a little c

because I refuse to give it a big one

There are Doors and then more Doors and in my world they are all PINK.

Posted by wendy on 2011/09/20


I’m hitting the one-year anniversary of finding my lump and I guess we could be all “oh wow, you found your lump in October Pinktober?  How ironic!”  The thing is, it’s not really all that ironic.  I wonder what the statistics are for women who found their lump/were diagnosed in October as compared to every other month?  I mean, as much as some of us dread all The Coming of the Pink, how many of us actually owe our lives to that reminder?  Oh, it’s October!!!  So, you make that appointment you’ve been putting off all year, get a mammogram, finally remember to check your breasts.   I have to admit, for the majority of my life, I never gave my breasts a second thought until the boobiethon came around.    If Pinktober serves as nothing but a once a year reminder, then…I’ll deal with the extra pink.  I like to think that the reminder will last longer than just 31 days,  but again…most of us do not look at the door marked “cancer” until we’re being shoved through it.

See…the cancer club, despite it’s incredibly expensive dues and accoutrements, is not actually one of those exclusive high-end clubs that everyone is constantly trying to join.   Most of us were completely unaware the door to this club was in front of us until cancer reached out with a pair of bony hands and shoved us through it.   So, you get through the first door, and then you see there are more doors–breast cancer, colon cancer, cervical cancer–so many doors, so many different cancers.  So, I got shoved through the pink door.  (Isn’t it funny how we’ve color-coded cancer so we can tell who has what immediately by the color of their ribbon?  Should we further differentiate with hue?  Good lord, we’d all have to carry around Pantone charts on our keyrings, wouldn’t we?)

So, I’m through the pink door, and I’m in…oh, the lounge area, I guess.  Because there’s more doors, you know?   Different treatments, different surgeries–different breast cancers.   I feel like no one really walks through any of these doors willingly–except the one marked “Survivor”.   It’s hard to get to, though.   The obstacle course to the door marked Survivor makes the Ninja Warrior course look like a cakewalk.

The thing is…once you get through that door, you realize that you’ve entered a world with more doors.  The big one–the one you want to avoid at all costs is the one marked “Recurrence”.   I eye that door on occasion.  My big goal is to live my life with that door on ‘ignore’, but occasionally, it looms up right beside me.   I expect it will come into view every time I have a mammogram or PET scan.  I won’t go through that door willingly, either–but, I do hope that if I get shoved into the Recurrence Lounge, that I can do it with the grace and humor that I’ve seen in other women.  I hope–but, I don’t know if I actually CAN.  I expect that it will be somewhat akin to what happened when I got shoved through the first door.  That was not so much a ‘shove’, as it was me being dragged, kicking and screaming like a two year old who lost her favorite toy to the other side.  heh.

I think I digressed a bit there, as I do.  Where was I?  Ah.  October.  And, it is once again time for my mammogram and this year, I get the added excitement of a biopsy on the cyst in my left breast.  The door marked ‘Recurrence’ is looming close by.   Cancer does not care that my birthday is in two weeks and cancer does not care that my bank account is empty and I cannot afford to get shoved through that door right now.   So, I’m going to suck it up and brace myself for whatever comes next.  My hope is port removal and chocolate cake on my birthday.

Hope for the best, expect the worst.  It’s all any of us can do in this situation, I think.

3 Responses to “There are Doors and then more Doors and in my world they are all PINK.”

  1. Lauren said

    Love love love this. Good stuff girl, I will take door number one monty…you’d make a good carol marol in the wig too…


  2. wendy said

    omg, I haven’t thought of that show in YEARS. I’d totally put on a Carol Marol wig and work the doors. 😀

  3. Love your description of the cancer club: expensive dues, boney hands, pink door. And the dreaded lounge. You’re right about October: Despite it’s hue, it still shouts mammogram. (Got mine on October 1st last year. Yup, glad I did.) I wish for you lots of [port-free] chocolate cake for your birthday!

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