How Did I Get Here?

This is gonna sound weird coming from someone who 1) is writing a blog about breast cancer and 2) is usually engaged with breast cancer social media users for a good portion of every day. But here goes: sometimes I forget how it is or why it is I came to be so involved. Do you see what I’m saying? I am simultaneously ultra-aware I had breast cancer but get caught up in criticizing Pink culture that when I stop and go to a doctor appointment, I still get that twinge: “How did I get here?” Then I hear the Talking Heads song (Once In a Lifetime) and visualize David Byrne in that damn big suit. “How did I get here,” he infamously asked.

Yes, it is ridiculous that I am still a bit shocked I had cancer. But sometimes I am. It is insane that at age 44, I gathered all my cancer records in my cancer binder and headed out as if it’s all old hat. Well, it IS old hat for me. Need I say it shouldn’t be old hat–not for anyone, not for people under the “average” age? Why the hell should there even BE an average age? Nothing…NOTHING average about the cancer experience–it really is just too strange and unexpected, and wrong.

I admit I get tired of it, of having had cancer and being in CancerLand. Yeah, yeah I know–this is when people could say to me, “then stop blogging, walk away, you’re basically done.” But I know better. I know my risk. And walking away won’t change the fact I still have to see Dr. Onco again a year from today. Pretending doesn’t change anything. Ignoring doesn’t change anything. And I would never be OK with myself for not at least trying to make this hideous experience a little less hideous for the patients diagnosed today, who will go into a sort of shock, who will turn up their nose at the status quo of pinkwashing.

So I do what I do, for better or worse.

20160922_154803-2I take a time out for this martini. Then back to trying to tell it like I see it: that pink drenched crap you see in the fluffy ads and in the stores? Yeah, it ain’t like that AT ALL.

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Author: Cancer Curmudgeon

Oct 2010 diagnosed with Stage 3, HER2+ Breast Cancer. Completed treatment Jan 2012. Waaaaaay over pink. Applying punk rock sensibility to how I do cancer.

6 thoughts on “How Did I Get Here?”

  1. Hi CC,
    So glad you’re still NED! Totally get what you’re saying here. Sometimes I still can’t believe this is my life either, I mean the cancer parts of it. Once in a while someone will ask me, why not just step back or walk away? Not quite that simple is it? So yeah, I do what I do, too, for better or worse. I guess we all do. And I am very happy you keep doing what you do.

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  2. I’ve had my moments of shock too, even after 5 years. Just when I thought denial was out the door, it comes right back to tempt me. I need those moments too I guess. When I need play dumb in order to move forward but with the full awareness that I am not completely safe. How the heck did we get here so soon? is what I often ask myself. Wondering if I would have felt any different if I had been diagnosed 20 years later. But once we’re here, we might as well try to keep things “casual” since we can’t walk away. And there are those happy moments when my fellow residents of cancerland get good reports. Please stay well for a long time. xoxo

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    1. Thank you so much–I do intend to stay well as much as I can control that ! And yeah I catch myself just ignoring it some days–letting busy-body aspects of life take over, that is a coping thing, I think.
      Holding you in my thoughts these days!❤

      Liked by 1 person

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