We at DILAW have lots of different voices because we are a lot of different people. We are young we are old”er”, we are men, we are women, BUT the one thing that is important is that we are united behind ONE CAUSE. That is why TOGETHER we make the perfect cohesive voice against Breast Cancer. This following blog post is just one voice that you will hear & it happens to be that of our co-president, Lauren Angueira, a sometimes “too” fast talking, twenty-something. If she’s provocative or edgy its because she’s trying to get YOUR attention in order to make a DIFFERENCE. BUT, don’t dismiss us based on just what she has to say. Plenty of people will be featured on this blog as a venue for them to SPEAK out against Breast Cancer & in an effort for all of us to Help Talk Breast Cancer to Death. You can do your part by following our blog, liking us on Facebook, and/or following us on Twitter. AND, if you would like to SPEAK out against breast cancer: send us an email to email@example.com to share your story on our blog & social media.
“As you grow up, you leave a lot of friends behind. Some friends you lose because of falling outs & some you simply, outgrow. But there are two friends, that you never think you’ll have to leave behind–your breast friends.
Now, growing up, I was surrounded by guys. Not because of my two DD sized breasts–though once I hit adolescence, that certainly didn’t create a male free zone–but because in some procreative joke, my parents in succession had four boys each within two to four years of each other. I wanted a puppy, I got a litter of brothers. & if that wasn’t enough–I was surrounded by mostly male cousins, as well. Its funny that now I head an organization called Do It Like A Woman (irony, huh?)
So, while some women refer to their breasts as their “ladies”. I lovingly and perhaps inappropriately refer to mine as, “my guys” which as I’ve grown older I’ve also been able to adapt into a joke making fun of my actual guy friends: BECAUSE after seeing their choice in girlfriends, is it any wonder why I wouldn’t want two ladies hanging all over me? No disrespect intended here–its just a way I can poke fun at the male stereotype that women are “crazy.” WHICH, having spent my time mostly around guys, I can say with absolute certainty: if women are crazy, men are crazy too. After all, I’ve never seen a woman cry because her favorite sports team (for which she doesn’t play) lost the game. sorry, guys…love you!
Nonetheless, the premise is the same. We ALL lose friends. And, sometimes we are okay with it–it was you, not me–& sometimes we are not. BUT, no woman is okay with losing her breast friends.
I couldn’t imagine losing “my guys“. That was before my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Nowadays, I’ve been forced to imagine myself in a lot of situations that I never beforehand even would have considered. So, readers, keep in mind as I write on the following topic and for the rest of this blog post that this is only how I “imagine” I would react. Tomorrow, there will be a “guest” blogger who has been through two lumpectomies, is undergoing radiation therapy, is also our co-president here at DILAW, & my mother.–but, for now, you are stuck with me.
When faced with the thought of losing my breasts–I imagine my biggest question would be: what have my breasts ever done wrong to me for me to have to let them go? Sure, they make finding a bathing suit near impossible & I certainly can’t be provocative & go braless ANYWHERE–seriously, I can’t even go downstairs to the refrigerator without a sports bra on. But, unlike other “best friends” they haven’t slept with my ex boyfriend (without my consent–though they did take up an awful lot of his time), and they’ve never talked bad behind my back. They’ve never even met him. They like to point forward. I like to think of them as my not-so-little optimistic twins.
Now, I’ve been told by my mother repeatedly that there’s nothing funny about cancer & I agree, cancer itself is NOT funny. It is a mass murderer. One, that we have been unable to capture, contain, & chain down. But, medicine has advanced to a point where we are at least armed in the fight against breast cancer. Unfortunately, our armament oftentimes means the loss of one or both of our ladies via a mastectomy.
DILAW is an organization focused on empowering women. Our multimedia campaign is a not-so silent protest where woman can express their attitude towards cancer and reclaim their femininity. An outlet where they can stick it to that bastard & come up on top. That is our goal–to show women that they can beat the stigma of cancer–that they are still powerful, sexy, and strong because they are still women.
But, unfortunately, to have a cure there must first be a problem. We’ve identified the enemy as breast cancer, but how does breast cancer cause women to feel this way? Through the very method by which the woman fights to survive–a lumpectomy or a mastectomy.
“A mastectomy can take a serious emotional toll on a woman and even affect the way she looks at herself. The loss of a woman’s breasts to cancer can affect her self-esteem, her sex drive (god forbid!, seriously, god forbid!), and just how she feels about herself as a woman….[BUT] a woman battling breast cancer can learn to love her post-masectomy body and feel just as womanly and sexy as she did before breast cancer treatment,” according to an article by Every Day Health titled “Keeping Your Self-Esteem After A Masectomy.” What do we have to say about this at DILAW: Hells-to-the-yeah! SHE CAN! That is just what we aim to help her do: kick cancer’s ass & get her sexy back.
But, who should we look to as a role model? The everyday woman? Noooo (cue: sarcastic long drawl). Who do we idolize & look up to? Celebrities!
But, joking aside, Guiliana Rancic is a very impressive woman for the simple fact that she was willing to SPEAK about her cancer & she didn’t just SPEAK, in true Italian form, she spoke LOUD.
Now, I know that I’ve shared on our twitter the picture of Guiliana Rancic from her Michigan Avenue spread with her quote about breast cancer, but I figure now is as best a time as any to discuss the article in which “Guiliana Rancic Opens Up”.
For those of you who don’t know who Guiliana Rancic is….she is an E! correspondent who married the first Apprentice winner, Bill Rancic. Think Knocked Up without Seth Rogen & much more suits. She & her husband even have their own television series on E! affiliate the Style Network aptly titled: Guiliana & Bill.
Why does she come up in a blog post about breast cancer? Because she is one of the 250,000 women who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. She underwent treatment for estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer–first a double lumpectomy and then when the cancer remained, a double mastectomy last December.
Now, I wasn’t always such a Guiliana Rancic fan, but I also never really cared to hear what she had to say until she started SPEAKING about something other than the fluctuation of Kim Kardashian’s ass size or Miley Cyrus’ latest “bad girl” antics. It wasn’t her fault. She was doing her job. I just wasn’t interested. No hard feelings, Guiliana?
But, NOW that she has found a voice of her own: I’m all ears & I LOVE what I’m hearing. Guiliana Rancic has become a prime example of someone who is Do”ing” It Like A Woman.
How so, you may ask?
The article speaks for itself:
“As the cancer was cleared away, what took its place was a pressing belief that talking about it was an important part of her life’s purpose…she understands that the platform she has built over the last 10 years at E!–and the relationships with millions of young women who hang on her every word about Kim Kardashian or Britney Spears–can serve a greater good. ‘Maybe in some way I’m a little bit of a messenger,’ she says. ‘Maybe God knew that I have a big mouth, that I’m a loud Italian chick, that I wouldn’t hide behind anything. It now starts to make some sense to me why I think I got the cool job, because I think He knew I would do some cool stuff with it.’”
Oh, so, let me get this straight: she had cancer, kicked its ass, & now is empowering other women to do the same? Yep. That’s how a WOMAN does it.
But, Guiliana wasn’t alone. Not only did she have her family & friends as a support system, but she had another support system, as well: Bright Pink and its founder Lindsay Avner, a survivor, herself.
Bright Pink is an extraordinary non-profit that encourages women to Be Brilliant. Be Bold. Be Bright Pink. & according to its website it is the only national non-profit organization focusing on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women while providing support for high-risk individuals. Without all the fancy talk–its a peer support “match–making” service for young women at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Only without the romance and fancy dates! (though, I’m sure you could still swindle a dinner out of someone..)
If you have the time, check it out. If you have the money–join Guiliana & Lindsay at Fab Fest 2012 April 15 at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. Two exemplary women who showed breast cancer whose boss. Two exemplary women who are Do”Ing” It Like A Woman. Two women, we are happy to support.
“I think because breast cancer touches so many people, when someone hears you have it, they just shower you with love. The one word I always saw in all the messages was STRONG. You’re so strong, stay strong, be strong–when you hear something enough, you start believing it. I was like, I’m strong, I’m strong, I’m strong. That helped me get through a lot of this,” says Guiliana.
So, Ladies, if I don’t say it enough–You are STRONG. You are SEXY. You are POWERFUL. So, BELIEVE IT. I’ll keep repeating myself, but I don’t like to… DILAW.
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To read more about Guiliana’s story in Michigan Avenue, click here.
To learn more about Bright Pink, click here.