In case you hadn’t realized it yet, we are well and good into the month of October. It used to be my favorite month because I love autumn. Then it was my least favorite month for a few years. And it’s back to being my favorite because I’m basic. Fall leaves, the smell of pumpkin spice (I’d rather just have black coffee or, when I’m feeling extra, a plain latte.), cozy sweaters, flannels and warm socks. These are the things that bring me joy.
Back in 2007, I wrote THIS post explaining my disdain for October. (And if you haven’t been reading my blog for long, it’s a somewhat quick explanation of my cancer experience.) Every pink balloon and ribbon triggered what my oncologist called breast cancer PTSD. That was when things were still very raw for me and I was trying to live a life that wasn’t inundated with the illness anymore.
When I was diagnosed at the age of 39, I had only ever known one other young woman who had had breast cancer. Coincidentally, or maybe not, it was my very best childhood friend. Two-and-a-half years earlier, at the age of 36, she had been diagnosed.
In the 16 years since my diagnosis, I’ve lost count of how many friends have heard the same words that knocked the breath out of me that day. Many more than I can count on my fingers and toes.
Some younger than I was when I was diagnosed and some my age now.
Some with a worse prognosis, some with a better one.
Some had a mastectomy, some had a lumpectomy.
Some had chemo, some had radiation, some had both, some had neither.
Some with young kids, some with grown kids, some with grandkids.
But we all had one thing in common. We were all told we had cancer.
And we all have our own story to tell.
Stories that are so very different, and yet so very alike.
Stories of sadness and fear and endurance and hardships and victory and joy and yes, even stories of laughter.
The most recent of my friends to join this dumb sorority is Gretchen. Again, our experiences are very different and yet the emotions are all the same. And she’s sharing her experience HERE. I highly suggest following her blog because for one, it’s good information for all women, and two, she’s a great writer and besides educating you, she’ll make you giggle. And being able to giggle in the face of something so serious is a rare gift.
I have noticed that I’m not seeing nearly as much pink as I used to. I can’t decide if the awareness campaign has dimmed some or if it just doesn’t have the effect on me it used to have. Whatever the case, I’m enjoying the season with every fiber of my being.