By: Ambrose Kirkland
We live in a world where people simply seem to forget things so easily now a day. They’ve become so mundane about life. No glory, gore or guts is just another day for most people.
We, meaning someone like me, a man who was diagnosed with breast cancer, our world, and our lives simply change.
Being diagnosed with breast cancer as a man isn’t only about going to the doctor and having mammograms. It’s about having a surgery that only a woman is supposed to have. It’s about having your breast, yes breast removed. It’s about you feeling less of a man than you already feel because you have a woman’s only disease. It’s about countless appointments in doctors’ offices where you’re looked upon as something out of the ordinary.
It’s about the treatments from radiation and chemotherapy, the very same treatments women go through; only men who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer are seen as something out of the ordinary.
For a man like myself cancer tried it’s best to invade more than just my body, it tried to attack my soul.
Yes we each have an emotional fight inside of us, but for me I refused to let cancer touch that part of me that defined who I am as a person. I refused to let a word that we find in a dictionary control my life.
Some people may think being a male breast cancer survivor, our anger, our confusion, our fears and our loneliness are understandable, but it’s not. We each must take these steps alone, our family and friends can’t help with these emotions. Trying to rearrange your emotions after a diagnosis of breast cancer in men is an uncertainty of faith and hope. To be a man on this journey is in itself, rough enough, to love a man with breast cancer on this journey through the help of God is another thing all together.
Cancer sometimes reminds me of a “sniper”, always lurking deep within the shadows, waiting to do battle with your mind, body and soul. So why did I say this world is mundane?
Because of our fixation on pink when it comes to breast cancer. Now breast cancer comes in blue. Breast cancer has become a non-discriminative disease. It’s a person’s disease. Anyone can be diagnosed with breast cancer. We can now take the uncertainty out of a breast cancer diagnosis, we can save our own and those of our family members, by having a genetic test done.
We can step up and be the men our children look up to and have our yearly physicals.
Show some pride and dignity; show your family you’re the male breast cancer warriors you’re supposed to be.
We all live with the possibility of a recurrence, but we don’t have to live like it will return tomorrow.
Though some may find themselves at the end of their journey, we still must remember that not all share the same journey. We each have a different diagnosis. And if we continue to share our stories of hope , survival and courage . Our journeys will become more of a destination than of closure. Something we can all look forward to each day. A new beginning.
One day in the not so distant future, I can perceive a cure for breast cancer; I can see a cure for all cancers. On that day, we will have colors only for our crayons boxes, and cancer will not be a death sentence anymore and it still only will be a word we will find in our dictionaries.