Saturday, October 19, 2013


We don't really know if Amazon women cut off one breast so they might better use a shield in battle, but my breast had to sacrifice a bit so the rest of me could live. Since I had a lumpectomy for breast cancer in 1994, I have felt deformed. I am so grateful to have survived, but I really don't like to look at myself in the mirror.
And as I continue to battle cancer, I tell myself that it is worth almost any inconvenience to continue living. And, for those who do not know - I hope you never have to know - there are a lot of "inconveniences" when you have cancer. Tough inconveniences, scary inconveniences, sometimes painful inconveniences.
So what if I am lopsided? At seventy-seven, my brain works beautifully. So well, it keeps me awake nights, thinking and remembering. My hearing is excellent. With a little help, my vision is very good. And, although I have difficulty walking and standing, I still manage to do it. And I am a terrific driver. So once I can get to my car, I am whole and young and free and  - perfect again.
In a way, I am an Amazon. I am in battles day and night. Battles for justice - battles against systems that ignore and suppress crime victims while they support criminals -and the continuing battle against cancer.
There is no more formidable enemy than cancer. There is no man, no enemy more daunting. I think I would rather face a warrior with a sword than a doctor with a scalpel. I would fight - and either win or lose. But with cancer, you fight and fight and fight, and the enemy is within you and you can't escape. You can only fight like hell for life and never give up. 
With the cold cruelty of a corrupt justice system controlled by corrupt politicians and corrupt police and corrupt lawyers and corrupt judges who rest on corrupt laws, you fight and fight and fight, while the enemy sits at a distance on a plush throne behind stone walls, pampering his stone heart. But you never, ever give up.
I am not Wonder Woman, but I am Scrapper. A grand friend, Michael Steeler, who insulted Hitler face to face when he was just a boy, and confronted The Vatican single handedly and relentlessly for its support of the Nazis and its crimes against children and gay people - that man, Michael Steeler, dubbed me "Scrapper".
I have earned the right to call myself Amazon. And the battles for life and for justice continue night and day.
Phyllis Carter

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