After her mastectomy, Lucas decided not to create an artificial nipple through reconstructive surgery. Instead, she tattooed her breast with a heart and wings. "Lipstick was about living. Lipstick was being hopeful and having a future. I think lipstick is the antithesis of all the things breast cancer patients go through, and to somehow reclaim it, to wear it on my terms felt so crazy but also made perfect sense."
Is there any other disease that has been so warmly embraced by its victims? (And yes, I use the word “victim”—that’s another part of the perkiness—the failure to acknowledge that some of us are in fact victims of a hideous disease.) No one thinks TB, AIDS, or heart disease is supposed to be a “growth opportunity” and make you into a better person. No one is thankful for colon cancer, diabetes or gonorrhea. Why, I began to wonder, is a disease that primarily attacks women supposed to be something they should be grateful for?
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