Friday, August 19, 2011

The Sacrifice of a Cancer Survivor

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!

Don't forget to sign up for the Design Your Book Cover contest! And don't forget I'm looking for beta readers, so if you're interested, send me an email at teralynpilgrim at yahoo dot com.


  1. This is a very moving post. Thanks!

    And, I'd love to be a beta reader for you if you like. I think it'd be fun :)

  2. This is a beautiful post... I think it was so brave of that cancer survivor to move on and not give up hope.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. That's a very inspiring post. Takes a lot of courage to do something like that.

    I'd love to be a beta reader for you.

  4. Thank you, Kristen and Kendry!

    Everyone be sure to send me an email if your interested. I'm so glad I'm getting responses!

  5. I decided if I ever get cancer, I'm cutting off my own hair before I lose it and getting it made into a wig.

  6. Absolutely fantastic blog!!! Glad I found it! Love it!!!

    Lola x

  7. My friend donates his hair to a charity for wigs for children and I think it's a truly amazing gesture. Breast cancer makes women analyse (usually against their wishes) what really makes them a 'woman'. Do our breasts make us beautiful, does our hair? In a society that continues to get smarter and smarter, women still feel attractive in the most base of ways and it takes amazing courage to fight those norms.

  8. Wonderful post. Shows the world that different isn't bad. And you shouldn't be trying to hide who you are. It was brave of her to also not give up hope. :)


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