Monday, April 12, 2010

KFC chicken racktacular.

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and KFC.


There are two things I love in this world: fried chicken and talking about my rack.

Now, I can finally combine my two loves into one blog post.

Regular readers know that I don’t pimp anything. I don’t do reviews. Mostly, I talk about my dogs and stupid stuff that makes me laugh. But here, I’m making an exception.

The good folks at BlogHer chose me to talk about my experiences with breast cancer to help raise awareness for a great program from KFC. See, they have these pink buckets. And the buckets are filled with delicious chicken. And for every pink bucket, KFC makes a 50 cent contribution to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The pink buckets will be available in KFC restaurants through May 23. KFC is hoping to make the single largest donation ever in the fight against breast cancer.

The program is called Buckets for the Cure. You get chicken. And maybe I won’t get breast cancer. Everybody wins!

My grandma died of breast cancer when my mom didn’t realize she was pregnant with me. My grandma was initially told not to worry about that spot on her breast.

My sweet mama had a lumpectomy shortly after my birth. She was worried about her health, but mostly worried about who would take care of her baby.

More lumps, bumps, and 23 year later, my mom was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. She’d had a clean mammogram four months earlier. The tumor was the size of a large grape.
Someday, she will tell her amazing tale. It’s not my story to tell, so I won’t. But when someone in your family gets cancer, you all get it.
I don’t know if you’re ever old enough to not be freaked out by helping your mom take a bath, but I know for a fact that 23 isn’t old enough. And I’m pretty certain, too, that’s it’s never going to feel normal to see your mom bald, no matter how old either of you are.

I know that hospitals are cold, and sitting outside in otherwise sweltering heat is sometimes the only way to warm up and stop feeling numb. I know that being handed your mama’s wedding rings by an OR nurse who reports that jewelry of any kind isn’t allowed feels like the most solemn, weighted duty.

I also know that when you’re a week shy of college graduation and you find a hard lump in your breast – this, even before your mom’s diagnosis – well, you freak the fuck out.

And after your mom’s diagnosis, when suddenly her doctor and your doctor and strangers on the street freak out and insist that the fibroadenoma – the benign lump you’ve been carrying around for a year – needs to come out immediately? You want to stick your head in the sand.

But I didn’t. I had a lumpectomy. My mom was too sick from chemo to come. My boyfriend and his parents took me to the hospital. A few days later, the bandage came off and I wept. I looked like Frankenstein. The scar was red and puckered and painful. I thought I better stay with my boyfriend forever because no one else would ever want me. I was 23.

And then the scar healed and my mom’s hair grew back and it became very tempting to forget that 1998 ever happened. Cancer? What cancer? That’s something that happens to other people.

But it happened to us.

And somewhere along the way, I became pretty well convinced that breast cancer was my destiny. My grandma and my mom had both had it. Surely I would, too. And it wouldn’t be fair or right or responsible to pass that destiny on to anyone else. So I figured I shouldn’t have kids, which was an easy decision since the boyfriend and I parted ways, and who else would want me anyway?

Ticket for one to Crazytown!

So, I hung out in Crazytown for a few years. And then I got the hell out. Cancer really does impact your relationships – and your choice of emotional real estate.

Once I decided I wasn’t a leper, I started thinking a bit more, oh, logically. My mom and I had genetic testing. You know, so maybe I could stop just assuming that I was genetically predisposed to breast cancer. You could have knocked us both over with a feather. Those damned BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes?

Not in our family.

And the crazy PTEN one that you’ve never heard of? Not that one, either.

Are you freaking kidding me?

We figured that out about six months ago. I’m still waiting for my subconscious to sort it out, to figure out what it means to any maternal instincts I might have. I’m also trying to come to terms with the fact that I don’t have to have breast cancer. And really? Nobody has to have breast cancer.

If you have any questions about my experience, please let me know. Because trust me, I’m skimming the surface here. If anything I can share can help you, I will do it. My mom commented the other day that when her mom was going through chemo, it was a different time – no one even acknowledged that she was sick. You just didn’t talk about it. Now? Well, let’s talk about boobs, shall we? If it makes a difference, I’m all for it.

Also, it’s just funny. Let’s talk about my rack! Woo-hoo!

For every comment you leave here or on other posts from the BlogHer.com special offers page BlogHer will donate a $1, up to a total of $1,000, for the entire program. So let it all out. What do you do to make a difference in the lives of others?

40 comments:

  1. My cousin's mother had breast cancer. She's 20 now and terrified. She will not go on the pill, for fear that it will hurt her one day. To the point where she has been researching elective mastectomies way earlier than any one should. But her mother died when she was 4. So it's part of her reality now. :-(

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  2. Here's a comment for another $1 donation! I'm glad you posted this and I hope it helps a lot of women.

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  3. Great post, Cha Cha. And now I have a good reason to go to KFC.

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  4. You are such a great advocate for breast cancer! OK - that sounds stupid... A great advocate for breast cancer TESTING and what not. OK - better.... I have stories - boy, do I have stories - but not for here. Thanks for doing this. You rock!

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  5. I know someone that had breast cancer and now has fake boobs. While trying to date via Match.com (SHOOT ME), I read a post from a guy who said he didn't like fake boobs and didn't want to date anyone with them. I immediately thought about my friend and how crappy that guy must be to judge someone's worth by her boobs. They don't make the woman. You rock, Cha Cha

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  6. This is great and a great reason to go out and get my fried chicken on!! I'm sorry for your struggles, but really think what you're doing here - bringing it out in the open - is amazing!

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  7. OH, do you mind if I link back here from my blog to get more women involved??

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  8. I cannot even imagine what living with the expectation of getting cancer must be like. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  9. Oh wow. I'm toasting both of you and your courage right now.

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  10. How can you make me cry and laugh at the same time, Cha Cha?? We've come so far from the days when the "C" word was whispered -- if it was mentioned at all. Now most women talk openly about their battles with breast cancer. Information is power and encouragement. But no one should have to hear the words "you have breast cancer". Thank you KFC -- pink buckets on every table!!

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  11. You go girl! Great post and great cause. Boobs rule (even if mine are very, very small)

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  12. What, an excuse to eat KFC, AND support such a great cause? Done. I'm emailing this link to everyone I know.... thanks for sharing!!!

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  13. JJ above me said it perfectly. Now I know what I'll be having for dinner on Wednesday. Hell, I may have it for lunch tomorrow. (weird fact, as I am typing this, KFC commercial is on).

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  14. We have a different kind of 'lady-parts cancer' in our family, so I know those feelings. I am glad to jump on your band-wagon!

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  15. I had breast cancer in 2004. Lumpectomy, radiation, done. I, too, began to talk about my boobs! They certainly weren't remarkable enough to talk about pre-BC, but post-BC I'll talk about them at the drop of a hat. I've talked to our air conditioning contractors.(I'm in the business.) A room FULL of men listened to every word I had to say, took home every piece of literature I brought with me, AND asked me to speak the next year as a reminder for them to remind their wives about their mammograms. Keep up the good work! Every penny and every word helps. Continue to THINK PINK!

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  16. I didn't think I would laugh so much while reading one of these shared stories posts, but I did... so thank you :). And thank you for sharing your story, too.

    Andrea
    http://blog.sweetlifesite.com

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  17. read all the ways to prevent it, diet etc. Breastfeeding your babies helps greatly, at least 6 months or more. Just having babies also helps. Great post.

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  18. I have several friends who have had breast cancer and luckily with fabulous family support and skilled medical professionals they are all still with us. Please continue to support so all can be cured or perhaps even eradicate this dread killer. I now carry a bag with a pink ribbon in honor of all of my very special friends who have fought the fight and won. MM in Osky

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  19. Racktacular indeed! I raise my KFC drumstick to both you and your mom's racks.

    Thanks for sharing your story. I agree with mama Cha - the more open we all are the better for all and the faster we get to a cure.

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  20. ChaCha I am impressed with your strength and vulnerability. You are an amazing woman!

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  21. My mom had breast cancer, but it was caught VERY early. It was hard being 16 and being told my mom had it. Luckily the lumpectomy did it's job and it's never been back.

    You are a very strong lady. Thanks for the donation - a cure will be found.

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  22. Sound like a nerve "racking" experience. I'll keep my fingers crossed that you never have to battle the Big C. Thanks for sharing your story, even though you claim you just wanted to talk about your bosom :-)
    This Eclectic Life

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  23. My mom is also a survivor of breast cancer! Thank you for sharing your story!

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  24. Thanks for sharing your story. Let's find a cure for this thing NOW!

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  25. Thanks for sharing your story - you and your mom are amazing!!

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  26. My grandmother had breast cancer and her son, my father had prostate cancer. Sometimes I feel like you, wondering and waiting to see if it's going to happen to me.

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  27. Thanks for sharing... and caring! Let's all eat some chicken!!!

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  28. Popeye's chicken is much more ractacular than KFC! Not. Even. Close. in taste. Sorry, Colonel. But thanks for supporting our breasts!

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  29. What a great excuse to go to KFC. Thanks for sharing your story

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  30. ChaCha, I've known you seven years and never knew your story in this much depth. Can I say I love you even more, if that was possible! No more words.....just thinking of you!

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  31. My daughter recently had a lumpectomy, and is now going through chemo. Before this, no one in our family ever had breast cancer. Not me, not my mom, neither of my sisters, no aunts or cousins -- no one. She has two children and breast fed both of them for more than six months each. She regularly does BSE, and found the lump herself, about six months before her next regular mammogram would have been scheduled. She was barely into stage two, and her prognosis is excellent. Had she waited for the mammogram it would have been much worse. One other note -- when she was about 20, without health insurance, though she working while attending school, she went to Planned Parenthood for a gynecological exam. The practitioner showed her how to do a breast self exam, and told that someday it might save her life. Now, I had told her and her sister about BSE, but coming from a professional who showed her how to do them correctly made a greater impact. So, when you're thinking about prevention, think about Planned Parenthood too -- it's the only resource for some uninsured women.

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  32. Surivor of Breast Cancer here - I bought my chicken and ate it too!! I was 37 when diagnosed. No family history - then my two cousins were diagnosed. And an Aunt. But we all tested negative for those genes. So - it's the Breast Cancer lottery that I won. Go figure. But I have two daughters that will always wonder - when?

    Thanks for your story!

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  33. What, an excuse to eat KFC, AND support such a great cause? Done. I'm emailing this link to everyone I know.... thanks for sharing!!!

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  34. I think dinner tonight will be KFC in pink! Good luck for the future and never give up hope.

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  35. I've been struggling with the fact that I am currently at the age that my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She survived! and thrived! But last year (30 years later) she also had an early catch on colon cancer. It's hard when you are so like your mom in so many ways not to believe that everything that they have/do will also be your destiny. We react in so many ways in trying to live with that knowledge...including living in denial. Thanks for this post - it is NOT oversharing. I'm overdue for my annual mammo, will call right away to schedule.

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  36. I know your mom and have heard her story (actually I have her tell my it every year when we quilt together). She's a wonderful, strong lady and so very proud of you.

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  37. Thanks for sharing your story. Happy to leave a comment to up the donation to such a worthy cause!

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  38. Amazing story. I will spread the word for you.

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  39. You know, on Oaks day (the day before the Kentucky Derby here in Louisville), Churchill Downs centered the entire day around the "Save the Ta-Tas" breast cancer awareness campaign. They had a parade full of breast cancer survivors circle the track before the Oaks race. It was pretty amazing. My sister is a Leukemia survivor (AML to be precise), and after being told by the doctors when she was only 16 that she would likely not even go to college, she is now married, a mother, a teacher, and 11 years in remission. You are warriors.

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  40. My grandmother was a breast cancer survivor. She'd be disgusted if she were alive today. The Komen Foundation PROMOTES breast cancer, NOT a cure.

    If you really care about women, and about ending breast cancer, visit www.bucketsforthecause.com to find out what Komen is REALLY doing for women.

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