In her recent blog post, Simone Savannah reminds us that instead of thinking of their bodies as “abnormal” women should “take charge of their health which also means embracing the differences in their bodies.” Savannah points to the several poems that “give women the space to embrace their bodies.” These poems allow women, particularly, Black women, to re-imagine the racist and sexist views of the Black female body.
Just as Savannah reminds us to be cognizant of the necessity of re-imagining the body, we should also be cognizant of re-imagining the language that is utilized to describe the lives of those who fight the opponent of breast cancer. In revisiting a post from last year about Audre Lorde’s Cancer Journals, the vitality of Lorde in the face of breast cancer rival is striking. Lorde’s language is one of a victor; one who is faced with a life-threatening disease but still chooses autonomy and victory rather than victimization and defeat. Although, Lorde ultimately died as a result of breast cancer, she definitely was not defeated by the disease. Lorde, through her narrative about her struggle with disease, proves that those diagnosed with breast cancer are not mere victims of the disease. Above all, even in death, Lorde’s words remind us that those who have breast cancer, and even die from it, do not necessarily endure a losing battle.