My girl Tanya sent me an email yesterday to let me know about the National Cancer Survivors Day—this Sunday! So, I’m thinking, “As a breast cancer survivor, I already get to claim the entire month of October, so another day seems kind of greedy. But gee, Cancer Survivor’s Day does sound mighty fun. Especially if it involves free pedicures, lattes and donuts. Which I’m sure it does, because otherwise what would be the point, right? And I can overlook the having The Cancer waved in front of my face one more time, as long as there’s caffeine and sugar and hot pink nail polish.”
So, I went to the official website for this thing. And this is what I read:
“National Cancer Survivors Day is held annually in hundreds of communities throughout the world on the first Sunday in June. It is a symbolic event to demonstrate that life after a cancer diagnosis can be a reality.”
Huh? So, are they saying this isn’t for the survivors, it’s for everyone else so they can know we survived? Is that really necessary? I mean, do people think that you’re diagnosed and immediately drop dead? What kind of made-up-after-the-fact holiday is that, anyway? It’s like the Kwanzaa of disease days or something. And where’s my donut? I survived the filth-flarnin’ cancer, dadgummit, if you’re gonna have a day for me there’d better be a big fat wad of glazed, yeasty goodness at this deal. My tolerance for being exploited for somebody’s do-gooder efforts is directly proportional to the amount of free coffee available, and the availability of a pedicure, chair massage, or some other form of pampering.
But, I see that this is a “symbolic” event. I’m not sure that I understand that, but I think it means that while there isn’t anything free, there are plenty of items available for purchase, including a stylish visor. (Think of it as your survivor colors—you know, like The Diablos or Hell’s Angels, only instead of looking scary and tough, you look like a dork wearing a hat that says “Woo hoo! I got The Cancer!”) There are also these spiffy magnetic flag pole things for your car that look suspiciously like the little flags your car wears when you’re part of a funeral procession. (Yes, really.) And I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it’s not that they figure, “Well, you did have The Cancer, so you know it’s just a matter of time before you need this thing for your funeral.” Maybe it’s because, like reusable water bottles, having your own funeral flag is the hipster thing to do. So when the flagman comes around, you can say, “Thanks, but I brought my own.”