Before with biopsy bruise and after, or at least up ’till now.
Jackie Collins has died, after ‘secretly battling with breast cancer.’
Why ‘battling’? Why ‘secretly’?
The terminology of cancer diagnosis, prognosis and treatment infuriates me. Of course, I respect Jackie’s right to privacy and not everyone is like me, showing off their tits and nipples to all and sundry. This week, one of my post-op photos was reported to Facebook as offensive and I had to remove it. The one above, on the right, was reported and subsequently allowed. Not enough nip, I assume.
Does ‘battling’ infer that she lost and died? No, it’s down to sods law, genetics, possibly booze and fags and a healthy dollop of luck and above all, modern medicine. I have no idea where I’m going with mine but I do know that I am not brave or fighting. I do know that Barts hospital mammogram radiography team spotted my dodgy cells early and that my female surgeon did a bloody good job of making my tit look presentable after the lumpectomy and lymph node removal.
But ‘secretly’? That’s difficult because I believe that the more we share our experiences, the more we help remove the fear of CANCER. The fear of deformity, the fear of immediate death. The word cancer is still spoken in hushed tones.
‘I’m glad you’re feeling better, ‘ say dear friends. But I have never felt ill and that is the insidiousness of it. Cancer creeps up on you and smashes you in the face – or tits – when you are least expecting it.
Allegedly, Jackie told no one because she didn’t want to be a ‘burden’ but every single person I have told has offered help in some way. We understand what cancer diagnosis CAN mean in the worse case scenario, for the individual and their family, and want to offer love, encouragement, practical help or just an opportunity to rant!
Give your friends a chance to step forward and share your ‘journey’, another emotive word. You won’t be a burden, you’ll be a learning curve.