(This blog was originally written on February 10th, 2019, on my way home from the city)
Today Beth and I went to the 3rd Annual New York Fashion Week Fundraiser Metavivor fashion show featuring AnaOno. Being on the fringes of both the lingerie and the breast cancer awareness worlds, we only found out about it at the last minute. I snagged two tickets. It was going to be an afternoon out, a treat for a long year of hard work. I don’t know if it was the busy week or just general lack of foresight, but I did not have an inkling of what I was about to encounter. Maybe it’s better that way, maybe I experienced it more deeply. Maybe the surprise was what lead me to feel ALL of the feelings.
Anger: I think everyone feels this. Why? Why is this happening? Why are we losing these beautiful men and women? Why isn’t there more funding? How can we let 1 out of 3 women who are diagnosed, die? It’s our mothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends daughters… and fathers, brothers, boyfriends and son. It falls into the category of NOT FAIR.
Sad: Metavivor is about raising money and awareness for stage 4 breast cancer. Stage 4 is the kind that kills. My mom’s second diagnosis was at stage 4. It was a huge blow to find that we were already that far in the process right at the start. I wanted to hug every man and woman in the room. Everyone in the world. I wanted to infuse them with my strength. I knew I could not. Did I mention NOT FAIR?
Lonely: In early March, it will be 4 years since I lost my mom. I miss her every single day. It’s my new normal and while I’ve (mostly) gotten used to it, but it doesn’t mean that I like it. So much discussion about metastatic breast cancer brought back so many of the bad memories. It was such an awful, frustrating time. She should still be here. There are so many daughters around the world that probably say the same thing. I know my mother said it about her mother.
Frustration: Why is there so little research for something that kills so many? We’ve made great strides in so many other diseases, and with stage 0 and 1. Why have we, as a society, thrown in the towel at stage 4? These men and women deserve every moment of their lives as much as someone at Stage 1.
Amazement: These folks have Stage 4 Metastatic breast cancer. They’re out in the world, not only fighting for their own survival, but working to raise money and secure grants for those that are not yet diagnosed. At a time when they could and should be focused on themselves, they chose to make contributions that will leave a lasting legacy.
Happy: The women in the fashion show were having a great time. They were beautiful. They were powerful. They owned that catwalk. Everyone in the audience was under their spell. I doubt most people will know how that kind of adoration feels, not that it is the reason that they participated – but I’m sure it didn’t hurt.
Hopeful: The room was buzzing with the energy of people who were there to help. From the corporate sponsors to the folks like us, who bought standing room only tickets because it was the best that they could do. The men and women on the stage were out there because they had hope that there could be a better future – one with a treatment and maybe even a cure. We were all united by hope.
I decided to honor my mom and her attitude towards life and take hope home with me. We donate part of our sales to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation because we know that things will get better. When I think about what my grandmother went through in the mid-1980s and compare it to today’s treatments, it’s a whole different world. Hopefully, in another few years we’ll be saying the same about now.
We had the pleasure of meeting Dana of AnaOno a few years ago. If we were impressed with her before, it pales in comparison to the amazing things that we saw at the fashion show. Please check out AnaOno for some amazing fashions, built for women designed specifically for those affected by breast cancer and breast surgeries. (but wonderful for everyone!)