Friday, April 11, 2008

Some People Fucking Suck

It's been quite strange to get negative comments about my boob party, all this judgement about my character for trying to bring empowerment to a shitty situation and to raise money. This one particular "woman" (this person identifies as such, but you never know for sure on the internet) seems to really have it out for me. After a few of her scathing comments on the CBC article, DH wrote:

"Do any of you who have made dismissive or insulting comments about this brave woman have any idea what it is like to go through 6 months of debilitating chemotherapy, where you spend most of your days poisoned to the extent that you can barely move and your veins and arteries and much of your body will never the same, another 5 weeks of radiation therapy where you are literally being burned from the inside and you wonder what the side effects of being irradiated will be if you survive the initial cancer being treated, and then ponder the prospects of major surgery that will require months of recovery and the possibility that you may not survive?

Are you so pathetic and lonely or, worse yet, so lacking in human empathy that you cannot imagine what it might be to be this woman or someone who cares for her, who has seen her courage and sense of humour in the face of such pain and fear, and who might cherish her generousity in throwing a party so that those who care about her can laugh along with her and support her in her hour of need?

If you use words such as "pathetic" or "self-indulgent" to describe her, I am afraid they mirror your own flaws and not hers, and that you truly lack a fundamental humanity that allows you to see the grace and courage another shows in spite of their suffering. This has nothing to do with the sexuality of breasts, or your views about your own breasts or your sexuality. This is about the loss of a part of her body that has held great meaning, and how the fears about how that might change her life reflect the fears about how cancer may alter or end her life in the most profound way. To face one's mortality with a sense of humour, and among friends, is such a contrast to the superficial attempts at humour and insult displayed by some of the commentators that I truly marvel at the emotional poverty of their lives.

I pity you and hope that you will not have to discover what it means to go through cancer yourself, or to see a loved one suffer through it and feel powerless to take their pain away. May you remain blissfully mean-spirited, so that you will not have to learn in the most difficult way what it means to be fully human and humane."

And my friend Vicki wrote:

"I've known Brandy since she was a young girl. She is a wonderful, intelligent woman who faces everything in life with a positive attitude and a zany sense of humor.

How wonderful, that in a crisis that could be a death sentence to many people's spirits, she chooses to lift her spirits by reaching out to other cancer patients with a fund raiser that is also a way of making a transition to her new, post-mastectomy body.

Brandy is also a loving mother to her 2 young children. Even though they are very young, she has not left them "out of the loop" about what's going on, but let them be a part of the whole life experience so that they will not be so afraid of the changes that are about to happen to their mommy. If you look in the archives of Brandy's blogs, you will see pictures of her children helping to cut their mommy's hair when it was beginning to fall out. She and her husband made a family "game" out of it, so that her kids would know that it was natural and not scary. Her daughter helped her mommy make the booby casts for this "bye bye boobies" farewell party as a way of being a part of the whole experience.

I say SHAME on you cowards who hide behind your anonymity and write mean-spirited comments towards someone whom you don't even know. And this IS newsworthy! In a world where so much of the news is gloom and doom, how uplifting to read a story about someone who is going through this with sense of humor intact. She is ready to embrace her new body and I say KUDOS to Brandy and her loving family for sharing their private pain and turning it into public celebration!"


To which this woman replied:

"To BCborn and Vicki58085 - This article has everything to do with sexuality, self- indulgence and breasts. I'm sure that Brandy Lien Worrall is a wonderful woman. And, yes, cancer is scary. Not one of my friends who has survived or left this world because of cancer has chosen to debase themselves in such a self-indulgent, pathetic, idiotic manner - they were ( or are ) too busy concerning themselves with their children, grandchildren and ensuring their needs are looked after.

Brandy Lien Worrall's private life really needs to remain there - PRIVATE- and that includes her " boobie bash ", which really is just a pathetic, self-indulgent, attention-seeking media spin so that she feels better - just in case she doesn't make it . . . which is quite a probability. I already truly do feel sorry for her children.

And, YES, I do have a sense of humour . . . the only thing that has kept me going ! ! !"


Okay, lady, so what the fuck is up? This woman is clearly insane. Here's my reply to her lovely rant:

"To Pivoine and others who feel like this person--I feel sorry for you. Because even though I might be the one who has cancer, you people are truly sick. Or perhaps, to give you the benefit of the doubt, you are only getting one side of the story. Though I have a suspicion that even given the full story, you would still judge me for who you think I am and what I've done. In any case, it's true--I have no shame--but why would I?

No doubt are sexuality and self-image a part of this act, but also is nurturing, empowerment, support. Many people came out to this event because they wanted information and to meet other people going through what they are in terms of their cancer treatments. They wanted to be in a safe environment in which they could not feel lonely with their cancer for perhaps this one night. And having this event was a beautiful success on so many levels--not just for myself but for all the other people who were there, including my children and other children, who were celebrating breasts with artwork. To them, breasts aren't sexual but were what nourished them in their first few years of life.

I have not debased myself; I am honouring myself--my body, mind, and spirit, all three of which have been changed by this whole process of trying to survive. Luckily, I have had the support of my entire family, including my parents, my in-laws, my children, my husband, and all my friends--all who were involved with this event and were touched by it.

So please, Pivoine, I hope you don't spend any more of your energy calling me names for something beautiful that I've done for myself and others; and especially, please don't feel sorry for my children. I have cancer, but I and those around me are all blessed with open minds and spirits, and instead of wallowing in my pain and suffering (which I have had done, believe me), every once in a while, I try to do good for a community of people who need support. And so if you really feel that I'm idiotic for doing so, then yes, I think you are the one who is sick."


What really pisses me off is that if there is a breast cancer patient reading this article, hoping to get inspiration or empowerment or not feel alone and misunderstood, if she reads these attacks on me, she could feel like she shouldn't say anything about her cancer...and that's poisonous. Cancer patients need to talk about their cancer, need to get help and support. They don't need to keep their cancer "private" or hidden from others. That is not healthy at all, period.

So all of you who read my blog, who are here to get information, support, peace, understanding--talk about your experiences. Be loud about it. If you want to spend your days in bed, do so. If you want to shout from the top of your lungs, do so. But whatever you do, don't let anyone ever tell you that you need to be private about your pain, that you need to do anything--just do what you feel you have to do to recover from this awful disease!

6 comments:

Animae said...

**THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE**

bad_piano_player said...

Brandy, your honesty, sincerity, compassion, and downright articulateness are qualities I most admire about you. As a person going through chemo treatments for class 4 lung cancer, I've noticed how many people avoid the word "cancer". Gertrude Stein said "a rose is a rose is a rose" so commemorate each step of your cancer journey and forget those with little minds.

Victoria said...

you and your party are fabulous and pivione can go fuck herself :)

Trevor Quan said...

Wow, those were some messed up comments on the CBC site. But it should be expected, the anonymity of the internet can bring out the worst in people.

Vicki aka Mamapajama said...

Hey, I actually left another comment but they didn't publish it. I wonder if it's because I told her she was mentally ill and I hoped she soon found the care she so desperately needs? I guess mental illness trumps cancer in the card game of anonymous insults.

SorianoWrites said...

what i meant to say was...the woman's just un-enlightened, bitter and seemingly very unhappy...you keep doing what you need to girlins ----