Yesterday, I spoke to someone whose mother died of breast cancer. Her story was heart-breaking. She said because of the recent research and awareness, if her mother had gotten sick only a few years later, she probably would have survived.
She told me the story of a woman she knew who survived breast cancer. The woman had to get her breasts removed. She could have had reconstructive surgery, but to help spread awareness, she refused.
Instead, she got a tattoo of a pink sash draped from one shoulder to her hip.
That really inspired me. Now for the rest of her life, everyone who sees her will know what she went through. They’ll ask questions, they’ll learn, and breast cancer will become very real to them.
I’ve decided that if I ever lose my hair to cancer, I won’t wear a wig. I’d want to take a stand against making people with cancer feel embarrassed. Our culture is so obsessed with hair that it’s a source of shame when people don’t have any.
I’m not pointing a finger at cancer patients for wearing wigs by any means. They have enough to worry about without challenging social norms and getting stares and sympathy and questions. I just think of the sacrifices people make to give them hair, and it makes me sad.
Maybe I should shave my head even though I don’t have cancer. I knew a writer who wore a Muslim head wrap for a month to see if people would treat her differently, and she wrote a news article about it. Going bald would be an incredible experience.
Back to the breast cancer survivor: I truly admire the woman’s bravery for refusing to “fix” herself. Most people don’t realize how difficult it is to battle cancer and how sometimes, it’s so much easier to just give up, so I also admire her for surviving.
Here’s to finding a cure!