Lately, as I've been browsing the web, I've come across something I really don't like. My life revolves around breast cancer, the latest in research, new clinical trials, as well as following other women's "crapshoot" "journey" we call breast cancer. I'm talking about the haters. This word throws me off because now all I automatically think about is that Taylor Swift song!!
Yes, having cancer is not easy, and I'm not expecting people to be happy and joyous, and purely amazing all the time. Not at all!! However, I have little tolerance for individuals who hate on others who have this disease and how they "choose to do" cancer. Firstly, I accept and respect how everyone does it. No two people are the same. Recently, there was an article of a twenty something year old woman who has the BRCA gene mutation and so she chose to have a preventive double mastectomy. She does not have breast cancer, but has a high likelihood of acquiring it. Both her mother and sister died from this disease. I am certain that she "gets it." However, the criticism I found online from people who did not like how she chose to have a party for her double D boobs she was gonna lose, was just plain shocking. Again, I read the same old crap about how she's sexualizing this disease, and how insulting this is for those fighting this disease on a daily basis. Ok. Well, as an individual living with stage IV cancer I'm not insulted. At ALL!!!
I don't believe there's a "right way" to "do cancer." Why are we over analyzing every individual's decisions?? We do not live their lives, so I truly feel this is simply a form of virtual bullying. I mean when I saw the pics of this young woman in sexualized pics, I mean I know I wouldn't have done it myself. However, that's simply my choice. Probably because I never had her smoking double Ds, so I simply couldn't quite relate. I mean I always had the boobs of a girl who hadn't quite hit puberty. I felt like it was just around the corner, but it's as though I got lost and never found the corner. It's all good as I'm quite happy with my one remaining tit! I feel that everyone copes with this disease so differently. As crazy as some things may seem to me I understand it affects everyone differently and, hence, we choose to cope in our own little ways.
As well, I feel young women sometimes get this bad rep for how we choose to advocate, and simply share our cancer stories. This bashing of "sexualizing" and "trivializing" this disease is so ridiculous. Fun fact: we are all sexual beings. Yup. Sorry to spill the beans! Young women are in an extremely different place in life then someone in their 50s or 60s. If you fall into this age category try to think back to when you were in your 20s. What were you doing and thinking?? Many people are getting married, starting careers, having families. Now imagine getting cancer. Everything stops. Not only does it affect every single aspect of your life, but it also eats away at the youth you have left. You're staring death in the face while trying desperately to live the life you want.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I refuse to hate on others for how they "do cancer." Honestly, constant anger, hating, and complaining will completely eat away at you. Sadly, I find that it only mirrors the person you are, and does not reflect at all on the person you are complaining about. Ultimately, regardless of age, we all have the same end game which is to survive. If you don't like a pic someone posts or the way they handle their disease, then don't look at it or read it. Quite simple actually. Enough with the haters. All I can think of now, again, is that Taylor Swift song every time I write the word hate! Sorry, I tend to lose my train of thought easily and quickly.
(Five minutes later)
Yes, that's how derailed I got from writing a damn word, pathetic! Any who, what I'm trying to get to is everyone who has, had, knows someone, or lost someone who had breast cancer all share a common thread. That's the pain and loss this disease has thrust upon us. It sucks. Can we choose to focus on being kind, compassionate people?? Or will we simply focus on trying to nitpick people apart and criticize their very personal choices that we probably really know nothing about. Cancer and all it entails is fucking hard already, we don't need cancer bullies too!! The next time you read an article which has a young woman throwing a boob party or whatever you may see as sexualized, try and see past the picture posted. Try and empathize with the fear and dread that they are probably feeling. The whole reason they may be taking those pics may be because they fear they will lose that aspect of themselves, and those pictures will be all that's left of their carefree, young life. Cancer takes away your carefree days. What follows are the days of worry, fear, and facing your mortality. We can all smile at a camera, but it's what you don't see that harbours our saddest, darkest moments. Stepping on someone when they're down is not my style, and I dare you all to try and accept and respect others who are going through this. Who knows, in the end you may end up being a much happier person! I know I am:).