Breast cancer threatens to silence the voices of those affected by it but if we decide to speak, we will be heard.
Bonnie Annis is a survivor of breast cancer, diagnosed in 2014 with invasive ductal carcinoma of stage 2b with metastasis to the lymph nodes. She is an avid photographer, freelance writer / blogger, wife, mother and grandmother.
Some voices affected by breast cancer speak a little more aloud than others. And sometimes, the reason is because those voices have a larger platform than others. Voices as well-known celebrities gain a bit more of notoriety and attention than those of us without that type of popularity, but the truth is that all voices are touched by the subject of breast cancer.
The voices of breast cancer can be men or women, young or old. The voices of breast cancer may have any nationality, any race or any religion. No matter the details behind the voice, what you have to say must be heard.
Choose any magazine and you may find a story about breast cancer of a known television or movie personality. Some have been shared by prominent women in our society today, women such as Olivia Newton-John, Amy Robach and Joan Lunden. And for some reason, it seems to give a little more attention to your stories reading with much attention to the details. We feel privileged to be left in their lives, just for a few moments.
Carrying out a search online using the words "celebrities" and "breast cancer" will bring a story after the story for our reading. And although I am grateful for the publicity and notoriety that they achieve through the exchange of their stories, breast cancer is not a tool that any of them would choose to lift us towards stardom.
There are voices behind breast cancer that can only talk with family and friends. In silent tones, those voices struggle to find words that express feelings, hopes and dreams. Sometimes, voices choose to remain silent, refraining from complaining or expressing physical discomfort. Instead, these brave voices accept their hand spread and do their best to accept it.
Some voices with breast cancer are eliminated too quickly and never have the opportunity to speak, but the unfocused words matter.
Behind every voice is a life: a life that was not expected to be interrupted by the reluctance of cancer.
Perhaps all the words have already been spoken and there are no more available to describe the devastation that accompanies cancer. But even if there are no new words to use, the old ones are enough. Words like "I can not believe". "I was not waiting for it". "This can not be happening." "Why me?" "I'm not ready to die."
There is a big banner spread over a fencing near our house that says: "All lives matter." The owner of this property must be touched by the Black Lives Matter campaign that was going on last year. Every time I see it, I can not help but reflect on the many lives affected by any type of cancer, but in particular breast cancer.
The voices behind breast cancer have a lot to say. Listen closely and you will hear the fear tempered with courage. Not all the voices of people with cancer feel the need to be heard, but sometimes it helps to know that there is an ear auditory only if there is something to say.
All lives are important. All the voices matter. Cancer is not respecting people. If you or someone you know have been affected by breast cancer, it is important to have time to share a bit of your history. Your voice can tell your story in its own way and by doing so, it will help others understand what they really want to experience a life-changing illness.
Before he was diagnosed with breast cancer, he would hear stories of friends from friends. Most of these stories were from someone who knew someone who had been affected by cancer. The stories have been shared in bits and sometimes not very accurate. These murmur bills made me become very fearful and feared the possibility of facing my own battle against cancer. It does not matter what I expected and wanted me to never have a story to tell mine, I do. And now, I chose to use my voice to help others understand that a diagnosis of breast cancer does not necessarily match the instantaneous death.
If those affected by cancer continue to share their own personal accounts, we may be able to help disassemble the uncertainty that cancer causes at one and the same time. It's your choice. If you have something to say, say this. Your voice matters.