Having had breast cancer twice, whenever I hear that someone dies of breast cancer, it hits me hard. Last week, two people I knew passed away from breast cancer. One was a good friend's dear aunt. The other was a woman in the community who was an outspoken advocate for people living with this illness.
What can I say? When someone dies of breast cancer, I can't help but think that it could have easily been me.
I couldn't bring myself to go to either woman's funeral. I hope people understand that I just can't "go there." The last time I attended a funeral of a woman who died from breast cancer, I was enduring chemotherapy for my own cancer. At the funeral, I literally couldn't stop crying. Thinking back on that sad day, I know I made a scene. I truly loved that woman. She had been helpful in assisting my husband and me in the adoption of our son. Without this woman, we wouldn't have Tommy. She meant the world to us.
Funerals are bad enough, but when they're breast cancer funerals, I'd rather pass.
I think of my own death more than the average person does. This only makes sense due to my cancer history and all the folks dying of breast cancer around me.
What am I doing to enjoy my time on earth while I'm here?
I bought a new car. It's a Chevy Sonic. And it's got heated seats. Heated seats make one's time on earth a little more tolerable, especially in a minus 35 degree wind-chill.
Oh, how I love my seat warmer! It's an affordable luxury that hits me right where I live. I will not be going to breast cancer funerals, but I will be driving around in my Chevy Sonic with the seat warmer activated.
And with Sirius radio cranked up high. With the new car, my husband purchased me a year-long subscription to Sirius radio. It's usually tuned to the Broadway channel. I am really living in my 2018 Chevy Sonic.
We've got to take pleasure in the little things.
I've noticed that Sirius radio plays "Everything's Coming Up Roses" a lot. This show tune is from the musical Gypsy. I try to remind myself to stay optimistic and listening to this song helps. Nothing like a warm behind and Ethel Merman telling you to "stand the world on its ear."
My new best friend is Seth Rudetsky. He's a host on the Broadway channel on Sirius Radio. I love listening to Seth speak about those crazy theater folks up in New York.
I'll tell you a secret: I wanted to be a Broadway actress.
I ended up being a writer, getting married, adopting a child, getting cancer twice, recovering twice and buying a Chevy with the most dynamite seat warmer on the planet.
How could I have ever existed without this priceless automobile invention?
As John Lennon sings, "Whatever gets you through the night; it's all right. It's all right."
And that goes double for cancer survivors.