Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fight like a girl (updated)

JD put this out there the other day: October is.... and I knew I would participate, of course.

And then last week, I saw one of "those" feeds on Facebook. One of those, "Oh, shit...what the hell happened?" But I didn't follow up right then. Maybe because it was I knew there would be a monster under the bed that time. I stopped by my old Starbucks, and saw a young man I used to work with, and asked him about this feed. Now this young man is one of the kindest, gentlest souls around, and I know it upset him to report that yes, indeed, a young woman we both knew/know and love was diagnosed with breast cancer, stage 3, both breasts, and is scheduled for a double mastectomy this month, along with subsequent chemo.

She is 34 years old, and has a little boy.

She is the rock for her small family; I have met her husband, and he's very handsome.

F*ck, that monster is scary.

I don't have time to write down everything Luperci is wearing. She is weaning fire. She is wearing her heart on her sleeve. She is wearing bravery. Just like this amazing young woman. I chose Luperci because Lupe always kind of reminded me of this young woman: same hair color, same straight-forward get in there and use all the elbow grease and great attitude to get the job done. Even though I am older than she is, I learned so much from her, and I think she did from me as well.

I am not sure how cancer snuck up on her though. Maybe because under the age of 40, yearly mammograms are dismissed as unnecessary. I remember several years ago there was a big to-do saying not to get them done. But I thought then, as I do now, that if it would even save one woman's life, it was worth all the breast-flattening torture that those are. Men: take your butt-cheeks and put them under a Mac truck for about five minutes while pinching under your armpit. Go on. Do it.

Update: I hit the publish button too soon this morning, and couldn't change it where I was. But here are my final thoughts: men suffer too. I am sorry I ended on that snarky note --that was not my intent. Men lose their wives, girlfriends, sisters, and mothers. So this is a note of courage for everyone who is fighting the good fight.

Cymre participated:
 and Kamalia:


  1. I love your choice of colours, the way the light flickers across the leggings brings it all together.

    My own bloodline is remarkably lucky in this sense, our demons are more insidious, insanity sparking deep within (touch wood).

    The wife of my mother's cousin is currently fighting the killer of her own mother and sister. The prognosis is good, although you can never tell.

    The thought of what is essentially a part of us turning against us is the stuff nightmares are made of and I hope your friend defeats hers. The fact that it runs in families makes it even more frightening.

  2. My favorite colors in synthesis are reds, oranges, and purples - perhaps why I love autumn so much. Thank you for noticing, Erinys.

    Yesterday in my writer's workshop some new cohorts shared their writing with me, and I them. Some were surprised that that was part of the drill, and mentioned they would have written something different if they had known they had to read it out loud, albeit in a small group. Each writer was breathtaking, and shared some insidious monsters of her own. I thnk that is where the power really is - knowing we are not alone.

  3. Snarkiness doesn't bother me. Your worry for your friend shines strong.

    I'd like to note that while only 1% of all breast cancer occurs in men, that isn't zero.

    While male, I had the horror of discovering a lump in my breast and had all the anxiety that happens while awaiting a mammogram. Mammogram machines are NOT made to accomodate someone over six feet tall. I feel great empathy for those tall women that must crouch during the torture. Yes, it was a benign cyst, but there are men that have been frightened by that monster.

    1. I meant to add too that breast cancer isn't solely the domain of females either, so I deeply appreciate many misconceptions, and I didn't want to be a contributor to those...again, thank you.


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