This month is of course breast cancer awareness month. Pink has been everywhere... Profile pictures, ribbons, etc. I have mixed emotions about this in the best of times - breast cancer is just one of many cancers, and I am uncomfortable with its more than equal airtime. Taking actions like changing the color of a profile picture, or posting a status "against" a particular cancer (is anyone for it?) just really doesn't make sense to me. I feel the same way about my "own" cancer - the one I survived (merkel cell carcinoma) - so I don't think it's a case of my picking "favorites."
The counter argument is of course the benefit of raising "awareness." For the past 32 days, I have been very aware, and the last thing I have wanted or needed to see is more pink and additional reminders. I have been through a scare; I found a red flag symptom at the end of September. I had a series of all the standard tests - none of which isolated the cause, or even indicated a problem. I've been on a roller coaster of fear/relief/fear/relief... Each time a test showed no problem, I thought I was in the clear, only to learn there was yet one more step to take.
This past Monday, I had a same day surgery that finally brought this cycle of fear to an end. I got the biopsy results a few hours ago - completely and totally benign. In contrast to the day I was diagnosed with MCC, which had a Shakespearean thunderstorm in December, today has a bright blue sky and peak autumn leaves. I have my life back again, except...
I need to remember how totally lucky and special each day is. Scares like this bring that home, but it is so easy to forget when things get back to "normal." Awareness... But for me, the awareness I need is not of all the bad things that might happen, but of all the good that happens every day.