Friendship Genae GirardBreast Cancer Awareness, Advocacy and Girlfriend Advice

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Unfortunately I think we’re already aware of it because too many of our moms, sisters and girlfriends have or are dealing with it. Too many women have had to go through a diagnosis and wonder what the future holds.

Today’s BlogTalkRadio guest, GENAE GIRARD had to deal with that diagnosis and it wasn’t easy. So, she shared her girlfriend advice in a book called “Off the Rack: Chronicles of a thirty-something, single, breast cancer survivor.”

For women in the same place Genae was in a few years ago, she shares this girlfriend advice:

Ode to Denial, After a Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Webster defines denial as:

“a psychological defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality.”

Every morning it’s the same thing. I glance into the mirror and the sleepiness falls away from my brain and I am perplexed by the fuzzy head staring back at me. “Oh yes”, I say to myself, “I forgot that I have cancer”. I begin to gather up my products that mask my appearance of going through chemo. My wig, my concealer, my eyebrow pencil…. I begin my routine of painting, wig straightening and globing on various make up products in an effort to look like Cindy Crawford. I know I have gone too far when I see Tammy Faye Baker staring back at me in the mirror. When I have an appearance of normalcy I set out into the world without anyone being the wiser.

I have studied statistics. I have an extensive breast cancer library. I have interviewed doctors as well as many survivors. I feel like I have been in control and satisfied with my decisions thus far. I have recently decided that on a day to day basis, I really appreciate denial.

You usually hear about denial in a negative connotation. I would like to portray it in a different light. Denial gives me a brain break. I can forget that every Friday I get juiced with the chemo drug Taxol. I can forget the fact that I have seven more treatments to go. I can forget that I filled in my eyebrows yesterday crooked so that I looked angry all day. I can forget for the last five months my shaved head has resembled David Carradine in the TV series Kung Fu.

So I would like to personally thank you denial for allowing me to forget for at least awhile that I am a breast cancer survivor. Thank you for the countless times you have helped me get through the day feeling great. Denial isn’t just for psychology patients and desperate housewives anymore.

got denial?

-Genae Girard
CEO, Corporate Culture Consulting, LLC
Author of: Off the Rack
Creator of
Speaker, Instructor, Mentor
(512) 796-1618

For more breast cancer girlfriend advice see 10 ways to be a better friend to a girlfriend with breast cancer, interview with Tami Boehmer – breast cancer survivor and author, being there for a friend who has breast cancer and pink gifts for girlfriends dealing with breast cancer.

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