Reinventing the wheel

Why do we have to keep reinventing the wheel?  This occurred to me when I read a post by someone on Inspire about the exploitation of the Pink Ribbon in all it’s forms – so why do we need to keep reinventing the wheel?  Because the biggest ‘manufacturers’ of the wheel keep ignoring that not all wheels are made perfectly round and will never have another problem once their original ‘problem’ has been treated.  They also don’t want to acknowledge that they really can’t give even a 5 year warranty on the work done when the original ‘problem’ was treated.

As each person who becomes Metastatic eventually realises, we are no longer part of the glamorous cheer leading section with fluffy pom-poms and pink feather boas.  We are too real for that now.  Plastic surgery cannot hide our scars and make us perfect again, not that I for one was perfect in the first place.  Actually I never really wanted to be perfect, I just wanted to be accepted for who I am, scars and all; but I just don’t feel accepted.

I was in the city of Bath for a few days and over the weekend just gone.  I had considered going to the Thermae Spa and relaxing in the naturally hot waters that made Bath a Spa Town in Roman times and a favoured watering-hole in the time of Jane Austen.  After I had left home I realised I hadn’t packed my costume, and then I began to thing about all my scars  and how they might embarrass others unless I wore something vaguely Victorian.  I have a breast missing, two hips have been replaced, and those are just the obvious dents to this particular wheel.  My mastectomy scar is ugly because the drains inserted didn’t work properly and I wouldn’t want to cause concern for those who may need this surgery in the future.  In short I was on my own and I didn’t feel comfortable about exposing my body with others around.

However, the problem isn’t just as basic as body image.  Because Metastatic Breast Cancer is so ignored and smothered at birth by Early Stage Breast Cancer and the dogma that early detection solves the problem, it is difficult to know that we can live with MBC, that we can thrive with MBC, that we can have a life that is more meaningful with MBC … that we are not going to die tomorrow when we have passed over though the breast cancer Time Tunnel into oblivion.  Each generation of MetStars (just thought that one up, though probably someone has already, and that is part of the problem) has to go through phases before, if they are fortunate, they find themselves the other side of the Tunnel and with a better life than they had before.  Of course this may just show what a rubbish life I had before MBC, but I don’t care because I am enjoying life now.  But why is there nowhere to go to find out that what you are feeling is actually perfectly normal but also that somewhere along the line you can pull out of the vortex of despair into the light?  Why is MBC seen as a failure of the individual rather than of the medical profession and/or just a new part of our lives that we have to adjust to?

We are here and we are real so accept it – get a life … I have.


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Health Communications and Health Advocacy

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