Posts Tagged ‘breast cancer survivors’

Just Stay Positive?

"You will be just fine" has long been a problem for me. No matter what horrendous circumstance one is facing, what one needs is support and validation, not cheer-leading. Discounting a person's feelings and implying that everything can be solved by being positive does a great disservice to the ill or injured or depressed or bereaved.

But at one time or another, I suspect we have all said it. I know I have. Do we say it to reassure others? To reassure ourselves? To deny what's going on?

And beyond that, there is "Just stay positive." Another soul shrinker that:

  • implies you caused your own cancer with your negativity
  • burdens you with being in charge of getting well
  • causes infinite pain if cancer eats at you until you die

I have a poem to share with you:

You Will Be Just Fine

Please do not trivialize
my suffering.

You who are healthy
You whose mortaility is as yet
Only dimly preceived–
Please do not say
"You will be just fine."

I may well be–someday–
But I do not know…
You do not know…

(Excerpted from Fine Black Lines: Reflections on Facing Cancer, Fear and Loneliness, (c) 1993, 2003 Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad. All rights reserved.)

And tell me why you think we keep saying, "You will be just fine."


Why Am I Alive? Why Is She Dead? No. 3

(for Ann)

Everything seems
so distant

Is Life receding or
is Eternity

(Excerpted from Fine Black Lines, (c) 1993, 2003 Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad)


Breast Cancer Is No Joke

Myth – Breast cancer is not a serious disease.

Donna Peach has a new article that speaks to the way breast cancer has been trivialized in some circles to the point that people almost have the impression that no one dies from it these days. The fact is that around 40,000 women and about 400 men still die from breast cancer every year. (Obviously, I have been one of the lucky ones so far. And so have you if you're reading this.)

Breast cancer events are often touted as fun, celebrations, victories. There are balloons and streamers and pink hats. (Granted, I have also seen tears.)

Breasts are referred to by any number of trivializing names. "Boobs" is one.  Donna mentions several other popular and weird ones.

If you have had breast cancer or know someone who has, you will be interested in reading her thoughts. 

And tomorrow I'll post a poem for all of you. Promise.

To Pink or Not to Pink

Pink here, pink there, pink hats and socks and underwear!

Recently I read a very interesting  post by Anne Marie of the blog Chemobrain, sent to me courtesy of Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer. (Both of these sites have excellent, thought-provoking posts.)

There is a lot of discussion in the breast cancer cyberworld about "pink" and whether we should support it or whether it has been exploited. I offer Anne Marie's post and the subsequent comments as a way to understand the various positions.

As women, and especially as breast cancer survivors, can we hold up one another,  whatever our view?