My friend Kate is joining me today to talk about something that's more than relevant for so many of us. And if it doesn't impact us directly, it certainly has impacted someone we know and love with our entire heart.
She's talking about Breast Cancer. Breast Cancer is way more than the pink-washing that so many people think it is. It's more than just wearing ribbons and walking for the "cure". It's about the many women and men (yes, men get breast cancer, too) who fight the good fight and battle hard to beat this disease.
And in discussing this Kate would like to talk to us about the many bravely labeled celebrities with Breast Cancer. Sure. These individuals are brave. No doubt about it. They battle as hard as the general population do. But Kate wants us to know more.
Breast Cancer has been at the forefront of news articles in the last few years, especially after Angelina Jolie made the decision to have both her breasts removed due to being a carrier of the BRACA gene. And there are lots of articles about “brave so and so…. Undergoing this surgery" – most recently celebrity chef Sandra Lee.
And while I’m glad that breast cancer has received such publicity, it’s hard to swallow feeling really sorry for these celebrities who are able to undergo this surgery without having to worry about the medical expenses. Chef Sandra Lee was able to spend 7 days in hospital following her surgery. Most of us are kicked out the next day and sent home to try to cope with emptying our drains, sleeping sitting up in an arm chair, trying to dress ourselves and trying to cope with the mental stress of just having lost our breasts.
And that’s not to mention the calls from work asking when we plan to return, the kids that still need taking care of, the dogs that still need to be fed and the house that still needs to NOT look like a pigsty in order to enable peaceful healing.
So instead of thinking that these celebrities are so brave for sharing their stories, let’s remember how brave the every day woman is in the real world. The women that are diagnosed with breast cancer, and are still paying medical bills 2 years later. The women that are left uneven from surgery and really can’t afford their insurance deductible in order to get that taken care of. The women that struggled to make ends meeting during the year of treatment because they weren’t paid for the work days they missed. The women who had to work overtime to account for the time off they needed for chemotherapy treatments. And the every day women that are not offered free therapy to cope with their emotional needs when all is said and done and can’t afford to pay for it..
It’s fantastic that there are so many advances made in breast cancer now and that for many women it’s no longer a death sentence. But the recovery is hard for the every day woman – physically, mentally and financially.
These are the really brave women.
Kate is a British Mum living in North Carolina with two teenagers and a 9 year old. She works full time during the week and on the weekends can be found DJ'ing Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs and other celebrations. She enjoys Broadway musicals, books, singing and generally having fun!