Jackie Collin’s recent death from breast cancer reminded me of when I was first diagnosed with the disease. Jackie kept her illness a secret, even from her loved ones. It wasn’t until her pending death that she began to share with her family and the world that she was battling cancer and that it would eventually take her life. I definitely can relate to Jackie’s initial decision to not share her diagnosis. I was hesitant to share my diagnosis with others because I didn’t want people’s pity. I was always the one people relied on so to be vulnerable/exposed was not a pleasant thought. Also, I didn’t want to face those folks who “write you off as dead”.
But whatever the reasons I chose to withhold information about my illness, it really doesn’t matter because it’s such a personal decision that only the impacted person can make. It wasn’t until long after my victory over breast cancer that I realized that my fight was much bigger than me; I needed to share with others. I imagine this is what Jackie Collins was thinking in her final days.
As we approach the month of October you’ll start to hear a lot about breast cancer and you’ll see a lot of pink. I’ll admit that breast cancer awareness has become so commercialized that it’s easy to shrug it off as formality. However, please don’t forget that in the U.S. over 40,000 women and men die from breast cancer each year. Don’t forget that early detection saves thousands of lives each year. Jackie Collins didn’t forget; that’s why until the end, she continued documenting about her experience with the disease. And it’s the reason why I’m writing this blog, because I haven’t forgotten that early detection saved my life. I’ll never forget the significance of October and this October marks a special milestone in my life – My 40th Birthday :o)