“True October,” By Jody Schoger. Women with Cancer.

The issue isn’t whether or not awareness helps but the kind of awareness we need to advocate for, the kind of awareness worth the time you have here on earth. Coping with October is about focus, not on noise or commercialization, but on the very real work that must be done now.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is now a commercial mainstay of the pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, cancer centers, and nonprofit organizations that aim to prevent, treat and cure. Almost 30 years after it first began, we hear some of the same talk about prevention and early detection. It seems that everyone is aware of breast cancer. Few understand it. Even more are afraid of it.

Early on Jody Schoger tried to shrug off her initial, Stage III diagnosis. She wanted not to have cancer. She even asked her doctor, “But this is the good cancer, right?” He told the truth, that “there are no good cancers.” When Jody’s cancer metastasized, she was compelled with that same urge — to know that the metastasis wasn’t particularly dangerous.

Jody’s thoughts and perspectives have changed since those early days, and they changed again after dealing with metastasis. “From where I’m sitting.” she says, “the pink parade can go on without me. Games can take place. Eventually November will arrive.”

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