everyone knows someone who has breast cancer or has had breast cancer. there seems to be this need to put each person's experience on a relative scale: a mastectomy is worse than a lumpectomy (which is really a partial mastectomy); chemo is worse than radiation; affected lymph nodes are worse than non-affected lymph nodes; having small children to deal with is worse than not having small children to deal with; being younger is worse than being older; being terminal trumps all, unless you are young and terminal which trumps old and terminal. everyone is somewhere on the scale.
so if you are towards the good end of the scale, you feel guilty that your cancer doesn't suck as much as the people further along the scale's cancer sucks. and if you are further along the scale... well, i can't really imagine.
but somehow we all get the same t-shirt.