It ain’t courage if you don’t have the option of running away

Last night I was proud to attend the annual fundraiser for our local Breast Cancer Resource Center.

This is where I decided to let some of my local friends know of my diagnosis.

It was emotional; I got hugs, kisses, tears, and one fabulous offer to go get drunk–and I’m pretty damn sure I’ll be taking up that offer. (I would be a lush if I weren’t so lazy.) In any case, I was in a room full of survivors and it was gut-wrenching and tear-jerking. I was inspired and, frankly, a little bit overwhelmed.

Today, I got a call from Dominique, one of the technicians at The Center for St. David’s Breasts (you really need to read my posts in order to understand this one) who was checking up on me. I was flattered and touched. She said she knew when she saw my diagnosis that I’d be strong and able to handle this journey quite well; she even thought I’d be an inspiration to others. Which, of course, motivated me to write this post. 🙂 Maybe my story can help people. It’ll be good for a couple of laughs along the way, in any case.

It doesn’t take courage to fight breast cancer. Courage is when you have the option to run, to hide, to lie your way out of it, to pretend it didn’t happen. I’m not courageous. Given the choice, I will avoid confrontation, pain, and accepting responsibility every time. Every. Single. Time.

What it takes to fight breast cancer is fortitude. My back is against the wall and this is a fight I have to fight. No, that’s wrong. It’s NOT a fight. It’s a journey. It’s a path I must follow. Like Yoda said, “Do or do not; there is no try.” (Yes, I did have to Google it.) And, for me, “do not” is not an option. I’m not finished yet; I’ve barely begun. (I’m 58 and consider myself a late bloomer.) So there is only “do.” And I will. And it will take fortitude and emotional strength and perseverance and sheer will and discipline and, hopefully, grace and dignity. And humor, because I find life to be highly entertaining and amusing most of the time.

But not courage. Never courage. Because I’d really rather not be here and rather not have to take this journey. But I will.







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