I have never, not even once in thirteen years, danced with "NED" in my dance with metastatic breast cancer. NED, of course, means no evidence of disease. I started off with bone mets, and once with them, as with a broken bone, there are always leftover reminders. So no, I've never danced with NED.
I've also been overwhelmed by the newest mets-sisters belief that they are dying of mets; that pink is not a cure; and that there is nowhere near enough research on mets. The second and third bits are true: pink isn't a cure and the NCI still funds too little towards any metastatic cancer.
But I have have a hard time grasping the first point. Am I dying from mets? How does that explain 13 years of living with it?
I remind myself that at the very beginning of this dance with advanced cancer I dreamed that my house was too noisy with other people I didn't know. I ran from room to room asking them to be quiet. And when I woke up, I realized that the house was my body and the people were my tumors. I gave my cancer a chance to quiet up and I would give it a home forever, because if I died, my cancer would die.
That's still true after 13 years, and I have to remind myself of it, especially now that I'm involved with younger activists who argue differently. I still want to be involved with them. They are the future of metastatic cancer.
I just am not ready to die.
Think Before You Pink.
The day we died on the Capital.
Awash in Pink.