Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Only the good die young...

...I know that it's not true, but sometimes, especially in this past week, it feels this way. I met a woman once - during the Art Bra Fashion Show just 2 months ago - she was a bra model that evening along with many other breast cancer "survivors". She was petite, pretty, friendly and wore a silky brunette wig. She became my friend on Facebook and that's the last I ever saw of her. She died last week of breast cancer that had spread to her brain. She was 43 and a single mom.

And then last night, we were gathering to raise funds for the care of the legendary Austin jazz singer, Tina Marsh. She was a force to be reckoned with, a true artist devoted to her craft for over 30 years. She was fighting through her second or third round of breast cancer. We arrived at the concert and found out that she had died a half an hour before.

I've talked to Evan about these women. It scares me, angers me and saddens me. He says that unfortunately there are always a percentage of those afflicted that will not survive. And then he said something like this, "It's sad, it's unfair and unfortunate, but for every one that dies, they fill the percentage of casualties and that means that you'll be among the survivors who live."

I don't want to be just a survivor. I want to be a fighter. 'Survivor' somehow connotes passivity, inactivity...hope. For me, it's like the French school of existentialism who didn't believe in the word "hope". The word or act of "hoping" meant that you were holding back and waiting and not actively involved in defining your existence. I want to be involved, I want to define who I am, I want to fight. It scares the shit out of me, this cancer thing, this chance of recurrence. But, I vow to be a fighter...

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

You keep up the fight, Gail, and we'll cheer......until it is our turn to fight.

V_38_Illusions said...

l'espoir --- vos commentaires me rappellent les mots d'un copain de fac; il disait toujours "quand 'il n'est pas écrit', c'est moi qui prends le stylo!" ...

~ fr

deborah d. lattimore said...

sartre and camus would be proud of you!!!! and so am i. xoxo

Anonymous said...

I like your husband's way of looking at it. That's the approach I took to miscarriage. After I had one, I told my friends who were also pregnant and freaking out that considering that one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage, they were covered! And they were.

When I became pregnant again, it helped to look at the numbers that way. When I'd hear of a miscarriage, I'd feel bad, but also figured that put me in a safer spot. (Weird way of viewing it, but whatever helps!)

Heather said...

F-I-G-H-T. We are all cheering you on. Head first, feet last, splishing & splashing.

oma aka meme said...

I am sorry that your friend died but she did not lose the battle-we think of death as the result of not winning - my dear hubby died but he fought and ran the journey every day and death is not the end nor did he lose because he lived every day :-)- keep on fighting and running the race- hugs from Meme