October

Swoon. My FaceBook memories are exploding with sheer goodness. Annual college girls weekends at Fire Island; Halloween costumes, parades and parties; a road trip across the country; a celebration of life backyard soiree for our 50th birthdays and 25th wedding anniversary. So. Much. Joy. I lay in bed every morning reliving the feeling of so much good, savoring it, getting energized from the past.

Today… boom. The jacket showed up. Such emotion, such feels. October is breast cancer awareness month.

One of my college besties is a survivor. She made a promise to herself to do the Avon Breast Cancer Walk in NY once she was back to herself. We made a plan, hotel room (I do not camp after walking a ridiculous amount of milage), dinner plans with additional college buddies (I happily drink fancy cocktails at any time), training (important when walking 39 miles in two days).

Two pairs of good walking sneakers, fanny pack, bandages, blister cream, pink lipstick… check. Walking and weaving, back and forth…getting in 15-18 mile training walks. Now I just needed pink clothing. Nope. Not going to happen. I wear black…with some cute accents…in black. So I ordered a black jacket and decided I would paint the names of survivors and those lost on it in pink puff paint. Pink puff paint should check off the “join the party” and “be a girly girl” boxes just fine.

I had my personal list of survivors and people lost to cancer but the more I thought about it, the more I also wanted to also represent the many wonderful people who gave towards my entrance “donation”. Generous people who funded my walk within just one day of asking. I put out an ask and almost immediately I had an inbox of responses, names, stories, tributes. Swoon.

I was honored to walk for the lost loved ones of my friends, after hearing the stories of their lives, they mattered to me too. I was humbled to walk for those who survived. That jacket represented so many good souls.

Cancer man, it sucks. It changes so many lives. We walk for cancer. We eat healthy, we exercise, we stop smoking, we don’t pesticide our yards…because of cancer. We have a respect and fear of the disease…we know can take so much away from us…randomly, any time it wants.

Why did I get so emotional this am? Because for the life of me I can not understand why so many do not have the same respect and fear of Covid-19.

I looked up how many people will die of all cancers in 2020…it is approximately 606,000 deaths…about 43,000 from breast cancer alone. We are experiencing a pandemic where 215,000 people have died in the last 8 months.

Question… if wearing a mask, avoiding inside social situations, and standing 6 feet from people at all times meant your chance of getting cancer would go WAY down, maybe even go away, don’t you think everyone would follow those guidelines?

I do not personally know anyone who has died of cancer this year (knock on wood), yet I know it is real. This pandemic is real. Respect it.

It is a privilege to be alive.

Front and back…more names were added to the sleeves last minute.

Published by Kat

A mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a graphic designer. I am flawed... but I try.

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