Friday, March 14, 2008

Cancer Chicks at the X Show

Tonight's X show at the SXSW Live stage was quite transcendent, they were in top form. John Doe's and Exene's vocals were as good as ever, Billy Zoom was having his own show on Stage Right with his new Billy Zoom Tribute Model Gretsch guitar, and DJ Bonebrake was still the solid, creative rhythm of the band.

About 2/3 of the way through the show, between songs, a woman asked my bandanna-ed self, "Do you have breast cancer?"

Wow, no one has just said this to me before. "Why do you ask?" I said.

"Because I'm a survivor," she said. "Three years. Stage 3A. I was 37 when I was diagnosed."

We talked some after the show, I got her card (damn, why don't *I* have cards??) and we talked cancer.

A few moments later, outside on the street, another woman greeted me. I still don't know her name.


I could see her port, it's still in her chest, plainly visible. She had a halter dress on. Her hair was short, obviously still growing out. She was ebullient.

"I see your port," I told her.

"Feel my boobs!" she said. I did. They felt — and looked — pretty convincing. She said before, "the girls were sagging," and now with her post mastectomy breasts, they were perky.

That was 2 women in the X show, under 40, who've had breast cancer. Both strangers to me, both lifting me up and telling me, You are going to be all right, girl.

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