Wow, a normal Saturday. Well relatively speaking since my left breast continues to take on a life of its own. It is still a very red donut peach, and it still hurts, but a little less each day. I won’t miss the hyper-sensitivity caused by surgery and radiation. I hate note being able to sleep on whichever side I choose among other things. And oh boy do I miss normal bras.
I love just being able to sit and enjoy a cup of French Press and watch HGTV, although I wish A&E would resurrect “America’s Castles” – I loved that show.
Thus far it seems my breast cancer piece is being well-received. To write about it is all part of the process of living with this I think, but I am sure some are having a lot to say about it. My ex if he bothers to read it will be one of them. He always referred to my writing as self-aggrandizing. I disagree. It is part of who I am. And it’s something I love to do: write. Another thing is take pictures – some had a lot to say about that too when I first started doing it. But again, it’s something I love and something I am pretty good at. And one thing this experience of breast cancer has taught me is life is too short to not do what you love in addition to trying new things.
But the thing most of you who know me solely from this blog don’t know about me is that a lot of my other writing has had a decidedly activist edge to it. It is not all that I have ever written about, but community activism is part of who I am.
Since my diagnosis I have done very little in that area known as community activism. And I am good with that. I have my voice, I know how to use it, but others need to take up that mantle too. But we’ll see who of those who see me as a one-dimensional person will have things to say about my personal choice to be open about breast cancer and to write about it.
In my area there are a lot of women with a lot to say about how other women should live their lives. My friends and I refer to them collectively as adult mean girls – because that is what and who they are. A lot of them are just miserable. One of my favorite examples of the parochial nature of them is when they say that women like me who have never had children have no right to criticize the school district. And then there are the women who are literally cheerleaders for politicians on the most local of levels. Hell, sometimes they were the policitians. Heaven forbid you not agree with them. Suffice it to say, their behavior in this quarter is definitely giggle worthy.
On some editorials I wrote in the past for the local paper, the comments these “adults” would leave were just simply marvellous. They loved leaving anonymous comments like a newspaper website was a virtual bathroom wall. (Mind you if their children did things like that or had that done to them they would have had a very ironic ” it’s not nice to bully conversation.”)
Seriously, there they were, mostly adult women (also some men on occasion who often acted more like girls than the women) right back at the high school lunch table sniping and whispering. I never have understood it because basically my “crime” was simply not agreeing with what they thought they could decree was going to be. Their problem is if you don’t agree with the masses and can’t fit into the cookie cutter image of what they feel women should be, they can’t deal. If they can’t control you, they can’t deal. And these crews weren’t even those who think they are the new society dames. That crew reminds me of that line in the movie “Working Girl” when Alec Baldwin says to Melanie Griffith “Who the f–k died and made you Grace Kelly?” (and at the end of the day, a lot of those dames still don’t know which fork to use.)
My forties are a decidely liberating process – as a teenager these folks may or may not have bothered me (probably not or not for long), but as a grown-up, I am glad I am an individual. Who wants to be a clone? And that includes my being pretty much o.k. with my 1 6/8 breasts status. Some days I look in the mirror and it’s not fun to see, but it’s what I have to deal with and it could be a lot worse. At the end of the day, I often feel quite sorry for these women and men. They seem completely oblivious to the many blessings in their own lives. They exist, stuck in their own heads, limited by their own thought processes.
Breast cancer has also taught me, like many women before me that it is indeed just fine and dandy to have days where you just say “F it”. We’re not perfect as human beings, and life is too damn short to not be able to express yourself and say how you feel.
Who would have thought breast cancer was in a sense, liberating, but indeed it is.
Breast cancer gives you as a woman a whole new appreciation for the phrase “carpe diem”.
Life is worth living. Enjoy it.