Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Kicking Breast Cancer's Butt

It’s that month again—Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I don’t need a pink ribbon or balloon to remind me—but I suppose it’s a good idea to give everyone a heads-up now and then so that we all remember this disease is still out there, and that the battle rages on.
            My favorite passage from my recently published memoir, Yin,Yang, Yogini (about my transformation through yoga and fight against breast cancer) speaks to this subject. I write, “Before dinner, I take a walk alone…It’s cold and bright out, and as I’m striding up the avenue, I nearly turn my ankle on a couple of those sticky balls that fall from the sweet gum tree. I gaze down at those damn balls scattered all over the place. Yes, sometimes you stumble on them, and some you avoid altogether. And some you just kick the f*#k out of your way.”
            Okay, so in the book I did write out the F word, because even though I’m not an angry person, there’s something to be said for giving a disease like cancer a kick in the butt. I believe in being grateful for everything in our lives—even for the challenges—but cancer is something I don’t want to make nice-nice with. Yes, it taught me some very important lessons, and I’m thankful that it did not kill me, but I also believe that we can learn these lessons in other ways, and that the toxic world in which we live has a lot to do with why so many women are facing breast cancer, even at younger ages. Each time I learn that another woman has been diagnosed that urge to kick butt rises up again—I just wish that no mother would ever again have to explain to her kids the cruel irony that the very breasts that once nourished them are now threatening her life.
            But getting rid of breast cancer is not so easy as a swift kick, and that’s why I support breast cancer research and such organizations as Dr. Susan Love’s Army of Women, which is working to find a cause and cure. Please join me if you can (anyone can join this “army,” you need not be a breast cancer survivor). You can donate money if you wish, or simply sign up online to participate in one of their research projects.
            Yes, it’s October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a perfect time not only to think and wear pink but also to rise up and kick every form of cancer the f*@k off the planet! (In a yogic way, of course.)

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