Category Archives: Photoroman
It was 1974 when Betty ford declared her Breast Cancer diagnosis, and changed the world of Breast Cancer forever.
The 1st Lady, talking openly about the “C word” and sharing details about mastectomy and treatments, has distinguished the blame, that was an integral part of being a breast cancer patient until then, and made it sure that each and every woman in the US would be aware of the diseases.
20 years later, Evelyn Lauder thought it was time for awareness to go farther, deeper and higher, and together with Alexandra Penney the editor of Self magazine, founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and formalized the pink ribbon as its symbol.
The conversation was changed; now, it was not only about the Awareness, this time it was also about raising money, a lot of money. For 20 years, Breast Cancer awareness charities and organizations are raising money for research, screenings and support groups and facilities. Women today are aware of the disease and its signs, the importance of early detection and the risks, like never before, but that is not enough anymore. The conversation has to change again.
No pink KFC buckets donation, is worth the damage this awful food is doing to the body of the eater, and no headless chic with huge breast is doing any good to the cause. And by the way the cause, well it’s about time it stopped being about early detection, and became the search for prevention and eventually, a cure.
At first, when Cancer took me online, I was looking for information, research and statistics. Later, I began searching for solutions and products, for my ever changing needs.
I was spending most of my bed times online, and was amazed when I realized, there was almost no online presence, regarding the quality of life of women facing breast cancer. There’s been a lot about the “before” and a race and a walk for the “after”, but in the meantime, the “during”, the present, It seemed that diagnosis made me transparent…
I couldn’t figure out how it was possible, that there were so many of us, and so much PR on our disease, and our day to day life, were an aspect that no one seemed to care about, (not counting drug or insurance companies…).
It didn’t take me long to understand that the disease, the awareness and the cure were all much bigger issues than the women they claim to take care of or represent.
I started searching for new conversation, I got lucky and found the sharp and bright chemobabe – who lead my way to an inspiring, enlightening, educating and life changing group of amazons who broadened my horizons and changed the kind of Survivor and advocate that I am.
It is the end of October 2012, and after 20 pink years, this year I think that you can clearly hear new voices. There’s a new approach making its way towards a significant change in priorities, there is an ongoing improvement in treatment and in the attitude towards women living with metastases, and towards prevention.
A new Breast Cancer language and literature, is being written in blogs and on twitter, there’s a democracy of voices and opinions, the unseen bare truth of what Breast Cancer is all about, is all out there, and Advocacy succeeds in making a real progress.
Thanks God, it is the end of October, it’s been long and pink, and to celebrate its ending, tomorrow I have an appointment with my Oncologist and maybe, get the results of my MRI.
At the end of the day, awareness, as far as it went, has yet, saved the life of many of us… I hope that in 20 years, all of this would seem irrelevant…
Wish me luck
I was born and raised in Israel, (7th generation on my father’s side). I am the daughter of a writer and a writer myself, I define myself in Hebrew.
I don’t think that my English is a total disgrace, I read hundreds of English pages every day, my work is being done mainly in English, lately, I even find myself thinking in English, it is just that Hebrew is so much more generous to me…
Hebrew offers me synonyms and metaphors and word-plays, it is a tool I can create worlds with, and then tare them apart, while my English is lackluster and well, dull. Not to mention my grammar…
So for almost 3 years, I shut up (mostly) and read a lot. I worked like crazy to figure and establish the site I was missing and dreaming about, and now, I feel it’s time I shared my journey.
When I was sick, I promised myself I will never be ashamed to do anything I want to do. So I’ve decided to let go of the hang ups and start writing, and the only way this specific story can be told, is in my own voice – even if it is damaged and imperfect… guess what?! So is my breast…
I really hope you will join this ride, and please, pardon my English…
It was Pinkoctober 2007. I was just separated after 13.5 years of complicated marriage. My kids were 12 & 9 & Broken. I was 40, a published writer and multi discipline artist, which meant I had no steady, or other, income; and just when I thought that anything that can go wrong has already went so wrong, then, came Polly*…
There was not even one arena, in which I didn’t have to fight. Wherever I turned, there were struggles and challenges waiting to be solved.
But the one fight, which was inconceivably pointless and beyond my comprehension, was managing my everyday life, with the lack of accessibility and items, which were designed to answer my new and ever changing needs.
The last time I was so frustrated from that kind of “non-important stuff” was 13 years before, when I was pregnant, and all I could wear, were huge men shirts with leggings…
In both cases, I was overwhelmed; I was dealing with hope and fear, while undergoing a dramatic change in my life, my mind and my body. But, while maternity’s final output, is definitely a great reward for all the above, Cancer sucks.
The changes surgeries and treatments brought were extreme and cruel, within 3 months I’ve lost my 2 breasts, my hair and almost 20 pound of my weight.
Call me Shallow, but I wanted to feel pretty, at each and every phase of treatment and surgeries. Call me Rotten Spoiled, but I wanted to be comfort and confident, even when my breast was wounded, or when my head was bald. You can try calling me a Chauvinist, cooperating with the flatness perceptions of Beauty and Sensuality, but even if you were right, still, I wanted to feel beautiful…
It was Pinkoctober 2008 when I finished treatment; it was only then that I started deconstructing the hell I went through, and felt lonely and misunderstood. It took some long blogosphere nights, to figure, I was not alone and a few more to realize, there is so much to be done.
So, It took some time to recover, it took some time to sort the women I’ve become and figure the roads I should take. It took time, to meet the amazing, generous, smart mentors, which were just there, when I needed, and to find good partners, that see that have experienced the same firsthand (or other organs, but who counts..?!)
It is the end of Pinkoctober 2012. And here I am, a scared Survivor of all those fights, on my way to accomplish the mission: An easy path, to help us all cope with visibility issues, establish a source for all the knowledge and experience that exists between us, and add some normality into the routine of women coping with Breast Cancer.
The name is curediva.com – it will be launching soon as the holistic one stop shop and community, to all these “day to day” and lifestyle matters, which eventually makes life during Breast Cancer and beyond, for what it is. It might not save lives, but it is certainly going to make it easier and prettier… Well, yes, I guess you can call me Shallow, but I prefer Efrat