Before you judge, hear me out.
Eighteen years ago, I was pregnant with my first child and my mother’s first grandchild. At the same time, my mother began her personal battle against breast cancer.
When I was eight months along, she had one of her breasts removed. The first words I heard her say coming out of the anesthesia were, “Is my daughter still pregnant?” There she was, fighting for her life yet worrying about me.
Eighteen years later, my mother continues her role as a mother, grandmother and best friend. EIGHTEEN YEARS LATER.
Was it really that long ago?
When I saw my first “Save the Ta-Tas” bumper sticker, I felt a knot in my stomach. Did that say, “Save the TA-TAs?! The TA-TAS?!!!” I was stunned.
My mother had a BREAST removed. She did not have a TA –TA removed. When women are diagnosed, their physicians do not announce they have Ta-Ta cancer. This is a highly personal, frightening and life changing illness. The new breast cancer campaign sickened me.
And isn’t “Save the Ta-Tas” similar to “Save the Whales?”
Have you judged yet? I hope not. Because I have a little more to say. If people become aware of breast cancer through this campaign, then I support it. If proceeds from Ta-Ta t-shirts go towards breast cancer research, then I will nod in the campaign’s general direction. I just won’t be wearing one myself.
What will I wear? How about this neon pink stripe in my hair? I never said I didn’t have a streak of tacky in me!
My pink hair serves as a daily reminder to me of my mother’s personal strength. It also reminds me of others I know who have fought breast cancer – some alive, some now deceased. And of the possibility that one day I may be facing the same enemy my mother has faced herself.
I had to go to several stores to find the actual pink hair dye. Every shelf of every store had an empty space where pink should have been.
Pink hair, pink football uniforms, and yes, even Ta-Ta shirts. Breast cancer is personal. There is no right or wrong way to think about it, raise awareness about it or even stay silent about it.