If you are a breast cancer survivor or have been actively involved in the life of one then you understand the feeling of falling into the pink abyss. I sometimes feel as if I am living out my life inside a strange other worldly type of experiment. I seriously question my sanity some days noting my unusual view, humor and tango with the keeper of this abyss. I for one have felt trapped inside a strange lab, living inside a test tube at times but lucky me on special days I’m let out, set loose, in a big giant bubble to live among the normal folk. Being tagged or labeled and yes at times even feeling permanently tattooed with a BIG PINK RIBBON across my forehead if not the way I saw my life turning out. Honestly speaking, if you feel the need to run from the giant pink abyss trying to swallow you whole, possibly referring to this crazy breast cancer woman as the pink blob, then imagine how overwhelming, if not a tad strange it must feel for those us living , taking up residence inside the abyss.
Pink was never my color, I was more of a bluesy kind of gal actually. Beautiful blue skies, blue bonnets and bluebirds filled my dreams, not Pink roses and bows. That is of course until BREAST CANCER decided to run her claws across the front of my chest, digging deeply into my internal highway, setting me on a crazy detour through something called chemo and ripping away my breast literally from my body. Now I can’t say she took everything away from me without giving something back in return. The truth is this beast was kind enough to leave behind a nice big scar and a map leading me and anyone else who dared follow me into the Pink Abyss.
So the question now is what do we do now that we are here? Well, we can sit and pout, we can get mad, hide in the corner and give up, hand over the keys to the next victim of her detour or we can get busy, working together inside our special bubble!
I for one did not see my life turning out this way. I was not one to go head on with a beast who has never been taken down, not once! I can tell you I would have rather worked in technical support, leaving the battle to those more seasoned, stronger, able to not only carry a sword into battle but to be able to run, charging toward the beast as well. I was the weak one, the less than perfect, totally laughable, wall flower. I defiantly did not think I would ever lead the charge against anything, much less breast cancer. But you know what; I am living inside this crazy experiment, in and out of test tubes, pink slime, bubbles and all without regret.
I am painfully aware living inside this great big pink abyss can be tiresome, and if you are just along for the ride, in the passenger’s seat so to speak, then you have a helpless pit growing in your stomach as well. Life with breast cancer is not an easy road to hike. I can tell you from experience, it gets harder! Friends, family may even abandon you, leaving you standing in the middle of the journey alone. Fear, is like weed and it can choke the road, keep you from finding the light, leaving you looking at what seems to be an impassable fork in the road.
So where is all this hope I am always going on about? Well it is inside you, growing into this great big pink abyss, opening up doors, carving out new pathways, throwing open windows and providing you with the strength to light the way for those following you into this strange, other worldly experiment you have fallen into. Grab hold of it, put hope to work for you, allowing her to consume your fear, surge through your soul and pulse through your heart. I don’t know about you, but life inside the pink abyss isn’t as bad as I once thought it was. It’s not my first destination choice, but it’s where I landed once I stopped fighting the turbulence. I have made a home for myself here, opened my door to those who need support and comfort, dealing with breast cancer’s frequent raids, and overcoming her need to rip away any other additional pieces of me.
Life is underscored by struggle, but the truth is we are all stronger than we think. I can tell you straight up breast cancer was not on my list of things I wanted to experience in life, definitely not on my bucket list. I certainly didn’t want imagine myself as a cancer survivor as a child, but it’s what I am today, where life took me and this is my point, we don’t know what life has up her sleeve for us. We can make the grandest of plans, design the blueprints and still end up in an abyss of overwhelming defeat. So I encourage you today, each of you to put your perfectly laid plans aside and embrace the life before you, find a way to plant your garden of hope right where you have landed, not where you hoped to be when you grew up. Each journey into the Great Pink Abyss is remarkable and yours is no different, just take a deep breath, grab my hand, close your eyes and let’s go…..