Rockin’ the Pink
My Journey To Rocking the Pink
Before October 10, 2008
“Breast cancer.” Wow, those are two very scary words! — but they are not a part of my life, thank goodness. Breast cancer does not run in my family, so I don’t have to worry about that. What a relief!
I’ve seen those poor women, wearing headscarves, wearing pink – those poor other women. I feel sorry for them. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but those headscarves scare me, knowing those poor women are bald under there. I just feel like I’m going to cry if I look at them, it’s just so sad. People in chemo are probably not gonna make it. I mean, if you’re in chemo, you are pretty much gonna die, right?
After October 10, 2008
What?!?!?!?!?!? The doctor called to tell me I have something called “triple negative breast cancer?!” But I’m only 37, with no history of the disease in my family! This isn’t possible. And he says I need chemo! Chemo?! I am falling down a dark well. How is this happening to me?
I am one of those poor woman. I am one of those unfortunate, other women! I am a bald woman in a headscarf. Everyone around me thinks I’m dying, I can tell. People look away.
And what about my two little daughters? Everything I’ve believed about my safety, my controlled grasp on my own life, my plucky penchant for luck in everything I do – it has all flown out the window. I am a cancer patient.
The chemo is killing the cancer cells in my body and a whole lot of other healthy cells, too. The hair is falling out of my head, but – wait, what is this? — with those cells and hair, other things are leaving me, too! Like pretense! Lack of authenticity!Pride! These things are leaving me, too.
I am left with the truth. I cannot hide from the truth. I have no layers to hide behind.
I have one life. And I’d better get busy living it — for really reals.
I am not dying. I am reborn.
I’d always been a big dreamer as a child, certain I’d win the Oscarand write the great American novel, too. I sang in every high school musical, and then went off to UCLA theatre school. When I was singing and expressing my creative side, I always felt like me. But after college, I went into the family “lawyer business” and forgot all about that little dreamer inside of me. Even though I loved my husband and two little daughters so very much, I was totally and utterly compartmentalized. So much of my daily life was spent fighting voraciously in court about other people’s money. The stress and anxiety of my daily life ate me up inside – just like a cancer – until, of course, it became an actual cancer.
The day I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I quit my job as an attorney. I am so glad I made the change – and by whatever means necessary I am grateful – but why on earth did I think I needed the “permission” of a cancer diagnosis to be the real me? It is now my mission to shout from the top of every mountaintop to others: “Don’t wait for cancer! Do it now!”
After my cancer treatments, I vowed to live my life with passion and authenticity. I recorded an album of songs I’d written during treatments, and the music video for the title track, “I’m Still Here,” has surpassed 1,000,000 hits on Youtube! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5efIFZ7BKM0 Billboard Magazine ranked me No. 5 on its list of the Top 50 emerging artists of 2011!
And, I am thrilled to say, I also wrote my first book! In March 2012, my book Rocking the Pink will be released, with endorsements by Robin Roberts, Jack Black, Jennifer Griffin, Joni Rodgers, and more. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5zDQeDS3kE I hope my book will reach out to all those women who unexpectedly find they have suddenly, shockingly, become that “poor woman,” too. And they will know they can get through it, and that they will be better than ever! For anyone who has been touched in any way by breast cancer, let’s all rock the pink together!
Please visit my website at www.lauraroppe.com and send me an email! I’d love to hear from you!!