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?