When you are a famous person, people tend to listen to you. This can be a good thing or a not so good thing. When it comes to famous women getting breast cancer, it's a little of both. It's good because you know that because of Melissa Ethridge and Elizabeth Edwards more women are getting better screening for breast cancer. Other women going through cancer look up to them as support and encouragement. They hear them tell the public that are expected to make a full recovery and we get all excited when we hear that they are cancer free. It would be interesting to see them behind the scenes though, and see if what they tell the public is actually how they feel and how they conduct their lives. I know that when I see these women on TV poo pooing the effect cancer has on their lives, I feel like a baby, just some woman who can't deal with the disease. I feel weak.
"Look, she can deal with it, and she can deal with it, why can't I"
Being a person who is surviving breast cancer, I know that I could never go out in public and say that I am expected to make a full recovery, and there are sunshine days ahead and, while we are at it, lets hold hand and skip through the meadow of wildflowers. I can't do that because I don't know that to be true. Yes, I can go by the numbers that I am given, but what the hell is a number? I have learned not to trust numbers, they tend to fail me.
But, what upsets me more than anything is this. I have a problem when famous people go on TV saying blah blah blah....cancer free...blah blah...full recovery...blah blah. Breast cancer is not to be treated like the common cold.
Women die from breast cancer. A lot. And to keep telling the public all about full recoveries, to me, diminishes how severe breast cancer can be. Is that doing the public a favor? I think not. Case in point, Elizabeth Edwards. Remember back when they went public? Things were going to be fine, not a big deal, FULL RECOVERY. Now, just yesterday she announced that she is terminal. Breast cancer will be what kills her. She was diagnosed the same year I was. That can easily be me. That is why breast cancer is not what a lot of the public thinks it is. It is sneaky, it can hide, it can spread like wildfire, it can kill.