Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bigger Picture Moment: This Is Me, Standing Up

Here's the ugly truth: I've never participated in a breast cancer awareness event of any sort. 

Not because I didn't think they were worthy causes or important in the fight against cancer, but because I didn't want to be involved.  I wanted distance.  I wanted insulation.  I wanted to hide from the cancer fates and not make too much of a fuss. 

Cancer scares me worse than just about anything in this glorious world.  The thought of myself or someone I love being afflicted with such a devastating disease drops me to my knees and takes my breath away.  And it should -- it's already taken my grandma from me.  A great aunt.  My husband's grandfather and cousin.

So I hide.  I think about breast cancer only long enough to know that I don't want to think about it, and then I turn my thoughts sideways.  To things that can occupy my thoughts less frighteningly.  Things less uncontrollable. 

But what I've learned is that hiding won't work.  In fact, nothing is guaranteed to work in the fight against breast cancer.  However badly I cross my fingers and hope for some sort of miraculous immunity, there will be none.  But there can be something else.

There can be knowledge. 

There can be hope. 

And those things will only be strengthened with education.  There are ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer in myself, my daughters, my friends, and my family.  There are things I can do to keep myself as healthy as possible.  There are ways of learning about early detection and supporting my loved ones in doing the same. 

Nothing is helped by me hiding from cancer.  Nothing is cured, and certainly, nothing is made less frightening.  But by educating myself, by acknowledging that breast cancer is a very real risk, I may be able to help change its impact on my life. 

This is me, standing straight up to breast cancer, and letting myself be seen. 

This is me, not hiding.

Because if I don't look breast cancer in the eye, I will never see it coming. 

5 comments:

  1. this is a great post! yes to not hiding and knowing more.

    you gotta link this post up:)

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  2. I didn't realize what I was doing until I read your post. I've skimmed all the write pink posts in the past week or so, not really wanting to think about it. I was hiding from it, subconsciously thinking by avoiding it wouldn't touch me. Great post.

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  3. I just love that last sentence you wrote. So true. I think that we could insert any cancer in that sentence, and we could all do a better job of being aware of our bodies and staying healthy. Wonderful post!

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  4. Your last sentance resonates with me because I, too, like to stick my head in the perverbial sand. Thanks for being so honest.

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  5. Okay, I'm going to be honest...when I first read this post, I didn't know what to say. I've been so completely unaware of breast cancer as a risk. All I could think at first was: you were scared of it? Really? Why? It's treatable! It's fine! It's just breast cancer!

    Somehow, the big word CANCER hasn't been registering with me. So anyway, I'm late having my bigger picture moment, but I'm having it now, nonetheless--so, here you go: breast cancer is a disease. And it hurts people. And it can be deadly.

    Maybe I should think about that and apply it to MY life--

    So, in that sense--for me--this Write Pink event has been a huge success!

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?