I participated in The City of Birmingham’s The Pink Convo as part of my 25th Cancerversary celebration. Check out the some of the videos here.
I don’t think I could have done this 20 years ago; talk about being a survivor. It was still too new, too fresh, too raw. I think I was still insisting on seeing Ruth, my oncologist every three months, and I was still anxious about being discharged from Chuck, my surgeon.
Gradually the fear of death was replaced with the daily minutiae of life: scouts, field trips, laundry, homework, permission slips, grocery shopping. And I kept living. I lived through the deaths of friends and famous people, and family. And then I forgot about my breast cancer.
But not really. My hot flashes, weird hair-loss patterns, and scars never allow me to truly forget. But the hourly pressure of “is this something I should worry about” began to fade. And the pain and discomfort faded. And the fear of dying early faded because my kids grew up. And then I forgot to share my survivor story because it was no longer the primary focus of my identity.
And I shouldn’t have forgotten. Because 25 years ago, I needed to meet me, a 25 year survivor.
So now I make it a point to share my story and encourage people in whatever phase of treatment, recovery, or survivorship they’re in. And I really am sorry to welcome you to this club.
Fight. Have hope. Take the drugs, they’re really good! And chose a method to celebrate yourself, however you want to. Did you remember to stuff your bras with your prosthetic? CELEBRATE YOURSELF! Did you get out of bed and take a shower? CELEBRATE YOURSELF? Did you stay in bed and skip the shower? CELEBRATE YOURSELF! Did you put your wig on the right way? WHOOP WHOOP!!! CELEBRATE YOURSELF!!! Don’t wait until October to celebrate yourself, and don’t stop celebrating when October ends!!
Congratulations to my fellow survivor-sisters in the videos! Thank you for sharing your stories, your truths, and your courage. I salute you and wish all of us more decades of fun, laughter, and great health. Learn more about The Pink Convo here.
Thank you to Ed Bowser and the video crew, Javacia #JBow Harris Bowser, and the City of Birmingham for the opportunity to share my story. And stay tuned to see what I’m doing next!!
What are you celebrating today?