I walked up to her front door, excited to see a beloved family member. My entire family was saddened when she couldn’t make the lengthy journey to visit us. Her visits were wonderful, she was a happy person. We shared experiences that we still laughed about. But when we visited her, it was a different story. I saw a beloved aunt hide behind the door when we walked in. I walked in and she appeared different. She was crying. I noticed her crying first. It was only after that that she mentioned why it took her a few moments to answer the door; she couldn’t find her wig. Our aunt had little to no hair. She was worried that us kids would laugh at her. I was worried that my aunt wouldn’t be there for the visit.
This was decades ago. My aunt passed years after. Cancer had affected her health, but she was always a great person. She was a loving grandmother and aunt. I didn’t need to be reminded that cancer was bad. It was what a young kid remembered. It was a devil that robbed a young woman her life.
I fast forward to modern day. I have a few genetic markers, chromosomes, and other deadly things that can send me to my death. These horrific inner workings can shorten my life span and make me pay for my nature’s sins. I have to come to grips that if it weren’t me, it would be another man in the family. Women are not unscathed for they carry some other deathly illnesses. This cancer knows no sexism, it shows no favoritism.
I see people running, walking, and doing other activities clad in pink. Emails flood my morning computer habits to harp on us to wear pink. There is a fund for some dignitary to boost cancer research. I cannot escape it.
I did not make the difference of cancers. Some allow for the holder to make a few decades extra. Some have allowed for the holder to make it a few extra months. It doesn’t matter.
My beef with cancer awareness is not that I hate people with cancer. I just hate having awareness jammed down my throat. I am aware that it cuts down the most beautiful of women. Cancer left a coworker feeling like a half of a man. I see family members whose bodies throw proverbial dice, waiting for their chance to find their lives shortened. I need not the reminder.
It might find me in my lifetime, contrary to my desires to die in some semblance of a battle. I may have the usual suspects take me or drive my life into the mortal wall. (Instead of smelling the jasmine as I feel the crimson exit my body). It might punish me as in what my biggest enemies wish by mutilating my kidneys. One could go on; the possibilities are endless.
If I run out of crusades to undertake, I easily could take up a war on cancer awareness. I have already had seen the horrors. I need not the reminder.