This is a link to the blog of Xeni Jardin. Before you click the link, I would be irresponsible if I failed to share the contents of her blog post.
Xeni is a breast cancer patient. She is currently is the middle of treatment. She is not supposed to be a breast cancer patient, but then, who is?
Xeni is one of the people beyond the computer screen that I have come to know and yes, to love. I think I felt an immediate bond with her because I was "with" her when she tweeted her way through her baseline, routine mammography. That was in December.
She was wise-cracking her way from the coffee shop to the radiology office. She was trading barbs with her friends. I was watching the tweets flying back and forth. It was humorous. Some of the tweets were laugh out loud funny. As the day progressed, the tweets began to take on a more serious tone. The last tweet was her announcement to the twitter universe that she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. I was there. In real time. Horrified. Saddened.
Yesterday, Xeni was on a death watch. Her boyfriend's sister lay dying in a hospice facility on this coast as she traveled back to the west coast. She spent time with Aileen. She was with Aileen until she was no longer conscious. Xeni is still in treatment for her own breast cancer. She had no choice but to return home on Monday. Yesterday afternoon, Aileen died.
Shortly before she took her last breath, Aileen's brother, Xeni's boyfriend, brought her dog to her hospice bedside so Jethro could say goodbye. The picture is difficult to view. But it's real. This is what breast cancer looks like..... in real life. It's not a pink ribbon. It's not a stupid cupcake. It's not boobstagram or saving TaTa's. It should have been about saving the life of Aileen.
Instead, she is gone..... two young daughters devastated. A brother, heartbroken. Xeni, who is a member of that family grieving the loss of a "sister."
Jethro, saying his goodbye, will stay with you for a long time. May this photo spur you to remember the reality that is breast cancer. Close to half a million people around the world will die of this disease this year...... I'd like to strangle someone with that ribbon right about now. This is wrong.
I hope you will join me in offering your condolences to Xeni, Miles and Aileen's daughters.
It bears repeating. This is as real as it gets. It's hard to see but it's important for each of us to bear witness to the reality behind the ribbon. This is why I fight. This is why I have no patience for Estee Lauder ads or Java Jugs cupcakes. Where would you put any of that into a scene LIKE THIS.