As a child I grew up watching many of the old classic movies. I especially loved Earl Flynn's Robin Hood. I would pretend for hours I was Lady Marian and other times I would run around the back yard transforming myself into Robin Hood himself. There was no challenge too big I could not face. After all I was Robin Hood right?
As the years passed and I grew older I would revisit my faithful friend from time to time when I was able to catch him on the AMC channel. But nothing ever compared to my days of romping through my own Sherwood Forest within the boundaries of my own backyard.
Then recently I was introduced to the BBC America's Robin Hood. No it is nothing like Earl Flynn's adventures but it has been a thrilling adventure all the same. Joshua and Micah, my own two precocious boys, have found they can not stay away from our room when I am watching this brave new version of Robin Hood's story retold.
Although it is in many ways a new tale this new Robin Hood as set me drifting back to those years as a little girl when I transformed into Robin Hood with one exception. If I was to return to my backyard forest I would emerge as Lady Marian the Night watchman. As I have watched the story develop I have seen betrayal, repentance and forgiveness. I have watched Robin and his companions face grief and anger just as I have watched Marian become a free thinker full of courage and bravery. She is no longer an object of just beauty or a damsel in distress but a fighter. A real honest to God hero! She does not just follow instructions, no she follows her heart and throws herself into the battle. In the end as she lay dying, after giving her life for the greater good, Marian says to Robin: We were fighters and I am proud. Robin then responds to her saying:I can't fight without you!
As in this battle we fight as breast cancer warriors we face lose. Our world can and does come crashing down many a day but we get up do we not? We grieve and toss our anger around but in the end we know we must continuing fighting the Cancer sheriff. Because again as Lady Marian says: Everything is a choice; everything we do.
Just as this new brave and strong character emerged so I found I did too. I found myself speaking to the boys of bravery and strength, loyalty and understanding no matter our final outcome to encourage those that follow behind to continue to defend the cause!
For some time now the four of us as a family have lived through some pretty big adventures of our own. We have struggled, fought, cried, laughed and found retreat within our own version of Sherwood Forest's Major Oak. Cancer in of itself is a menace. Crawling, daring and eating away at your soul. Is that not what was happening to England in the tale of Robin Hood? King Richard, the Lion heart, was gone and so the great country of England lay open to power hungry foes. This is exactly how I see breast cancer. Slowly she creeps in into all of your life overtaking and holding you hostage against your will.
As this cancer begins to invade your home you may wake one morning, head out for a troll and suddenly find yourself chained inside of a dark, eerie dungeon. Bet you didn't see that one coming did ya? Nope, and that is how it happens... how cancer takes you in but.... does she have to keep you chained and defeated is the real question?
Yes there may be a price on your head or in my circumstances on my breast, but there is always a plan to be hatched so to speak. I love the part in the 1938 The Adventures of Robin Hood when Robin Hood and Prince John have this conversation: Robin: I'll organize revolt, exact a death for a death, and I'll never rest until every Saxon in this shire can stand up free men and strike a blow for Richard and England. Prince John: Are you finished? Robin:I'm only just beginning. From this night forward I'll use every means in my power to fight you!
As I little girl I never knew these words would challenge me beyond my childhood, but now looking back I see how they have. I will never be finished fighting cancer. I will not lay down my arms, nor allow any sister or brother to fight alone! Revolt? You betcha ya I plan to revolt! There is no way I will allow this menacing force outside our refuge of the Mighty Old Oak to win this fight!
As women the lose of a breast is painful both physically and emotionally. Most do not see the scares we hide behind our outer shields. Yet the scares are deep and as in Robin hood, they may eventually take us down. But... I always love this word... our work, our battle and our rise against the power seeking to destroy us will not be forgotten. The advances we make today will come to fruit one day. To many what Robin Hood , his men and Lady Marian were attempting was treason, still they fought and as some gave the greatest sacrifice with the laying down of their lives.
So I will continue teaching my boys to stand up and not back down. We will fight together, side by side many a day. Yes I may now see myself as Lady Marian, fighting from inside the devils fortress but I am not a weak maid anymore. No, I am a fighter just as I know my boys have become warriors themselves. Sure they may be fighting from the outside but they do so together plotting against the the power hungry, cancerous sheriff of Boobieland!
Have we seen the last of the cancer sheriff and her mates? No, not in the least but you know she now knows she faces resistance. She knows her days are numbered and she knows are numbers are growing! Again to quote Robin Hood ( this time to the sheriff) :Robin:" For future reference, anyone wearing one of those tags is with me. "
I have mine my fellow warriors do you have yours?
I end with this my dear ones as I call upon each of you to arms this October? What are we? Survivors!!! What are we? WE ARE SURVIVORS!!!