on being aware

I had a good and productive appointment with my oncologist this afternoon.  I don’t have to go back for six months, which feels like a long time. It’s almost scary to me to go that long without seeing him. What if something changes and we don’t catch it in time? What if my cancer comes back? What if…what if?

October has been somewhat difficult with all of the breast cancer awareness stuff in my face every single day.  People wear pink for breast cancer awareness.  People post stupid memes about it.  People do 5k breast cancer walks.  Women take off their bras on “No Bra Day."  Ultimately, however, the problem is not awareness. Fucking everyone knows about breast cancer.  How could you not when there is a pink ribbon nearly everywhere you look?  The problem is that despite all the hype there is still no cure, and a lot of the money that should be going to researching the cure is actually just ending up in some big wig’s bank account.  Money is poured into curing breast cancer and yet there is no cure in sight. 

November 1st people will go on with their lives and jump onto the next bandwagon: heart disease, MS, ALS, or whatever else (which is not to say those causes are not just as important).  But me and all the other survivors…we can’t forget.  We can’t walk away.  We live with this every single day.  We bear the scars. We swallow the pills to prevent recurrence.  We fight the fatigue. We live with the uncomfortable fake breasts or without breasts at all, the body image problems, and the never ending fear of recurrence.  We pay the never ending pile of medical bills. We put on a brave face for our friends and family.  We cry when you aren’t looking.  And we are the lucky ones, because we are still here to do all of that.

Are you aware yet?

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