A row of airplane seats has one female passenger with a mask on and a worried look as the person behind her coughs

We Are Not Hiding Behind Our Mask

I wonder if it is the mask, lack of control, or lack of respect for our neighbor that has made many average people be non-compliant during the pandemic? You and I put a mask on for our protection and their protection. Living with MBC we often think of others before we think of ourselves. We live in protection mode. I wish the general public realized their mask could possibly save one of us. We all hope to have more time to make memories with our friends and family. Many of us celebrate each milestone wondering if it is the last of this kind. Our HOPE is for more time.

After my MBC diagnosis

Over the last 10 months, I have often stopped and watched people struggle to just wear the mask while they shop or run an errand. Six years ago, with my original diagnosis it was suggested when I traveled, I mask. After my MBC diagnosis in January 2019, I referred to myself as the masked traveler and had a good chuckle. People would stare, I am sure they had questions. Now I can move about when not restricted on a level playing field. I look like everyone around me. I will wear a mask if it means I stay safe, I keep a stranger safe, and to keep making priceless memories. I will wear the mask if it means one more good belly laugh.

As we are “counting up” during this pandemic, we are reminded daily how fragile life can be. One life lost to a disease is one too many. We see the struggle in the eyes of those we meet. They have not found their footing wearing this new accessory. I know I miss seeing the smiles on strangers' faces. I now try to read their eyes. My hope is those who struggle never face a terminal diagnosis. Each day we make the choice to live and give that day our best effort. No mask can protect the heart and the mind.

Living with MBC

You see we wear a mask every day, we don a smile so our family and friends do not worry. We do the routine of “scan, treat, and repeat”. Many of the amazing women I have met make this process look like a simple task. We get up and try to carry on - many of us living with daily pains that remind us we are human. As we try to find the new normal in a pandemic wearing our invisible cape, we are hoping to show some love and kindness, but to also be seen and heard. We have a voice and often a desire to leave things better than we find them. We are changing the world, one woman, at a time.

Wear a mask for someone else

So please for a small season of your life can you wear the mask for us? Our season is extended to living and wondering what will be the new normal for the rest of the days we walk this earth. We make our new normal and find our way to thrive. Our hope is you can find your place behind your latest accessory. Our biggest request is to find a way to spread love and kindness until then. There will be a smile behind my mask, just look at my eyes and you will see the joy from within.

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