No one knows better the relief of November, than 160,000 women and men living with Stage IV Breast Cancer. To date 40,000 will have passed by year end, not far off from 3 decades ago 42,000. "Pink-tober", reaffirms that we, people with Metastatic Breast Cancer, are still living in the shadows of our disease. Many worked hard to make a Proclamation for a "National Stage IV (Metastatic) Breast Cancer Awareness Day", many very ill, we went to our government officials, including myself, we did it from our beds with our hanging IV's, we did it. Our day, October 13, written in stone.
Last year and this year again, we were left in the closet - very little exposure, but someone did hear us. The Huffington Post. Some Stage IV can't run, can't walk and we can't wear "Pink" anymore. Why? We may once have been "Pink" like myself, who ran in "Oprah's Run" in Grant Park and did the Pink walk. Pink is early stage remission, awareness and celebration of such. Pink-tober rekindles for many of us, the anonymity of the deadly, incurable disease we carry daily.
Many of us nimbly cling to life with oral chemo, chemo drips, morphine and mitigating drugs to help us stand the treatment. Then we sit waiting for the last drop to fall hoping to gain one more day. Much of this waiting time is spent looking at magazines, sometimes for 4 or more hours and what do we see? We see reminders of the pink where some of us used to be. It is advertising: vodka, cans of peas, nail polish, diapers, chocolate, upscale underwear and more than can be imagined. On and on resonates the "commercialism" at our expense!
However, I do seek out what I consider genuine "Pink", a package of mushrooms I hesitated to buy because of the "Pink ribbon" money alas, going to generic "City of Hope" funds. Bottles of water:for cancer with the pink, for all cancer, just for the cure, but ALL capitalizing on the "Pink Ribbon? Pink Pink Pink? NO NO NO!
I just love the term, "One day at a time" For whom I ask? For those of us with this insidious disease one day at a time is always the same amount of time. One day on chemo one day off chemo.. 2 weeks on 3 weeks off. And on and on, and one more day of a new trial, and another trial just to gain one more day of fresh air, of life, of soul "hopefully so" just to have one "Good Day"!
I have no idea where Stage IV women and men get our strength to go on, I suppose it is innate within us to want to live. The great love for each other, carrying each other on our shoulders. If any cannot carry themselves. I am so amazed at the fortitude and guts we have, knowing we are dying sooner than most. Oh, yeah, we always get told, "Well everybody has to die sometime, you could get hit by a bus ..." Sure, but that would be instant, you would not have had to suffer the physical and emotional agony that we do for the rest of our lives ...
Until next time,
We’re basically your best friend… with better taste. Learn more