This post started as an email saying I wasn't going to write a post. As a member of the Yahoo! Motherboard, I was giving the task of writing about cancer for Breast Cancer Awareness month. At first I thought it was a topic that I could really dig into. I lost my father to lung cancer (nope-never smoked) when I was four. I fought beside my mother through her colon cancer for all of my 20's. She fought hard and was the fortunate recipient of clinical trial drugs that made the fight a bit easier and her life a bit longer.
I lost her when I was 30, five months after my second baby was born. I have also worked with the phenomenal program Look Good Feel Better through the ACS-helping women in the midst of treatment reclaim their beauty from the drugs that threaten to destroy it. You could say other than being a patient, cancer has touched my life in numerous ways. How come then, every time I sat to write about it, nothing sounded right?
- Should I write about how thankful I feel every day that I got as many years as I did with my mom? How fortunate we were to see the direct result of research funding in all the new and improved treatment she received versus my dad who died quickly, with radiation burns that never healed, some 27 years earlier? Or
- Should I write about how angry I can get when I think about how much money we still spend researching the effects of smoking instead of trying to find links or cures or treatments for those of us who make different choices for the air we breathe?
- Should I write about how lucky I was that even though my dad died young I had a wonderful life surrounded by men like my brother and brothers-in-law who were never afraid to stand up as surrogates? OR
- Should I write about how sometimes the pain of knowing my kids will never know my parents and the reality that I don't even know my dad is more than I can bear.
- Should I write about how every single day I am afraid that I will leave my children as my parents left me? OR
- Should I write about the guilt I feel, a perfectly healthy woman sitting here wasting her time on fear when women I know, moms I know, are fighting for their lives?
- Should I write about the pride I well up with when someone completes a Three Day or a company I work with donates millions to research-knowing first hand that all of these efforts mean more days for people to fight and more holidays for people to spend with the ones they love? OR
- Should I write about how, in the darkest places I never want to admit, I hate the "months" and the ribbons and the races because it feels hollow or like not enough or out of focus or maybe (selfishly) a little too late? No, I will never write about that. That is the worst of them all.
Cristie regularly writes about far less overwhelming topics over at The Traveling Circus