Posts from August, 2010

Project Pink Diary | Help and Hope | No.7

Be A Movie Star.

When I was sick people would tell me stories of others who hadn’t gotten through their illness.  (This falls under that same category as the people who told me bad pregnancy stories in my 5th month–UGH). Do your best Julia Roberts acting and smile through it because cancer makes people say stupid things.  Then yell “Cut!” in your head and walk away–preferably to your trailer with sunglasses and a fluffy dog and remind yourself that you will win this fight.

Posted August 16th, 2010 by
Project Pink Diary | Help and Hope | No.7
Posted in: Help and Hope

Ann’s Diary: The Truth About Hooters

After a recent screening of my film The Breast Cancer Diaries at the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing I came home to my husband, kissed my sleeping kids goodnight, put on some comfy clothes and turned on the TV. As I flipped through the copious cable stations the clicker fell upon a sports channel and–I kid you not–the Hooters International Best Breasts Beauty Contest.

Now for the record I have neither the best breasts nor the worst breasts because I lost them to breast cancer–so I have no breasts.

I also chose not to reconstruct them though I was young and had kids and a husband.  I’m a worrier, and I knew I would worry about fake boobs. (And this was a personal decision so if you’ve had reconstruction, as my friends have done, I say more power to you.)

So there I was, jaw on the floor–the best breasts, are you kidding me? It was like the Miss America contest with no redeeming value (I suddenly had  respect for the “what do you want to do to make the world a better place?” question.   At least it tries to have depth.)

And before you worry that I am anti-breasts, let me assure you I am not; I had a pair and I miss them every day. But when they stood in the way of me and the rest of my hopefully long life I had to let them go.  And I learned the hard way just exactly what breasts don’t mean.

They don’t mean that I am a woman. They don’t mean that I am beautiful. They don’t mean that I am better than everyone else because mine are bigger. They don’t mean that the right man will only love me if I have them. They don’t mean happiness. They don’t mean I am sexy. They don’t mean I am healthy. And they don’t mean I will live a long and successful life.

Of course having breasts is typical; not having them is not. And my husband has been an angel to deal with this difficult challenge in his marriage to me. But he loves me, so he’s doing it. Yet had “hooters” been as important to him as they were to the people on that TV screen I was watching, I would be divorced by now. And who wants that? 

So I watched these beautiful young ladies with tops that jiggled on the contest stage, hoping their name would be called as Miss Best Hooters or whatever, and I thought–oh I hope you know. I hope you find out.  That your breasts, as big and as beautiful as they may be, are not worthy of all this praise. They may take you some place tonight– for the short term–but in life, you are more than your boobs. So very much more.

I don’t care about the Hooters contest personally because I have the wisdom that cancer forced down my throat 6 years ago. But for those young ladies and those oogling them from chairs in the audience, and to all those with clickers in their hands watching from their televisions across the world, I am worried. Who will tell them? How will they know? As I  clicked to another channel, I thought–I hope they find out the truth about Hooters.

Just not the way I did.

Posted August 8th, 2010 by
Ann's Diary: The Truth About Hooters
Posted in: Ann's Diary

Project Pink | Help and Hope | No. 6

Just say no.

There are times when whatever it is, it isn’t what you need right then   Like when well meaning people want to come over and help when really all you want is just to be alone or be with someone else. Just say “no”.  It’s awkward at first but you need to take care of you now–and that means being honest with yourself and with those who love you.

Posted August 8th, 2010 by
Project Pink | Help and Hope | No. 6
Posted in: Help and Hope

Ann’s Diary: Yellow Crayon

I have been blonde all my life. I have endured the jokes and the 
taunts readily, since they were always leveled by that old saying, 
“Blondes Have More Fun”. Of course, I have no idea if blondes really 
do have more fun, but who cares. When it comes to having yellow 
hair, perception is reality; I’m blonde, therefore I have fun. 

So it was with great distress that I, in my 40’s, watched as my preschool aged daughter, drawing a picture of me, drew my hair and reached for–the brown crayon.

I had been highlighting my head for years as the older I got the less blonde grew. Then all my hair fell out due to cancer treatments and when it came back it was darker than ever. I never thought of it as brown, though, more like “dishwater blonde” (find that in the crayon box)–but now Crayola had ruined everything I ever thought about my hair color.

With a 4 year old calling my hair brown–not blonde, not cream, not even the color of what pools in a broken dishwasher–I hightailed it to my stylist as fast a my head would go. When I came out of the salon my hair certainly looked brighter–not like it did when I was a kid but certainly lighter than before.

However, the next time my daughter made a picture of me I can’t say 
she grabbed the yellow crayon, either. I can’t say that because she was 
painting. And with her paints, she did take yellow, and spread the glowing
light over the line of my bald head. And I was happy. Until she dipped her paint brush into the color brown and mixed the two together. The result was clearly tan. Okay, so it’s not blonde, but it’s not brown either.

I just hope that “Tans Have More Fun”, too.

Posted August 4th, 2010 by
Ann's Diary:  Yellow Crayon
Posted in: Ann's Diary

Project Pink Diary | Help and Hope | No. 5

Do ask, do tell

Ask for help if you need it, ask how to help if you can give it. I had a friend who wanted to do my laundry—and I didn’t like the idea of my soiled duds laid out in front of her.  4 weeks of chemo later, I was so tired I was happy to let her do my dirty work.

Posted August 4th, 2010 by
Project Pink Diary | Help and Hope | No. 5
Posted in: Help and Hope