So. I am just going to come out and say it. I am a breast cancer survivor. Ick. I really don’t even like typing that. Don’t get me wrong. I am VERY glad to be here. I just hate being associated with the disease. And I don’t heart boobies right now. At all.
My boobs have seriously let me down. What once were my most prideful assets (they looked good, people) are now the source of so much pain and stress. One now looks WAY different than the other. They used to look great in a bikini, fed my kid, and were the source of well-received compliments. And now I wish I never had them. (Sigh.)
I have been cancer-free since July 25, 2011. Six months out. So I am a newbie to this whole breast cancer thing. It still hurts, but day by day I am getting through it. My hair is growing back and I am slowly losing the weight I put on from treatment. It threw my seven-year relationship with my husband through a massive loop but we are slowing putting our lives back to together. Happy hour is in my vocabulary again and my two-year old likes me (today). So life is good.
But. I need to address the t-shirts. Oh the t-shirts. I feel like there are so many! I Heart Boobies, Boobies are Rad, Save the Ta-Ta’s. I get it. Don’t mess with the boobies. No one knows this better than me. These shirts were designed as a way to positively communicate about breast cancer to young people and to create awareness about the disease. Funds from shirts purchased go to independent scientific research and grants to be awarded that conduct such research. I’m okay with these shirts. They’re funny and do good things. I just want to be sure that people understand what they mean as it’s very easy to make light of something that has the word boobie on it. Just sayin’.
This post was inspired by a conversation with a teenager I saw in line at Target. This was at the end of my chemotherapy treatments, and before radiation. He looked like your typical teen hipster youth, probably not older than 15 years old. He looked like he had something better to do than be at Target. I looked terrible. He had an I Heart Boobies wristband on so I commented on how I liked his wristband and that it was good that he was supporting such an important cause. Let’s just say the conversation wasn’t fruitful. He looked at me like I had a disease (well, I did), mumbled something, and then turned the other way. (Another big sigh.)
Granted, this was a young kid and I am probably being too hard on him. Bald grown-ups probably don’t talk to him that much. So I probably startled him. My point is, to me, as a survivor, these t-shirts and wristbands make a powerful statement. So much that I need to know the story behind it. If I see someone wearing one, I wonder, does their mom have breast cancer? Does their Grandma have breast cancer? Does their best friend’s aunt have breast cancer? Do they really just like boobs? What’s their story here? Why are they wearing this shirt?
Bottom line is, if you wear one of these popular shirts or wristbands, please do so with purpose as they were created to serve a very important cause: Boobies are nice and we need to take care of them. We also need to remember to take care of someone whose boobies weren’t so nice to them. They would really appreciate that. Also know if you are wearing one of these shirts, someone will probably want to talk to you because it does have the word boobie on it. So you should probably know what that means.
In the spirit of being pink, here is a recipe for some delicious pink lemonade (courtesy of Ina Garten). We can pretend like it’s spring, right? Helpful hint: Don’t forget the vodka. Add as much as you would like.
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (5 to 6 lemons)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup superfine sugar, to taste
- 1 cup crushed ice
- 4 cups water
- 2 teaspoons grenadine
- 6 maraschino cherries
Place the lemon juice, sugar, ice, water, and grenadine in a blender and process until completely smooth. Place a cherry in the bottom of 6 glasses and pour the lemon juice mixture in the glass. Add vodka. (Insert sigh of happiness.)