You Want It? You Got It.

Dear Ladies Who Want My Breast Cancer,

I know that my blog posts and Twitter activity have been minimal since august of 2013. It was a miserable year filled with tests, pain, and uncertainty. I think I have been distant because, in large measure, I just want to forget it. I wish I could forget it. In fact, I wish I had one of those easy breast cancers. You know, the ones where you get a lumpectomy and some radiation and you’re cured? I wish I had one of them.

I’m sorry; I don’t mean to be flippant. It’s just that all of a sudden people are wishing they had breast cancer and I wanted to get a sense of what cancer envy is like.  But I can’t wrap my brain around that.  I think if you’re stupid enough to wish you have breast cancer then, damn, it’s yours!  And, in truth, I’m happy to hand it over.

Let me walk you through it all so you’ll know what’s coming. First you’ll get the tumor flare that kicks off a whole host of severe back pain. And, the docs will tell you that its receded, but guess what? The fucker comes back!  Then there’s three months of agony, a month of weird anxiety, and then it finally dies. And then there’s a necrotic hole there or something?  It was always a bit vague, but while that hole is healing up nicely with the aid of the monthly Xgeva shots you’ll need to get, then there are months of uncertainty where your boss is champing at the bit to find a way to get rid of you since you can’t quite make a full week for months.  You struggle with bouts of sheer exhaustion, joint pain, and fear.  Christ, sometimes you’ll wonder why you even bothered.

And I have it pretty damned easy as opposed to many of my sisters, so that a short term plus at least.  Now along with that you’re going to have to consider the other bone metastasis. Oh, didn’t I tell you?  I have metastatic breast cancer.  I’m sorry if you didn’t know that, but a deal’s a deal. Looks like you’re going to die anyway.

Life is brutal like that.  If you had any real sense you’d have done some serious research before jumping on the “Gimme Breast Cancer” wagon. There are a lot of different breast cancers: pre-cancers, full-blown staged cancers, positives, negatives, and ones that are inflamed, and then there are those that become metastatic breast cancer.

This is the one that will kill you. It depends though, you can have one that will kill you in short order, one that hangs around and then gets you, or you can win that very, very lucky lottery that only a tiny sliver of people have had–where a spot is radiated or cut out and you go on to live a healthy life. But don’t worry about that one. If you’re dumb enough to want breast cancer then karma is smart enough to make sure you bypass that tiny sliver so you can get to enjoy what most women do: medications, surgeries, financial hardship, loss of job, independence, and death.

The grass is always greener on the other side. Particularly when you are possessed with cancer envy and don’t bother to ask the right questions.

Love,
Me

PS
Capture

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33 Responses to You Want It? You Got It.

  1. janesplain says:

    Good morning Scorchy. I so agree with the disaster of a marketing tool this is. Pitting one cancer against another is kind of in humane, it’s not what humans should do to each other. Having breast cancer has connected me with many memorable people as I sat in waiting rooms and treatment rooms. When I was first diagnosed and was terrified for 6 weeks as I received bad news after bad news until my Onco DX score came in at the low intermediate range and we decided the benefit of chemo was outweighed by the risks. I chose lumpectomy and radiation because of the overall survival rate being equal to that mastectomy. I still worry about if I made the right decisions, my breast hurts constantly from 3 surgeries, I am on Tamoxifen and still need anti-depressants and therapy to maintain my mental health. Every new pain cause stupid anxiety that I know is unrealistic but it remains. I so know none of this compares with what you and our sisters with mets (and brothers) deal with every day. I guess my point is, I don’t feel cured. I love your writing, I love following you and your blog. I understand everything you say and appreciate where you are coming from and agree with you. That one line made me feel gut punched though. Don’t worry, it’s just me being hypersensitive, but I really needed to get this out.
    With love, hugs and respect,
    Jane

    • Scorchy says:

      Dearest Jane. I’m so sorry that hit you like a train. Of course it is not true and thus why I chose it. As if–AS IF–any course of action when it comes to breast cancer is walk-in-the-park easy and blissful. It doesn’t matter what stage, what treatment, for how long, and why–BREAST CANCER IS LIFE ALTERING. It scars us all emotionally and psychologically–and many are scarred physically. I never compare the women within this breast cancer matrix because it’s useless. And for PCA to take the tact that BC is oh so curable and light and bright as comparison to another cancer is insanity. Their “hard hitting” campaign is an insult to individuals suffering from pancreatic cancer and to those of us who have breast cancer. xoxoxoxo

      • janesplain says:

        See, that’s why I heart you so much. Thanks for the kind response and showing me I misread your intent, which in should have known in the first place. You are one of my heroes.
        Jane

  2. Funny, my first surgeon said to me “it is cancer, but if you’re going to get cancer, this is the best kind. Garden variety invasive breast cancer.” Three years later, I have mets in my liver and lungs. I often think of that a-hole whom I never saw again.

    • Scorchy says:

      Bastard. And, you know, when I first met my breast surgeon, who I liked very much. He had a very carefree attitude. As I began to read and learn more that carefree attitude was puzzling. It was condescending in many ways. And although I can’t but money on it, but I seem to recall that he said that when I first met him. And when the PET scan came back that I had mets his line was, “I hate to be the one to tell you.” Screw him. I hate to be the one he told. (And not he hated to tell me, he hated to be “the one” to tell me. Jerk.)

  3. randiek says:

    Hi Scorchy… Yes you have been quiet but I think pain has a way of getting in the way of Life… I think of you often when I want to scream because I can’t stand my fucking pain. My pain in no way can compare to yours as I have read your very descriptive blogs about yours. And by reading I can take another pain pill and HOPE. I miss all the things I could do before my diagnosis 2/22/13 “sorry honey it’s CANCER”…. “Don’t worry it’s a walk in the park”?? I don’t know what park he walked through but it’s the most frightening challenge other than my son over seas getting shot at. I had a heart attack in 2007 & spent many nights wondering if I would see another morning .. That fear has been side lined by Breast Cancer. It’s so hard having a disease that is not the same for all, I feel guilt for not being as sick as others but still hold the same fears. I’m glad you wrote about this ad … Your voice is strongly needed to wake people up that Breast Cancer is not a Pretty in Pink (still my fav color) disease!! (((( Hugs )))) Love, Randie

    Sent from my iPad

  4. tw says:

    Maybe we should all put our breast cancers on eBay, after all, who wouldn’t want one? It’s obviously such a walk in the park compared with the others. Like you I have a hard time with this bullsh*t and ignorance. I bet the advertising company will enter it for a load of awards because it’s so groundbreaking. If they like it that much they’re all very welcome to my HER2+ grade3 blob of loveliness and I’ll throw in the salpingo-oophorectomy for free. Meanwhile those who know what they’re talking about will continue telling the truth about cancer, even if it’s unattractive.

    • Scorchy says:

      I hear you. It just confuses me. When you watched the video and then, as a finality, you’re presented with the “I wish xxx” it has no connection with anything that has come before it. I don’t get the cancer envy. Just don’t get it.

  5. They can have my late effect side-effects …. Free…. No charge…. No tax…. Just out right free. Thanks for a great post Scorch!!

  6. You knocked it out of the part, Scorch!

  7. Yours is a perfect response to the latest in ignorance.

  8. Scott MacKenzie says:

    Every time I read a post about the PCA campaign my pulse races. If you decide you would like to start creating MEMES that share the sentiment above, I will be glad to help make some. Then we can start pasting them all over their Facebook pages. Maybe then they’ll see how stupid wrong this campaign is. I think Brendan Behan is wrong: there IS such thing as bad publicity.

  9. Echoing dglassme–all of what she said.

  10. Joanne says:

    Uh…Hello out there….you can have mine too…..lol

  11. Pat Wetzel says:

    All cancer is terrible and this is not a race to tell the most gruesome tale. I once had someone say to me: “If you’re going to get cancer yours is the kind to have.” Are people really this stupid? And that comment was from a friend who is a doctor!!! The things people say (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fluBsPbP68)

    I also hope that this ad is terminated as soon as possible.

  12. Marie says:

    Excellent post. Hope the idiots from Pancreatic Action read it.

    • Scorchy says:

      I wish they’d take down their campaign. But we all know that isn’t going to happen. Can you imagine having some connection to breast cancer or testicular cancer and then seeing these piss awful ads in the subway or in print? xoxo

  13. Caroline says:

    Who the hell are those morons who came up with the better cancer bullshit? Hugs to you.

  14. dglassme says:

    The campaign speaks volumes as to how distorted breast cancer comes across in today’s society. And you my dear are a diamond shape, precise and cutting thank you for raising your pen on the issue. ~D

    • Scorchy says:

      It is quite telling, isn’t it? If we ever wanted any singular bit of proof that the pinkification of breast cancer is evil–this one is it. And thank you, always. xoxo

  15. That campaign has to be the dumbest idea ever.

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