Performances inspired by real stories of women with metastatic breast cancer, told through artistic expression.
I can’t be with the other moms. Not anymore. Not like back when I knew who I was. I could have walked over to that park bench. No problem. Sat and talked about the small things.
"How’s she doing in school? Did you sign up for summer camp?" We would connect, mother to mother. Easy honesty. Cancer has taken that from me. The other moms used to know who I was. Now, all they see is the cancer.
"How you doing?" With those looks of concern.
"Please, take my seat." Everyone leaping up whether I need them to or not. Overcompensation for a willingness to help. Yet I’m here, living, still living.
Embodying resistance. Honoring the good news. Because none of this is easy.
Am I even a woman? I do have to ask.
Chemo has stripped me of my hair. Surgery has taken my beautiful breasts. This whole experience has left me so tired…
That I can’t work.
That I can’t have a love life.
That I can’t be the mother I need to be.
And this isn’t easy on her. She learned from a kid in her class that I could be taken from her. They said: She has cancer? Your mother’s gonna die. Your mother’s gonna die.
I held her, tried not to lie to her, but I struggled to explain how, despite loving her, I might have to leave her in this world alone. She’s right over there. Beautiful, climbing up.
And yet, I think, "Does this make me the worst mother in the world?"
Her friends keep asking her to see what I look like. What does cancer look like? And when they catch sight of me, they’re confused. It’s just me, her mother, still shining. Holding on for yet another day, watching her grow while I can.
I don’t want to lose a single moment. But I’m just so tired.
It’s like I can’t even pull away even if I tried. And then, just like that… I know deep down in my bones,
my daughter knows who I am: her mother. I will always be her mother. And she is my legacy.
mBC Unspoken. A voice given. A story heard.
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Watch: Me First 101
Rachel tries to use her job as a professor to protect herself from truly facing her metastatic cancer diagnosis, but is it working? See how Rachel learns how to put herself first, not her work or her students, in this onstage monologue.
Story performed by Adelaide Mestre.