Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Great Pumpkin

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is an insidious, invasive, worthless-piece-of-shit, obnoxious mutha fukka of a disease, which  gives not one goddamn where you live, the color of your skin, your political affiliation or your present life circumstances.  It is an equal opportunity asshole.  

If you are reading this and you are a man who has, as I do, women in your life whose lives you hold dear and for whom you would gladly lay down your life, then use the appearance of October on the calendar to elevate your "pain in the ass" status from amateur to professional.  For if your day-to-day is anything akin to mine, then those women of whom I wrote in the previous sentence likely spend a disproportionate amount of their time - including time they should spend taking care of themselves - looking out for those of us who CAN spell out our names with pee in the snow.  If you are - as admittedly and embarrassingly I am - one who fails to balance the scales daily during the year's other eleven months, then make up for it this month, OK?  

Breast cancer has been a part of my family - and a part of my day-to-day for thirty-plus years.  We became acquainted the evening that Mom came home to tell me that we had to cancel our trip to San Francisco to visit Kara at college because her doctor had found a tumor on her breast and she was being admitted into the hospital to undergo a radical mastectomy.   Initially I was terrified that the disease was going to kill my mother.  Shortly thereafter my fear morphed into rage.  Thirty-plus years later, its efforts to take her life continue to be thwarted.  My rage has not abated.  Not one bit. 

It was a bit more than ten years ago that Margaret got her introduction to breast cancer when her mom, Suzy B., was diagnosed in the Spring of 2004.  She fought like hell against it for five torturous years.  Her death only intensified my rage against this fucking disease. 

Far too many women are forced to come face-to-face with breast cancer.  Far too many families continue to be introduced to it, including recently the family of one of my few close friends and his beautiful bride.  Upward, again, has gone the level of my rage

It is a relentless foe.  But it is not unbeatable.  Joanie K. is a living testament to that fact each and every day.  Kicking its ass takes teamwork.  Men, do all that you can to impress upon the women you love just how important it is that they be selfish when it comes to their own health.  Furthermore, if and when breast cancer invades your home and comes hard after a woman you love, bow up your neck, clear your head, focus on the task at hand and fight like hell.  

Support her.  

Protect her.  

Be her rock...

...and know that much in the same way as you have her back, there are people in your life who have yours.  Today.  Tomorrow.  For as long as it takes.  


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