Let's start off with where I'm at with my treatment. Next week will be my final Taxol treatment and with that, I will be all done with chemo! Woo HOO!!!! Part of the reason I haven't written is that the Taxol was cumulative for me. It was just as easy for me to write a quick note on Facebook to let everyone know I was ok.
I have gotten some of the "chemo brain" effects... Forgetting things easily. Words that I would want to use in conversation would evaporate before they reached my tongue. I sometimes forget people's names, even though I've known them for ages. Subjects that I think relate to a conversation (but end up not) come flying out of my mouth. It's so scary. It's hard sometimes to put on a smile and brave face to make sure your loved ones don't worry while you're grasping at straws yourself.
I will admit, with this going on, I used my kids going back to school as well as cold/flu season as a good reason to step away from people for a while. Granted, my immune system is weak. One of the kids brought a cold home from school and I couldn't shake it for three weeks! But beyond that, I was and still am embarrassed by my brain's occasional and ill-timed betrayals.
At the same time, I get lonely. Part of me misses the huge rally when I was first diagnosed, folks coming out to wish me well, to make sure I was ok. I'm not an attention whore by any means, but it was nice to feel that love. Now that the ruckus has died down, I get a call or a visit every once in a while. I'm not angry about it and I really don't blame anyone though. I'll bet it gets tiring hearing about cancer when you don't have to live with it. I'll be so happy when it's not in the forefront of my life anymore.
Which brings me to this tale... A few weeks ago, I was having a low day. I had recently received a couple of gifts of pink ribbons from people very dear to me. I appreciated the thought and the love that went into these gifts. I have gotten many of them since I was diagnosed. It was on this low day that I came to the realization that I hate pink ribbons. I felt guilty for that feeling and started to cry. Connor happened to be in the next room and came to check on me. He asked why I was crying. Trying to explain it to him was hard. The best analogy I could come up with is equating cancer to stubbing my toe. Everybody knows that I stubbed my toe, keeps giving me presents for and asking about my stubbed toe, and that there is a whole month dedicated to the fact that I stubbed my toe.
Please don't think that I mean to minimize all of the tremendous work that people do to raise awareness and the funds for research to fight cancer. It's not about that at all and I'll be doing what I can to help, for sure! But please don't think less of me when I say that I hate the ribbon and what it stands for. I hate that companies are using it to increase their own profits. I hated that everywhere I turned for an entire month, I was reminded of my disease.... That my daughter had to point out the pink ribbon on every product we passed in the grocery store.... That I will have to live with this reminder for 31 days of every year for the rest of my life or until they either conclude the campaign or find a cure.
I asked about this when I went for my checkup at Dr. Gold's last week. I had tried talking to a couple friends about it beforehand and they seemed surprised by my feelings. I was beginning to wonder if maybe there was something wrong with *me* that I couldn't get behind the ribbon. I got to talk with Jessica again and she explained that I'm actually in the majority here, at least among breast cancer survivors. She said that because of the campaign, there is spotlight on us and we are labeled, when most of us just want to move on and live our lives, as survivors of other cancer types get to do. I like Jessica. I feel like she gets it, ya know? Needless to say that I'm rethinking my next tattoo design.
Anyway, it's late and I'm tired (finally!). There's a lot more that I want to talk about, but it will have to wait until another day. Hopefully it will be sooner than last time.
Love to all! <3