Truth is a big deal to me. From a personality and training perspective, I’m wired to look for and speak the truth. What I often forget to do is package the truth.
But what other people don’t often understand is that I really do appreciate when others speak their truth, give their perspective, even if it’s unvarnished and direct. I detest pretending and fakeness or the people who act one way in one context and another way in a different context. It’s confusing.
And I feel the same way about Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM). I want to know what others think, how they feel, why they do the things they do or don’t do. I think it’s important.
And so I’ve taken some screenshots of a recent conversation on a friend’s page on Facebook. For once, someone who has had early stage breast cancer took off the gloves and told it honestly and clearly from her perspective. I don’t envy my friends who attempted to reason with her because she was communicating from deep in her feelings and reason had nothing to do with it. Read on for my take.
Those of us living with Stage IV cancer are alive yet dying. We are terminal. We lose so many friends every day. And that’s scary. It’s scary for us living it. And it scares others.
This last interchange with my dear kind friend, Janice Cowden, is what I think really reveals the mentality of so many. Others want October to be “just” about awareness. To be told that there is a dark underbelly of experience makes them feel guilty for surviving.
And there it is.
It sucks, I know.
I’ve lived for four (4) years with MBC and I see my friends die every single day. They didn’t do anything better or worse than I have. They aren’t better or worse people that I am. I’m just lucky that the medication I’ve taken and am taking is working, for now.
That is heavy stuff.
In my view, in my truth, I think what tells you about the character of a person is what they do with guilt. We all have guilt for one thing or another, that’s just life. What we decide to do about it, that’s what separates people.
I don’t know Janet who posted these heartfelt comments that I know others share. The ladies who took their time to engage and educate this lady, those are women I know. Women who go out of their way day after day after day in the midst of their own pain to help others. Women who have loved and supported me in my own struggles. Women who have earned a piece of my heart just by being alive.
Natalia, Janice and Kelly are all women who have taken the hardest thing that has ever happened to them and used it to advocate for and help others. Their truth is very different from Janet’s and none are less valid. It is what these ladies DO with their truth that is worthy of comment.