My friend Katie Bo has reacted to the news of my illness by emailing me every day, sometimes multiple times a day, with messages so hilarious I wish I could plagiarize them and turn them into a standup comedy routine. Yesterday, her email was a rant about a number of things – how long she can go without putting on real pants, what happens when smelly people show up to Bikram yoga class, how all Mumford and Sons songs sound alike – but mostly, it was about the pointlessness of pink as the official “breast cancer awareness” color. It included a list of pink things that suck, like a baboon’s butt and Juicy sweatpants. I could go off on a whole feminist diatribe here – about how pink is infantilizing and softening and dulls the edges of what is a very real, very scary disease, etc. – but I’d rather not. Anyway, not being big fans of pink, we decided on a new breast cancer awareness color: SEQUINS. (Not that those are any less infantilizing than pink, but they’re 100% more BADASS.)
So, sequins are now the official color of my personal breast cancer fight. Katie Bo and I hatched a plan to wear sequins together anytime there’s a red letter day in Cancerland, like an important scan or surgery or my first day of chemo. And on my cancerversary, we’re going to don our sparkliest, more glamorous dresses and go out dancing to celebrate the fact that I’ve made it one more year in the face of berzerk, rapidly dividing cells trying to murder me with their unstoppable growth. Hopefully, if all goes well, by my cancerversary I should be cancer-free. Knock wood, of course.
If you’re into sequins, and even if you’re not (Gordie), then I definitely want to invite you to participate in our new little plan. We’re calling it…wait for it…GLAMOURY MAMMARIES. I gave that away in the title, but it’s still amazing. I’m going to stock up on sequined beanies (for my cold, bald chemo head), sequined shirts, sequined panties, whatever I can find with sequins on it. And I’m going to wear the crap out of it.
At the risk of turning this blog into a Nicholas Sparks novel, I just want to say one more time how amazing everyone’s love and support has been. I found this fantastic article on Salon about the unexpected perks of being diagnosed with cancer. And let me tell you, there are a few, like the fact that I am now the exclusive dinner meal decider in the household – whatever I want, we get, and it’s usually burritos. But here’s the real meat of the article, the quote I wanted to share with you:
Connection is all we have in this world, and you, with your generosity and your spirit, have managed to sync me up to its biggest, most powerful network. To put it in geek terms, I’m on the grid, lit up with everything that’s been coming my way. At times it’s been overwhelming, your goodness. I’ve found myself sobbing and laughing at the same time, reading your messages, listening to your voice mails, hanging out with you, astonished at the enormity of your hearts. You’ve given me the best week of my kickass life. (Sorry, spring break ’85.)
The other day my deeply adored friend Walt wrote three simple words. “Whatever you need.” So in case you’re wondering, that’s what you get when you get cancer. You get love from every corner of the world, from friends and strangers. You get people throwing open their doors, extending their hands, showing up at your house with wine. You tap into something so amazing it could break your heart.
The whole article is amazing, I highly recommend it. Since it was written in 2010, and it sounded like the author was battling something pretty nasty (melanoma), I wanted to check up on her progress. Twitter says she’s doing fine, 2+ years out. I have faith I will be, too.
Also: It’s my awesome friend Juliana’s birthday today! Happy 25th, girl!