I try so hard to think of an appropriate name to call her. I fail. What name could possibly explain her cruelty? What name could even do justice to the agony she causes the human race? I fail to name her simply because I fail to understand her. I fail to understand her because she terrifies me. She scares me stiff and I would rather not talk about her if that will keep her away from me and from the people that I love. I choose to ignore her hoping that she will not notice me and creep up on me to cause me the same agony I have seen her cause so many women and men, young and old. But ignoring her won’t keep her at bay. But I will insult her and hope that she will feel bullied enough to stay away from me. Think it’ll work?
I am not privy of her encroachment ‘itinerary’. Will she single me out next? Am I on her list? Does she know my name? My address? If at all I am on her ‘to-do’ list, how will she come? In full force? Quickly? Slowly? Stealthily? Most importantly, if she does come knocking, will I survive?
O, the pain! She dishes out pain like Santa Claus does gifts during Christmas. The pain of having your own body turned against you! Its my body damn it! MY body! Breasts, ovaries, colon, cervix, pancrease, lungs, blood. All mine!! Why does she do this to us? Making us slaves to her whims and leaving us an empty shell of our old selves. Why? Who gave her so much authority?
Now she is not sparing young children as well – What a coward! Isn’t it strange that the shilling is at its all time low, recession is still giving us the middle finger and as if that is not enough, this demon is stifling lives out of adults and children alike? It sure pours when it rains! It is not enough that she took from us a woman who was ready to die for the benefit of Mother Nature- Wangari Maathai succumbed to her insatiable appetite.
I picture her as this she-devil who has a sneer permanently plastered on her face. She is ugly. Yeah, so ugly that she has a moustache. She has big eyes. Ugly red eyes that could light up anything it glances at. She has this big nose too that occupies half of her face. In fact her face is half burnt, or something. Let’s add a pair of horns at the top of her head for good measure, shall we? She is hairy, ugly, and monstrous and she terrifies me.
I think Mother Nature is scared of her too. If she wasn’t she would have protected Wangari Mathai from her, after all Wangari Maathai lived for Mother Nature! The irony; what happened to returning favors, huh? If Mother Nature wasn’t scared of her, she would protect young children like 9 year old Rose Nasimiyu from having to deal with monsters that size; what happened to fighting someone your size? Mother Nature cannot stand up to her. None of us is safe. None of us is immune. When she beckons, she shakes our bodies, our immunity, our faith, our love and our hope. Our livelihood. Damn her!
October is her month. The month where we all join hands to try and fight this monster. This is the month we should check ourselves. Feel your breasts for any lumps, any pain, any signs of her. Let her not catch you unawares. Have that Pap smear; go for any test that will make you arm yourself should she make an appearance. Catch her first fast, before she wreaks havoc on your body.
For all those men and women, young girls and boys who have fought and survived her deathly grip, I salute you for the spirited fight. I applaud you for punching her ugly face in! I celebrate you today because I know that no one who survives an ordeal with her remains the same person. It is easier to give up and opt to die rather than have poison pumped into your system in the form of Chemotherapy. It cannot be easy, I can only imagine. So, for hanging in there, for not giving up, for choosing to keep fighting for your life and in so doing, fighting for your children, your parents, your spouses, your friends. I salute you. You did it!
For those who succumbed to her lethal attack, we do not think less of you. You fought a good fight. But we will keep fighting for you. We will win this war for you. We will make her pay for all her atrocities-past and present. We will get a cure. We will fight her and we will win, won’t we?
For those going through the rigorous treatments – you are stronger than you know. Don’t hold back. Fight this demon like your life depends on it, because it does. Fight her on your behalf and on ours too. Show her who’s boss. Tell her that its your body, your life and own it back. This October, the Breast Cancer Awareness month, I will say a prayer each day for all the Cancer patients who feel like their days on earth are numbered. You are stronger than you know, I insist. My health, my life. My body, my life. My breasts, my life right?