Yesterday, June 4, 2016, was National Hug Your Cat Day. As it happens, I hug my cat everyday, and, I’m delighted to say, she hugs me back. So, I don’t really need to be reminded to hug my cat, but what the heck? I can get behind the sentiment.
Today, June 5, 2016, is National Cancer Survivors Day. I got invited to a dinner for cancer survivors that was organized by my local hospital/healthcare system, which also happens to be my employer. Every day that I am still, as far as I know, NED, is a day I’m grateful for. But like many of us, I have trouble with the word ‘survivor.’ Maybe it’s me, but on this day, I can’t help remembering all the people I have known who did not survive cancer. I’ve survived my crazy childhood, bad relationships, several hurricanes, a few auto accidents, the infamously snowy winter of 2015 here in New England, the sorrow of burying both of my parents, and a whole lot of other shit. Those events are behind me. Breast cancer, which can recur and metastasize years after initial diagnosis, is not. So, no, I am not attending a dinner that, at best, will leave me feeling uncomfortably patronized and will not begin to acknowledge my daily reality or the reality of my friends and patients who are enduring metastatic cancer every day.
Yesterday, one of my friends, who has also had breast cancer, posted the following on Facebook: “I know nobody will read my status but sometimes when I’m bored, I get wrapped up in my tutu, put a giant horn on my head, lather sparkles all over myself and prance around the kitchen pretending I’m a magical unicorn!” I laughed. I figured she was making fun of those idiotic posts that demand that the reader leave a one-word response and then cut-and-paste the same status to their own timelines. So, I left a Ha-ha emoji and suggested that she post a photo. Later, I got this message from her: “Dear fellow unicorn, I am really sorry I have lost at the unicorn game and now so have you! Anyone who likes or comments on my post has to continue the game for Breast Cancer Awareness (unless you have lost your sense of humor). You now have to post the same thing on your status. Be a good sport and keep it going….you have to send this message to anyone who comments or likes on your post.”
The first thing I thought was, No way in hell. I take that back. The first thing I thought was, What the ever-loving heck?? Then I was surprised that this person, an ordinarily with-it, intelligent person who also objects to all the fake pink BS that is breast cancer awareness, a person of whom I am fond, would even participate in this, and not just ignore the person who started it. She did end her message by saying, “You are going to hate this. Sorry.” Well, she was right about that. I did and do hate it. We had a little cordial back-and-forth about it, and she apologized again. But I still do not understand why she posted it in the first place. Maybe I have, indeed, lost my sense of humor. One of my dearest friends, who died of metastatic breast cancer, was buried last weekend. I’m still trying to come to terms with that.
About five years ago, I wrote another post about these so-called games [The Pink Elephant]. My sentiments about them remain unchanged. I hate blackmail, I hate social media bullying, and I fail to see what is amusing about these games, much less how their originators can suppose for one nanosecond that they advance anything but their embarrassingly prepubescent lack of intelligence. If anyone can explain to me how they contribute to breast cancer awareness, please leave me a comment. Which means I may be condemning myself to getting no comments here, because I doubt very much that anyone can explain this to my satisfaction.
Yesterday, there was also a full moon. Maybe that’s it. All I know is that I’m not in the mood, today or any day, for errant lunacy. I think I’ll go hug my cat.