference of pregnancy. Unbelievable!

    I hope your trip was wonderful 🙂

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