It is not an uncommon moment.
It is a moment that bothers me all the same.
About 12 weeks after my surgery, my mom was also in the OR finalizing her own reconstruction. The mood was relatively light, mostly because pain medication was involved. But also because this was going to be last visit to the hospital that this family would have to have for awhile.
While packing up, and getting ready to head home, Mom and I were swapping OR tales and experiences. And the nurse overheard us joking about the nausea that often accompanies anesthetic.
She joined in by saying that I could thank my mom for those genes. Our family immediately erupted into fits of laughter. We then calmed down enough to explain that I could thank her for quite a few more less than stellar genes while I was at it.
But rather than being greeted with a conspiring chuckle about my hilarious genetic joke, I was met with a sad pitying look. She evidently did not think double mastectomies were as funny as I did.
"That is an awful lot for a young girl to go through", she replied as she quickly scurried out of the room.
To which I quickly quipped, "Meh, I have been through worse", as I tried desperately to shrug away her pity. UGH!
But what I wish I had said. And what I say to anyone who feels that pang of pity well up in their chest when they hear my story and see my scars is,
"Well it sure beats cancer though doesn't it?!?"
The reality of cancer is a dark one. It is not all pink and festive like the ads would have you believe. It is scars. It is a body ravaged by drugs and a long harsh treatment schedule. It is a time of fear, darkness, and uncertainty.
And while I may be standing before you nipple-less, boob-less, and without a defining part of my femininity. I also stand in front of you healthy and cancer-free.
I got to make a choice. A choice I am grateful to be given. A choice that was afforded to me by years of research and medical innovation.
So put away the pity. And help me stand up and fight instead. Help me fight so more women can have a choice. So more woman aren't asked to face that reality.
On September 30th I will be running in Collingwoods CIBC Run for the cure.
(and yes this is a shameless plug for sponsorship)
Cancer is an ugly disease, but I believe we CAN beat it in our life time! And I would love if you all would help me join the fight!
Please click the link below and visit my fundraising page!
Any little bit helps!
I will bombarding you with boobies every Tuesday until the Race! And updating you on my fundraising progress! Thank you to everyone who are donated so far! We have already reached $380!
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,