So one day in the doctor's office my oncologist hesitantly asked me if I might be interested in being on a commercial for the cancer center. First of all I was incredibly flattered that he thought of me at all! On the other hand, I had a lot of mixed feelings about it.
Emotionally, I find myself fighting against being known as a "cancer kid." And I always get a weird feeling when I hear or see advertisements related to breast cancer, probably because it forces me to recognize how necessary cancer centers are and how many people are struggling through it. And you may have noticed "pinktober" is upon us (October is breast cancer awareness month). I'm grateful that it makes us mindful of the need to do our checks (it saves lives!). But it makes me uncomfortable when some companies wrongfully make money off other people's disease (like the companies that sell pink shirts and keychains because they know people will buy it, but don't have any intention of donating to the cause). In the end I decided that supporting the companies I know are really helping and blessing people's lives is worth my time and effort. Besides the fact that I would do just about anything for this doctor, I have had an remarkably positive experience with my all my doctors and would recommend them to anybody! Due to that and my own vanity, I agreed and was later contacted by the marketing people.
Yesterday was the shoot, and I learned that filming a commercial is a lot of hurry-up-and-wait. But I had a great time getting to know the other women! They brought in six breast cancer survivors, and one of them is a friend from my online support group! It was so fun to reconnect and nice to know someone so I didn't feel SO awkward.
I came to the realization that my wardrobe may need an overhaul.... I thought I was pretty decent at dressing professionally until I had to choose something to wear for the shoot. All I could find in my closet was 8 different colors of my favorite $3 Wal-mart t-shirt! (it really is a great t-shirt). I promise I have a grown up job. Our make-up artist Giselle helped us all look glamorous. It was so nice I've decided to hire someone full-time to follow me around to powder my face every time it gets shiny!
I didn't find out until the day before that our doctors got to be there too! I was SO excited to see them because they're some of the most amazing people I know. It was kind of weird to see them outside the office! I don't know if I'd ever seen my surgeon out of her coat and all fancied up. One of us commented that it would be odd to share a changing room with the lady docs and another remarked "well they've already seen it all anyway!" Haha too true. Too true. I laughed as the doctors were the ones getting told what to do for once, and as they jibed each other incessantly.
So here I am fan-girling out trying to catch my two doctors behind me (and I just realized the shadow on my face makes me look appropriately creepy). These are the people that told me I would be okay, treated me like a daughter, and saved my life. Then to my surprise my doctor had us to turn around to take a picture of us! In my head I'm thinking "my doc is totally fan-girling over us!"
So this is probably thinking too deep, but I decided this is exactly how I want heaven to look! You know, the all-white thing was nice. But I mean surrounded with people that we survived the journey with and all the people that helped us make it through. I can't tell you the joy I experienced with them yesterday.
If "pinktober" is hitting you in the feels and you want to donate to a place where you know your money is going to real people who need it, the Provision Project started by my friend Jan James (a survivor herself and founder of my support group) is an organization I trust and respect. Even $5 helps and goes to women currently battling breast cancer that are unable to stay on top of medical bills.
Or share your support by hugging a cancer kid, and remind them that their life was once never about cancer, and that in a future day they will remembered by something besides just surviving it!