She is why I fight the Pink Ribbon culture. She is why I throw away my bedazzled “survivor” sash and pink boa. She is the reason why I want every one I know to think before they pink. She is why I want to be a fearless friend for all those with metastatic breast cancer. I love being NED and thank God every day for that and good health. I want to be a part of the breast cancer discourse which sees us providing support to those with metastatic disease and abandoning awareness for the sake of awareness and the trivialization of a deadly disease.
My mother was more than a statistic. She was a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a friend, a wife, a mother, a devout Catholic, an aunt, a social worker, a student…. She had a great life, and metastatic breast cancer was what killed her, not who she was. I don’t remember my mother, but I’ll never stop wanting to make her proud.