Life is the Bees Knees
So, to give you a little background on myself. I am not the most positive human being in the universe (I am a cheerful person that likes to smile), but skeptical is my middle name. Quite frankly I don’t have anything to complain about.
I am going to a breast cancer retreat this weekend. I think it is amazing that people and groups organize events like this. They help women like me, manage life with breast cancer in it at some point in time, emotionally and physically. I love local organizations that make a huge difference in the lives of patients and survivors such as the Christi Anderson Rack Pack Foundation, The Cancer Wellness House and Image Reborn Foundation. I am trying on the survivor title, but it doesn’t stick. I still think funding research is important, but I personally I am a bigger fan of the groups that impact individuals and their families.
I am started to wonder if it is like there are cancer clubs. If you have had breast cancer you get to go to this event, but those with cervical cancer can’t come. It could be that I just know about breast cancer groups because that is what I had, so I could be completely wrong in my perception of the cancer universe. I made a classic error when I was at my first day of chemo. I had been given some extra breast cancer gifts I had received because I was young with breast cancer. The person who sat across from me was the mother of someone I knew in junior high and high school and I offered the additional gifts to her. Everything had pink ribbons all over it and I found out later she had just had a recurrence of colorectal cancer. Gah! I am embarrassed.
Those that have been through cancer of one kind in one stage or another face different adventures in life. I can’t turn to a lung cancer patient and ask their advice on a chemo regimen for breast cancer, but we can’t never discount one cancer for another. Someone with bone cancer may not understand what it is like to have a mastectomy, but I will (hopefully) never understand what it is like to have one of the bone cancers. Rare cancers don’t have clubs, groups or organizations (I take that back, there are a lot of organizations for cancer), but it isn’t like the groups centered around one cancer or the other. Cancer is LONELY, you are surrounded by so many people that love you and help take care of you and in my case other women who had had the same chemo and radiation and I was still lonely in a strange way.
I also think about men and women that have debilitating diseases from which there is no possibility of remission and it humbles me.
Cancer is a bunch of mutant cells on a rampage, finding a cure for all cancers would be a major feat! I no longer feel like I belong at a cancer hospital (really, it is awkward). I also feel like I have an ounce of room to complain about the fate that life gave me. I didn’t always make the best choices, but it is what it is. We were/are all dumb teenagers at one point in time and everything causes cancer (yes teenagers you are dumb, you will learn this some day when you grow up, if you grow up…). I am learning to live my life without regrets, with my eyes focused forward and hoping for the best. Life is pretty awesome (if you weren’t fully aware).
Groups which have directly helped me through treatment and beyond (if you are in Utah and seeking breast cancer information, support or other online resources):
- Christi Anderson Rack Pack Foundation
- Young Survivor Sisters
- Image Reborn Foundation
- Cancer Learning Center at Huntsman
- Stupid Cancer