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.
I 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.