This entry was written by Randi Rentz. Randi is looking forward to blogging regularly with LBBC:
As we celebrate Women’s History Month this March, stories of women’s achievements are vital to the framework of our history. In the past, our history was shared with men and factors that include religious, economic and social status. Until recently, an interest in women’s history was ignored and underestimated. This made me realize women’s achievements were often rejected, misrepresented and under-acknowledged. It also made me realize as I look back over the decades, women were scorned for discussing breast cancer. It was a hush-hush topic, one that no one was supposed to discuss.
While women’s history is a relatively new field of study, I’ve learned that all women diagnosed with breast cancer share a history that unites us as a family, community, and even a nation. Breast cancer is no longer a topic that is renounced. Women who share their stories about their journey through the “pink bubble” serve as role models for everyone. We need role models so that we can have a sense of hope as we face the challenges of a breast cancer diagnosis. We exude inspiration to others – not to mention energy, talent, and inner strength!
We share hilarious, poignant, and immensely empowering messages at what breast cancer means for us at any age. By transforming ourselves, whether we realize it or not, we gain power and our inner mojo. Many women travel the long road in “Cancerville” only to find their true self. We inspire, motivate and encourage others.
Women’s History Month is not only about the famous women who have contributed to society; it is so much more than that. It is about all women who face extraordinary challenges, including women who face breast cancer. We give confidence to others under any barrier only to find our own magnificence and bravery. Members of the “pink bubble” are part of the legendary women who our country NOW recognize and celebrate.
As Dr. Gerda Lerner notes, “Women’s History is Women’s Right.” – It is an essential and indispensable heritage from which we can draw pride, comfort, courage, and long-range vision.” This is a motto that we can all abide by, whether we are famous or not.
My diagnosis occurred in April 2008. Believe me, these are words nobody wants to hear — “You have breast cancer.” Cancer is a word that terrifies most of us even more than an IRS audit or the SATs. No woman wants multiplying evil cancer cells in her breasts or any other body part. To me, it is the new “dirty word” for my 40s. The word ‘cancer’ is an expletive, where someone invariably gets the shaft. I’ve always felt that cancer is infatuated with its own uniqueness swimming in an ocean of entitlement, like parking in the handicapped spot. Dealing with the already self-entitled takes a lot of backbone, from which I learned a valuable life lesson.
And the lesson I did learn was that I can make a difference. Am I a better person because I went through breast cancer? Yes, I am. I think it gives me a certain responsibility to speak out on self awareness, early detection, and the use of MRIs. I am an advocate and inspire women with my story.
I realize in recognition of Women’s History Month, that the women who have been touched by breast cancer (newly diagnosed, currently in treatment, survivors, care-takers, friends and family) pioneer a special role in establishing the field of women’s history by mentoring, educating, and supporting one another. As a woman affected by the disease, I am honored to be a part of this movement and am looking forward to helping women globally find their courage, too.
After reading this blog entry, what is your perspective of Women’s History Month? How would you define breast cancer in relation to Women’s History Month? Comment here or on our Facebook page.