Wednesday, October 10, 2012

An Answer to Pinktober

A couple of weeks ago, I took my husband to the airport at 5:00 am.  I was stunned to see this pink lighted control tower....done in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  My response? YOU HAVE TO BE FRIGGING KIDDING ME!  Does this pink phallic symbol have ANYTHING to do to HELP those of us who have been stricken? Does it really do anything to help "breast cancer awareness?"

I have to admit, some of us are getting a little bit militant about this.  Me included.  After 20 years of "breast cancer awareness" don't you think we ARE aware?  While strides have been made, those of us who have metastatic breast cancer (MBC or stage IV breast cancer where it has attacked a site outside of the breast of the lymph nodes) are largely ignored by the pink tide.  For most people, they have no clue.

Yes, catching breast cancer early does help...but 25-30% of those diagnosed with breast cancer will have a recurrence, quite a few of those early breast cancer diagnoses will have it return as a stage IV cancer.  In all the funds raised for breast cancer awareness only 5% of the funds go to study MBC.  Over 40,000 people (MEN and women) die of breast cancer each year...Yet....it often seems like in the pink hoop-de-la, we're forgotten.  I am aware...and I have a second recurrence of mets to the bone...this time in many areas.

For a lot of people who were diagnosed with MBC, talking about it is scary.  Those of us putting out the numbers are putting out a lot of scary information.  Yes, it IS scary.  But we have to talk about it.  It was only through the promotion of various organizations, the Pink Ribbon project and Susan G. Komen that we have brought the fight to the stage we have....it is rare these days for a woman to go in for a biopsy and come out without a breast like Nancy Reagan did, and that's a good thing.   But we need to do more.

Nancy's Point did a really good post on why it is important to talk about it and to remind people that there are those of us who are literally fighting for our lives.  Take a look at her blog post here  In addition, there is a great website for those of us who have it, Metavivor.org.  Their website has a lot of information, but their blog is very useful.

And here is a simple thing....sort of a silly thing....but oh so needed. MBCaware.org has put out a call..if you go to their site, $1 is donated to MBC research; if you share it on Face Book, another $1 is donated...if you tweet or share through other social media, then more money is donated.  So...go here and read more.  I will be very glad you did...and if you share? Well, I'll be happier yet again!

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