Among the many sentiments that can make me apopletic, the idea that if only women with breast cancer "stay positive", they will be just fine might just get to me the most.
I was pretty damn positive during my initial treatment for breast cancer and yet here I am. I remained postive through my five years of remission (and ongoing treatment) and I was relatively upbeat during my brain surgery, almost a year ago.
I think it's a good idea, generally, not to wallow in my sorrows because it's so much harder to live that way - but I don't think the positive live and the negative die. Not for a moment.
It's natural that we want to believe that survival after breast cancer is within our control and some things certainly are. But not everything. And I think that's why those of us living with breast cancer can make "survivors" feel kind of uncomfortable. We're they're worst nightmare.
There is a real temptation for news outlets and others wanting to highlight the positive during breast cancer awareness month (and at other times) by ignoring women with metastatic breast cancer completely.
katherine O'Brien (of I Hate Breast Cancer) wrote to a local television station after just such an episode. Please take 5 minutes to watch. Your jaw will drop, I promise.
Click here to watch Breast Cancer Awareness. Stay Positive 2.0
I'm positive that I take great comfort and inspiration from women like katherine and others living with metastatic breast cancer who are not afraid to speak out.