Well, You Must Have Done Something

Believe it or not, I don’t always blog everything right away.  Some stories, for whatever reason, just need to age a bit before they’re ready to be told.  Or is that fester?  I guess it depends upon the subject matter.  So, in spite of the fact that I actually do have a newer story, you’re going to get an older one.  Because I’m feeling like telling it now.

 About a year and a half or so ago, when my hair was short enough that it was pretty obvious that I’d recently finished chemo, Susie and I went to a dinner together.  This particular dinner was a fundraiser for the local Right to Life association, which another friend of ours is heavily involved in.

 We were seated at a table with our friend and a few other people.  Introductions were made and our friend told the folks at our table that I was a breast cancer survivor.  They asked me some questions about my treatment, and we made some general small talk before the meal.  No big deal.  Dinner was served, and our friend got up to introduce the guest speaker.  The speaker’s claim to fame was that she was Malcolm X’s dog groomer’s niece.  Or maybe she was the uncle’s 3rd cousin’s step-daughter of another famous figure of the civil rights movement.  (Something like that.  I don’t remember exactly—chemo brain, you know.)  And she’d had an abortion when she was younger.

 So, there we sat as this lady spoke about all the reasons why it’s a bad idea to have an abortion.  All the things you’d expect to hear were in there, spoken about and projected in a Power Point presentation containing neatly arranged bulleted lists.  And all was well until she got to the part where she announced that a big reason not to have an abortion was because it causes breast cancer.

 Yeah, she really did say that.  And lest any of us not hear her right, there it was on that bulleted list.  So meanwhile, there I sit trying to keep my cool, feeling as if there is now this ginormous spotlight shining down on me, thinking, “Great, now all these folks at my table are saying to themselves, ‘Oh, so THAT’S why she got The Cancer.’”  That’s just fabulous lady, thanks a lot.  Hey, how about next time you make up some random scary thing to try to make your point you pick another malady?  Like maybe The Gout or The Hammer Toe.  Cancer girls have got enough stress already.

 Gee, if only breast cancer prevention were that easy, right?  Don’t want cancer, don’t have an abortion.  And, seriously, that was what this lady was saying—if you have an abortion, you will get breast cancer.  Of course, the fact that she didn’t have breast cancer, and therefore disproved her own theory, seemed to completely elude her.  Which somehow didn’t surprise me in the least.

 Sure, it doesn’t make any sense, but you know how that goes—if you say it enough, or if, God forbid, it ends up on the internet, then some people will start to believe it.  You know, we cancer girls already have to put up with our share of “well, what did you do that caused this” crap.  Do you smoke?  Do you wear deodorant?  What do you eat?  We get all those ignorant questions and more.  Do we really need to have the abortion question thrown in there, too?  Or worse yet, not the spoken question, but the unspoken assumption? 

 Listen up—I didn’t DO anything to cause The Cancer.  My friend Tanya didn’t DO anything to get The Cancer.  My girls Nina and Shirley didn’t somehow bring The Cancer on themselves.  Folks, it just IS.  Some things don’t have easy explanations.  You know, I wish there were a list of things to avoid that if adhered to, would guarantee you’ll never get The Cancer.  Avoid circus peanuts, abortions, tobacco, and Hot Pockets and you’ll always be cancer-free.  Make sure to eat three rum-soaked raisins, do yoga, wear garments made of a 50/50 blend of organic cotton and hemp, and drink a half cup of garlic steeped in hot vinegar every day and you’ll be invincible. 

 But there’s not a list like that.  And that’s why it’s important to get your mammos and do those self-exams.  A Hot Pocket-free life won’t save you, but vigilance just might.

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12 Responses to “Well, You Must Have Done Something”

  1. Mary Creger Says:

    How in the world did you manage to sit there and keep your mouth shut as that dope was spewing such stupidity??? You are a whole lot stronger than I!!!

    • The Moody Foodie Says:

      Mary~
      As hard this is to believe, I was just freakin’ speechless. Seriously. And, I also thought twice about going all crazy on her because I didn’t want to embarass my friend who is involved with the RtL thing. She was probably embarassed enough as it was.

  2. imdaddysgirl Says:

    Good reminder for the mammos. It’s unfortunate how much suffering is caused by ignorance, blame and people saying stupid things.

  3. Susie Says:

    I remember that night all too well and our conversation on the way home, the look we gave at the dinner. People’s ignorance runs deep and far, scary! Do people actually think prior to opening their pieholes anymore (Note for Moodie: pie (a favorite dessert of yours). Wow! You have held that for a very long time. One thing I have learned from you my friend is to wait for someone to tell me things are going okay for them, and not too ask questions until they are invited. Lessons learned from this for me, is BE a friend, ask and answer when invited too, be someone who wants to help, not judge or make people explain themselves a million times. I’m thank God for Moodie’strength and her use of a disease to teach us all a lesson in humility, compassion and kindness.

    • The Moody Foodie Says:

      Aw, thanks, Suze. Y’all, Susie is my bestie who, among many other things, made approximately 47,000 breakfast burritos for my freezer to keep Mini Me fed (with something besides birthday cake & nacho cheese) during my 16 weeks of chemo.

  4. Cindy Wrightsman Says:

    You are so right about people assuming YOU must have done something wrong. After my surgery in January I had people ask me if it was caused because I had not nursed my babies, since it was Ductal Carcenoma Insitu and my ducts on both sides had to be removed. Of course it has nothing to do with nursing or not nursing. Some people are just really good at the guilt trips.

  5. Faye Adamson Says:

    I had someone tell me the other day that the way her co-worker got breast cancer was that she left her bottled water in the car and it got hot…therefore causing it…you are right…it just is what it is…

    • The Moody Foodie Says:

      Oh. Wow. Dang.

      (See, here I am practically speechless again.)

      Gee, Faye, I hope you set her straight. Good grief!

  6. Caffeine Says:

    Unbelievable accounts. Unfortunately they are real and happen way too often. One person heard that too much fast food causes breast cancer. He was curious how often we ate it. Yeah… I really don’t eat it. My 4 year old is drawn to the toys so he gets them now and again. Come on People. I breast fed all 3 of my kids til they were 9 months and had the same exact cancer as you. In fact, they didn’t send me anywhere until 8 months later after I insisted because they said I must have had an infected milk duct.

  7. Caffeine Says:

    I meant to say the same BC as you Cindy. See what happens when I don’t proof read.

  8. Keith_Indy Says:

    Correlation Causation

    Something you learn in statistics, but everyone should learn it. Just because 2 things are correlated, doesn’t mean one causes the other.

    In any case, there’s very little scientific debate about the issue. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion-breast_cancer_hypothesis


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