As many of you know from my Facebook page, I was honored to be one of 12 breast cancer patients at a Pinktober fashion show at Saks Off Fifth sponsored by the Smilow Breast Health Center. I had so many special people come out to cheer me on. They even brought pompoms! Once again, I am so grateful to feel such love and support. And I was so happy to be able to thank all the doctors who came out to be a part of the celebration.
All that said, I have to tell you that I didn’t find this to be easy. Minutes before, I almost pulled a “Project Run-AWAY”, but I made a good show of it. Heidi and Tim would have been of proud of the way I worked it. But inside my head was a whole different movie.
You see, there I was – all dolled up as a breast cancer survivor – and it truly felt like a nightmare. Imagine yourself having a dream in which you are a cancer patient modeling in a fashion show with people laughing and clapping and cheering you on as a survivor. Who wouldn’t want to wake the f#ck up??
I continue to struggle with this new identity that I just don’t identify with. But by definition, you become a survivor the day you are diagnosed and you continue to be one…until you’re not.
The words I have chosen are “I HAD cancer.” Perhaps it’s a bit of denial. I don’t minimize my fear of recurrence but i’m anxious to put this all behind me. I guess I’ll feel different when all the lingering side effects are gone and when I can “walk the walk” not the catwalk, helping others live through and after their diagnosis. Perhaps then, I, too will feel like a survivor.