Thursday, October 1, 2009

OK ladies...and a guy that I know who reads this...

It's October. October oneth to be exact. And October happens to be Breast Cancer Awareness Month.. anyone who had battled this only thinks of it in October..

...or anyone who knows anyone who has or is battling breast cancer...

...or anyone who has breasts...

..or anyone..


Or, I'd like to never have to think about it..worry about it..loose anyone to another obituary of a stranger that lost their sweet lives too early to it...or have my girls, and my grandgirls ever have to worry about it ..ever again. ever.

photo by Jenny Winkle
never. ever. again.

photo from the Susan G Koman site

But, the reality is what it is right we need to do all we can to support, to love, to honor those who are in the battle currently..or have been to hell and back.

Because that's what it is.


And sometimes when I hear "I was glad I got cancer because.." even though I know they mean well, and they may really believe what they are saying...

I want to say this....Cancer sucks.

artwork by Lori Ann Vovak

Breast cancer is mean and ugly and hateful and rude and I wish I had never had to tell my children, on a long distance phone call, that I had cancer.

And I wish I had never heard my grown son's cry..or hear the fear in my daughter's voices..or see the look on my sweet husband's face..the devastation from my sisters...

No, I am not glad I had cancer. I am not glad my sister is going through breast cancer. I'm not glad ANYONE has cancer..

So when I can do anything I can to remind people of this, like put a pink "Survivor" magnet on my car..or wear pink a LOT in October..

..or tell my story of how I found it, myself, and when the docs said "probably not..let's wait"

.. and I stood up for myself and said.."No. I want this lump out. I want it gone. Now."

..and that they were surprised (!) that is was indeed cancer..and it had spread...and I needed a double mastectomy..and oh, yeah, you'll need chemo..and radiation..and several surgeries..and and and and.".oh yeah..and don't worry.."

I want to tell everyone I can to know your body... demand doctor's do their jobs....insist on hearing it all..even if that means having to take someone with you to appointments to take notes (thank you Mr. B) ask the hard do your own ask for help..then to accept that help..

And fight. Fight like you've never fought you didn't even know you could fight...

...and never, never ever give up.

And to all those who have gone before us..know that cancer didn't beat them..they beat cancer..they just didn't survive.

It can only beat you if you allow it to. And then you're the 'victim'..and I think too much of those who have fought the battle to think of any of them as 'victims'..

Let's beat the hell out of breast cancer..this month and all the months that we are so blessedly given.


Thank you all who have walked in the various Breast Cancer walks for me... walked so I can stand.


PS...please check out

"A donation of $8.00 towards this worthy cause is what you might spend on a specialty coffee at your favourite cafe a few times per week. Research into breast cancer - what causes it and how to treat it, with the dream of curing it is the hope of every woman and every man who has been touched by this disease. While you are giving hope to others, this zine will, we hope, inspire you to be the very best you that you can be."

..and order this beAUtiFul Zine from Sherry Lee. The cost of the zine is $10.00. $8.00 from each zine will be donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. $2.00 will be used for postage and handling. Really..go's totally beautiful!

And, yes, they have breast cancer in Canada too. But I Pinky- PROMISE, if they find a cure, they will not keep it to themselves.

Hear that Canada? Just so you know...we'll be watching hurry, please :-)


Gaston Studio said...

Oh, this is such a powerful post about NOT being a victim! My mother had breast cancer in her early 40s and died of a brain tumor in her 50s because the equipment at that time couldn't find the cancer until it was too late. My sisters and I are very aware so get our annual mammograms; my daughters too!

Thank you for putting this in perspective.

La Dolce Vita with LeAnn said...

Tears and heart strings to all of those who suffer with this hateful disease. Thank you for sharing this with all of us and thank you for bringing smiles to our faces each day with your sense of humor! You are an amazing woman!
Blessings again, LeAnn

Lori R. said...

Amen Sister!!
I say, check yourself often and get a mammogram annually for your birthday. A birthday present to yourself!!! Then each year you are cancer free, you can donate to help others.
(That's my annual birthday present to myself)
I am so happy you beat it!!! Your strength is amazing and I am sure you will help others just by speaking out! I had lumps removed in 2001(?). I was soooo relieved to find out they were non-malignant. Right now The Texas Woman is going through chemo... We need to keep the encouragement up. She is worn out, weak, but has a good outlook, lots of support and is strong too!
Amen to all you sisters!!!

The Texas Woman said...

Thank you for such a wonderful post. You continue to inspire, encourage, and amaze me.


Just Breathe said...

I'll be back to read ~ I have an award for you.

Melinda Cornish said...

good for you girl...I hate it too!!!!!! melinda

All My Yesterdays said...

You brought tears to these ol eyes this morning. God love ya and every other woman who has gone or is going through this. I'm blessed not to have had this happen to me, but know many others who have.
Amen to a cure....

All My Yesterdays said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Just Breathe said...

What a beautiful post. I am so sorry for what you have been through and what your sister is going through. I do care. I couldn't find the Zine from Sherry Lee. What is a Zine? I would really like to help out.
God Bless all of you. ((HUGS))

June said...

I am crying. Thank you, Colleen, for being in my world and for being an inspiration. Fight like a girl! I hope you know how much your words mean to me. Love from Maine, dear one, lots of it.

(And I LOVE the goat masquerading as a dog idea you left in our comments. You are so brilliant. A French-speaking dog; why didn't we think of that?)

Laurie said...

AMEN Colleen, everyone please get your mamograms, this disease does not exclude anyone. It plays no favorites.

white o'morn cottage said...

Well said Colleen. Here here...Pam

Karen said...

I applaud you. My sweet Mother battled breast cancer two years ago and is now a survivor. This October 18th my entire family will be walking to raise money for a cure so perhaps my sister/daughter/grand-daughter will not have to go through what my Mom did.

Heather said...

what a wonderful post on something so scary but something that needs to be talked about all the time! we can not ignore anything that we second guess on our bodies. i had to have my first mammogram this past year because i found a lump. thankfully everything came back fine but not a day goes by that i don't think about what could have been. we ladies need to support one another and remind one another every month how special we are and how important it is to check! check everything and everywhere!!

Charmingdesigns said...

Oh Colleen, you put it so well.

Mary said...

Thank you for this post Colleen - you truly know how to say it like it is.

I'm so sorry you have had cancer, but happy that you have beaten it. I pray your sis will do well too.

I've also beaten cancer, not breast, but want to tell you that my dh is a 6 year out survivor of MALE BREAST CANCER. We must not forget our guys too - altho' it's only 1% who get it, and many are embarrassed to mention it, they suffer the same, mastectomy, chemo, Tamoxifen for 5 years etc. Many doctors are failing our guys saying a lump is nothing to worry about - "let's just wait 'til your next physical and see what happens" etc. EARLY DETECTION, early detection, early detection.......can't say that enough. Whether female or male - have those lumps checked immediately they are found!

Thanks again - we must get the word out!

diane said...

Great post Colleen.Sorry to hear what you have been through and dearly hope your sister will also beat this horrible disease. I lost my father and brother to it and I have so many girlfriends who have had breast cancer and I admire you all for the hard slog fight you had to put up with to get through it. I am attending a fund raising BBQ in October to help with the research.

Connie said...

Hi Colleen,
You are quite a survivor. Thank you for the information we all should know.

Somehow we tend to think it happens to other people. Now there are way too many "other people" and we know them now.

I can't imagine the horrors of chemo, but it has to be beyond words. I am proud to know you and your fight against this terrible disease.

Bless you, dear.....

debi said...

Wonderful post Colleen...I'm in tears now.
I need to have my mammogram, I haven't done it yet this year. It's time! Thanks for the reminder.
Hugs, Debi