This cheers me briefly, until I realize that if support groups have won the stamp of medical approval this may be because they are no longer perceived as seditious.
No, this is not my sisterhood. And why is there no room in this cult for some gracious acceptance of death, when the time comes, which it surely will, through cancer or some other misfortune?Yes, atheists pray in their foxholes — in this case, with a yearning new to me and sharp as lust, for a clean and honorable death by shark bite, lightning strike, sniper fire, car crash. I know women who followed up their diagnoses with weeks or months of self-study, mastering their options, interviewing doctor after doctor, assessing the damage to be expected from the available treatments. Many doctors and epidemiologists also worked with feminists—sometimes even engaging them with their statistics--to bring about the demise of those eclipsed medical evils. What has grown up around breast cancer in just the last fifteen years more nearly resembles a cult — or, given that it numbers more than two million women, their families, and friends-perhaps we should say a full-fledged religion. And if some are comforted by teddy bears, why not? It is the very blandness of breast cancer, at least in mainstream perceptions, that makes it an attractive object of corporate charity and a way for companies to brand themselves friends of the middle-aged female market. Welcome to Cancerland.
I got rid of the baggage, made peace with my family, met many amazing people, learned to take very good care of my body so it will take care of me, and reprioritized my life.
But I am impressed, against all rational self-interest, by the energy of these cellular conga lines, their determination to move on out from the backwater of the breast to colonize lymph nodes, bone marrow, lungs, and brain.
The trouble is, we do not have the means to distinguish between these three groups. These are the annual races for a cure, attracting a total of about a million people at more than eighty sites — 70, of them at the largest event, in Washington, D.
Ironies notwithstanding, few women would be willing to forego mammography or adjuvant chemotherapy.Scared and medically weakened women can hardly be expected to transform their support groups into bands of activists and rush out into the streets, but the equanimity of breast-cancer culture goes beyond mere absence of anger to what looks, all too often, like a positive embrace of the disease. For the dead are with us even here, though in much diminished form. Dear Portfolio Reader, Taking the Intermediate Writing Workshop course has allowed me to expand upon my writing abilities and has helped to prepare me for writing for an academic audience. The experience continues to redefine my life. Possibly the idea is that regression to a state of childlike dependency puts one in the best frame of mind with which to endure the prolonged and toxic treatments. Two disturbing ironies bring the essay to a close. It is at the races, too, that the elect confirm their special status. The surgeon — a more genial and forthcoming one this time — can fit me in; the oncologist will see me. While the topics of these two articles were slightly morose, both offered insight into a important and introspective aspect of our morality: death, and what it means to us as humans. More so than in the case of any other disease, breast-cancer organizations and events feed on a generous flow of corporate support. It goes on and on, this mother of all mammograms, cutting into gym time, dinnertime, and lifetime generally. I feel writing this essay allowed me to carefully examine a piece of writing and give specific attention to details and nuances of the authors style and rhetorical approach.
Recent statistics suggest that present modalities actually do help, though no one involved with administering them would argue that they are perfect.
Or I could choose to do nothing at all beyond mentally exhorting my immune system to exterminate the traitorous cellular faction.