Choosing to Live

Today I went to the dentist (he and his staff – truly wonderful) for my semi-annual exam.  Chatting with my dental hygienist, I learn that her mom went through breast cancer recently.  These journeys are not easy, and no one says ‘hey, I just want to see what its like before I die’….

And just now, a reality ‘star’ announced her decision to live and have a double mastectomy…for the same reasons I did. You can’t get more real than this….

Some folks have called us brave, or warriors, or courageous… some think “thank goodness it isn’t me”… but no one who goes through this journey has a choice….actually, there is one choice and one only… choosing to live or choosing to die… and it is just a matter of time.

Some of us wear our scars like medals – that we fought the battle and we’re still here… some of us don’t wish to be reminded and simply live life to the fullest, putting it all behind them. Both are valid and should be honored.

All of us are furious about how the pink ribbon has been exploited for sales & marketing purposes – even Susan  G Komen, one of the biggest cancer organizations, pinkwashed and came out with a perfume for women (of course tagged with the pink ribbon) that was actually toxic!  They’ve been called on it and have amended the ingredients…but why was this even necessary?  There’s a new book out : “Sink Pink – Take Down Breast Cancer Awareness Month’…. it was driven by the fact that every year, when Pink October, aka Breast Cancer Awareness Month, rolls around, dozens of women with breast cancer begin posting online to express one single sentiment: Make it stop.

Another book, Pink Ribbon Blues drives home these points as well. The problem is not just reminding us breast cancer survivors of our ordeal/journey, but that dollars that are being collected have not yet solved this problem – not even close.  Procedures are not as primitive, but still far more invasive than they should be …to say nothing of getting to the real issue of why and how do we stop it.

I proudly wear my pendant around my neck – actually, I have representing my brain tumor and one representing the breast cancer…. but it is an individual and personal choice.  What I am not proud of, is how manufacturers get rich off of disease and not help cure it.  I don’t want my sister to go through this – and I would prefer if no other woman ( or man) has to suffer through this ever again.

Since my preferences are not going to make it stop, all I can do is help other survivors celebrate life too, and get involved to help the serious organizations actually accomplish inroads against breast cancer.



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