Real Men Wear Pink
Cancer is defined as An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, in some cases, to metastasize (spread). Cancer is not one disease. It is a group of more than 100 different and distinctive diseases. Cancer can involve any tissue of the body and have many different forms in each body area. But to many of us, there are ways that we define cancer. Cancer has become synonymous with many negative feelings.
Attributes as pain, hurt, fear and in very few cases we can associate with triumph. For all of those that were blessed to beat cancer.
For years I refused to participate in any type of cancer research. I felt a void that could not be filled. I felt that I shouldn’t be asked to donate, don’t ask me to share any information. I felt as if it were pointless. Useless. The attempts to raise awareness and raise funds for cancer research were in vain. Why would I help others when my family needed the help it seemed as if we were alone??
My grandmother Isolyn Grant Brown was the sweetest woman I would ever know. She emigrated from the island of Jamaica with the rest of her family. This woman set a standard for excellence. All of her positive attributes would make this post longer than needed. Mrs. Brown made sure that her looks were always in order. ‘Bibs’ as she was commonly Know as, dressed to kill! Her wardrobe was precise! She had jewelry to match her outfits, that, of course, matched her shoes. Let’s not forget her cooking skills! To this day one of the things that I regret was not getting her recipe for curry chicken! When she cooked, the food was heavenly. The chicken was so tender that it fell off of the bone!
For ten plus years Mrs. Brown fought cancer. From a youthful perspective, I didn’t understand why Savah (that’s what we called her) traveled so much. I didn’t understand the long embraces when we greeted each other and the embraces were even longer when we were departing. I didn’t understand the drastic change in her diet. I didn’t understand the times that we sat and ate without the television resonated in the background as she gave one of the biggest smiles I have ever witnessed in my life as we ate ALL of the food that she cooked.
As time passed, I began to notice changes in my grandmother’s patterns. Savah didn’t move the same as I remembered. Her movements were slower and I noticed that she purchased more hair wigs. My mother informed us that it was something called “chemotherapy.” We found out that one of her breasts were removed and she wasn’t able to keep her food down. I am twisting my face and biting lips, fighting the tears as I write this post. Mrs. Brown was a fighter. I recall when she was hospitalized that she had a lot of visitors. Someone said, “Bibs, you are looking better.” And in appropriate West Indian/Caribbean fashion, she rolled her eyes and sucked her teeth.
The Fight Ends…
There were tubes all throughout her body if I remember correctly she had a turquoise head covering and we locked eyes. To this day I haven’t seen eyes that were as yellow as hers. I believe she knew her time was coming. Maybe she was tired of fighting. Maybe the pain was far too much for her to bare. Maybe the uncertainty took a toll on her spirit. I asked myself “Why wasn’t there a cure for my grandmother?!”
But in the end breast cancer won. The Cancer had a huge fight with that woman. Mrs. Brown passed on a Friday night…
I recall the awkward silence after the phone call. My beloved Savah was no longer with us.
Years later my aunt succumbed to breast cancer as well. It was sad and very hurtful, but I wasn’t as close to my aunt as I was to my grandmother.
I was angry. I was hurt. I am still hurt. I am still angry. You never really get over the death of loved ones, you just find a way to keep living.
I didn’t want any part of raising funds for a cure nor did I want to easier awareness of this horrible disease. I felt as off no one wanted help save my grandmother, why should I help others?
Where The Is Life, There Is Hope…
I realized years later that the perspective that I stood by is absolutely wrong and selfish. We all experience pain and will have to mourn our loved ones at some point.
The pain is unbearable, but I don’t want others to experience the pain that I experienced. Realistically we all will experience pain in some way, but if I can do my part to prolong someone’s pain and most importantly help find a cure, then I will do all that I can. This is why Real Men Wear Pink campaign is important to me. Cancer is a disease that affects everyone. (Men can get breast cancer too) Cancer is a disease that we can unify to fight.
Please donate what you can to the cause. We are all someone’s child. Many of us regardless of creed, color, size and economic status have been affected directly or indirectly.
This is probably my longest post to date. It was oddly therapeutic also. I haven’t shared these thoughts with those closest to me. Thank you for reading please donate! Click the link here to donate!
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