WHAT DOES “BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH” MEAN TO YOU?

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month & I am reblogging most of the post I found fromBreast Cancer,Breast Cancer Month,October Breast Cancer Month,October Breast Cancer Awareness Month,When Breast Cancer Month,Pink Ribbon Lara K. Huffman’s blog Get Up Swinging: The Boobs are Fake, The Snark is Real:

Well, I wanted to ask other folks with cancer, any cancer, the question: “What does Breast Cancer Awareness Month mean to you?” The responses mostly came from other women who have had breast cancer since that’s the disease I have, but there responses from others who have undergone treatment for cancers other than breast.

Here are responses from those who have metastatic breast cancer:

“Even before I was diagnosed with breast cancer I loathed October. No matter where you go there is a sea of pink, ribbons, t-shirts, key chains, etc. What started out as something good had morphed into a retail/marketing machine that line the pockets of those ‘bringing awareness.’ Now after living with Stage 4 breast cancer for the past year, I understand how serious this is.  Every person diagnosed with breast cancer COULD develop metastatic disease. Early detection does not guarantee safety. What will save more of the 40,000 people that will die from breast cancer each year is research. And that means money for research – not awareness. What Komen and the others give to research is sickening.”

“Nothing,” and then: “I have metastatic breast cancer. When I die, I will not have lost at all. Another reason October grosses me out: battle metaphors.”

Here are the responses from those who had breast cancer, aka the people who we’re supposed to celebrate during this month:

“Hell.”

“Enough awareness already. Time to focus on research for those with mets. I used to like pink. Sometimes now I struggle with wearing it. Oh, and it makes me want to throat punch people.”

“I cringe every October now. SGK has created an atmosphere wherein people actually resent breast cancer charities – even the good ones. It makes me very sad. I used to like pink, too. Now it just makes my butt pucker.”

“Absolutely nothing. It’s a disgusting marketing ploy.”

“It means companies profit off of a disease (mostly).”

“That I’m going to flip out the next time someone posts something about not wearing underwear or using their boobs to get out of a speeding ticket because they are playing a ‘fun’ breast cancer awareness game. And October, the month that used to be my favorite, is now the month that I won’t be able to, even for a minute, forget I had breast cancer.”

“Well, it means breast cancer awareness for everyone else, but for me, that’s every month every day.”

“Breast cancer is sadly something we’ve all heard of. We’re all aware of it each October because it’s shoved down our throats. I’m all for education of things like triple negative or IBC or mets, etc., but buying a pink frying pan isn’t going to do that either. By the way, I don’t think that pink is a vile color; I do love it, but I hate all the negative bullshit that it stands for now. Hopping off my soapbox now….”

“I guess the month is more personal to me. I got THAT phone call from the breast surgeon on October 1, 2012 telling me my biopsy was malignant. ‘Sorry for the phone call, but we need to act on this PDQ.’ So, two weeks later, I’m in surgery for seven hours, having a double mastectomy and tram flap. I’m sick of pink. I’m sick of Tamoxifen. I hate cancer.”

“Most people are unaware or ignorant to anything until it happens to them or someone they love. I feel like I’ve been under the breast cancer cloud since I was about 13 and my aunt, who was like my second mother, was diagnosed and had her mastectomy. I don’t know if her struggle was a warning to me, so I’d catch mine earlier because she ignored hers for a while before she got checked. . . . If the month gets more women to do self-exams, check up on something suspicious, get a physical, or donate time or money who would’ve never thought to do before, I pray that is the good that comes out of it. It’s kind of a hard month, but so is every day once your life changes that little bomb of a seed has been planted in your mind and body.”

“I definitely feel the attention has to shift from awareness to cure.”

“I don’t have a lot of attachment to it. I went to a nice breast cancer fundraiser last night with all the pink bells and whistles for the cancer center that saved my life and had a good time and made some donations. But, there was a lot of ‘stuff’ there, that had I been in the throes of treatment or diagnosis, would have absolutely pushed me over the edge.”

If those with breast cancer are expressing disgust and resentment at the very month that is supposed to celebrate them, then changes need to be made. We need to stop trivializing a deadly disease by wrapping it up in a pretty pink bow. Men also get breast cancer, and I couldn’t even fathom how horrifying Pinktober would be to a man with breast cancer.

I asked Lori Marx-Rubiner, the president of Metavivor, how can anyone help a loved one going through breast cancer treatment, and here is her response to What can people do?:

Give of themselves – run errands: dry cleaner, market, carpool

Make a meal – check first abt dietary restrictions

Keep patient company during treatment

Come by with a good movie

Check in 6-7 days after treatment, when the attention has died down

If you don’t have a specific person in mind-

Volunteer at a treatment or support center

Organize a local fundraiser & Donate to Research

Sign up for Army of Women

No time?

Send a gift card – Jamba Juice, bookstore, Netflix subscription, local restaurant that delivers

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One thought on “WHAT DOES “BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH” MEAN TO YOU?

  1. Ron Melle says:

    I too, think that it has a become a very painful month for those who have had to deal with a loved ones passing due to this disease. I believe that there are too many reminders for people to dredge up pain every year just when the healing begins to get better. Way too many “advocates” that are becoming rich at the expense of others pain and suffering. People have become more and more cruel trying to justify themselves as caring individuals by taking up a cross, especially someone else’s cross, and putting it in your face. Let’s move on and heal.

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