Every time I began a new stage of cancer treatment--chemo, surgery, radiation--I would get another round of telephone calls, cards and gifts from family and friends. Conversations would begin with heavy concern: How are you holding up? Are you REALLY Okay?
After I lost my hair, I told them the benefits of no hair styling maintenance--it takes 15 minutes less to get ready for work in the morning! The way I disguised my bald head, what with the hats, the earrings, the sunglasses--people just took me for some over-the-top fashionista anyway. When the Dunkin' Donuts gals told me to Work It Girl, I replied: Hey, when you're bald, you've gotta pull out all the stops!
Right before my first mastectomy, my uncle called and asked how I felt. I replied: I guess I'm going to have to give up that dream of becoming a stripper. He got a good laugh over that one. I relayed stories to family and friends about how I used breast cancer to my advantage. Like the time a cop pulled me over. I pulled back my wig to give him a peek of my bald head and said, please officer, I am late for my chemo appointment, I have cancer. He didn't give me a ticket and let me go.
That's what I call pulling out your Platinum Cancer Card. When I was digging for money to get coffee one day and clearly looked frazzled, I commented to no one in particular: I have cancer! The women standing behind me immediately stepped up to the counter and said, I'll pay. Okay, so I milked it for what it was worth. It was actually a bit fun.
The point is, I tried to see some humor in the situation. It's a great coping mechanism. I had gone my whole life without spending a night in the hospital and suddenly within a year I had three major surgeries. But there was no point in whining about it. So I decided to enjoy the attention and look at the situation from a lighter point of view. Perhaps that's why everyone said I had such a great attitude. They tell you, one of the best ways to battle cancer is to remain positive. I did that by keeping my humor. Trust me, it works!
Since Breast Cancer Awareness month is right around the corner, why not give to an organization that not only fights breast cancer, but does it with the same light-hearted way I battled the disease. The Save The Ta Tas mission? Laughter Heals. Buy yourself or a friend a T-Shirt with the Save The Ta Tas logo by simply going to the website, www.savethetatas.com.
By doing so, you will not only be contributing to the cure for breast cancer, you will be giving people a good laugh when they see what your T-Shirt says: Save The Ta Tas! Now that's the fighting spirit!