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Ta, ta to the Ta, Tas

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2300
Joined: Jun 2010

This story was on our local news last night.  Some local woman was hosting this theme party prior to her double mastectomy (prophylactic, she has BRCA 2 gene).   The newspeople said that a lot of women are having "parties" like this.  Really?  Maybe so.  I personaly know another woman who had a "shower" prior to her mastectomy for beast cancer.  

 I believe in being positive and having the support of your friends, but I find the concept of a celebration prior to a life altering event (not to mention life threatening) offensive.  And I truly believe the public perception of having breast cancer has gotten out of hand.  It is NOT a party.  And I could go on and on.

Comments?

Suzanne

camul's picture
camul
Posts: 2069
Joined: Dec 2010

along with billboards saying bc is 99,9% curable etc. that is giving the public the idea that having bc is no big deal. I have even heard from a nurse(not in a bc facility), that very few. people with bc die anymore. Of course I asked the 40k question. Then what about the 500k newly diagnosed in the U.S. every year and the 40k who die of it every year in just the U.S. alone?....
I hope people continue to take bc seriously! I can see the releif in removing them... but am really surprised at the thought of a prty. Of course most of these do not end up needing chmo. I have read of a few who have had them removed only to have pathology come back showing bc that was undetected.

coco2008's picture
coco2008
Posts: 406
Joined: May 2013

I too find this attitude offensive.  This journey has been many things, but never would I describe it as something to celebrate.

BC treatments are offering more women (and men) longer lives, but the war is far from over, and too many are losing after long fights.  Saying that BC is no longer taking lives could seriously cut back on dontions and funding for research to find the cure.

What will be the future for our children then?

Sandy

1surfermom's picture
1surfermom
Posts: 263
Joined: Mar 2009

I so agree. This issue has been haunting me since I saw the documentary" Pink Ribbons  Inc.". Since when did breast cancer become fun?  Surf

 

Clementine_P's picture
Clementine_P
Posts: 366
Joined: Feb 2011

I expect that many of those ppl will not be feeling so celebratory after the surgery. I get what they are trying to do but I just think it is a method of avoidance. If they are having a party they aren't dealing with the seriousness if the situation. Coping with a double mastectomy as a preventive measure is traumatizing too. They will probably be completely blindsided when their emotions come home to roost. 

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2172
Joined: Jun 2010

Since they made it fun to be raising money = a party, a celebration.  I remember reading last year in September when the local area was having their "Race for a Cure" that five thousand strong were cheering in pink.  You can bet that there was no mention about stage IV people.

I'm not against survivorship, I wish I was one of them.  One can raise money in races without making a Big Celebration out of it.  There are lots of Memorial Races to raise funds for scholarships.  They have fun but they aren't carrying colorful balloons either.

I think if they even mentioned especially "Race for a Cure" that the war isn't won yet and that 30% still die from the disease, would be helpful.

Doris

Lynn Smith
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mar 2011

Like you I feel this is alot out of the ordinary.Who would want to celebrate having cancer and loosing your breast??? I had 3 lumpetomies just after my dx and even I would never do this.Cancer is cancer and it IS deadly. We never know if and when it MAY come back. We've lost some Pink Sisters lately.They did good for years and then it came back and they fought for a long time. 

I'll never feel comfortable since my dx of this beast.It was bad enough just going for regular mammos for over 40 years. Now I go in for mammos after my cancer dx.

I don't know of celebrations like this in my area.The only time we celebrate is after finishing chemo treatments, radiation or anniversaries. Those are accomplishments.

I would never have the nerve to do this after a cancer dx.At first I talked to others about my bc but now it's been 4 years and I dont say much unless to my Pink Sisters.It's a matter of wanting to be private.

Lynn Smith

   

cinnamonsmile
Posts: 1049
Joined: Dec 2010

I totally agree. I don't find anything fun about cancer or when I lost my breasts. I would have NEVER thrown a party and would NEVER attend one. 

I wonder if  she will be complaining that her "friends and family" just dont "understand" what she is going through (This is not directed to ANYONE who didn't throw a mastectomy party). And why should they? She is throwing a part for losing her breasts to cancer.

I also agree that it makes it hard for others to take breast cancer seriously. Parties, pink crap for sale that doesn't benefit research or help to BC patients makes it look like we had a wart removed.

 

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2172
Joined: Jun 2010

Suzanne,

That is nuts!  A party? 

Nancy Brinker knew that all the money in the world was not going to find a cure for breast cancer when she began the organization named for her sister.  Nancy promised Susan two things from what I read in her book "Promise me".  She needed to let women know that breast cancer was a very deadly disease.   She missed on that one.  Since her sister found the waiting rooms ugly and depressing, she wanted something more tasteful than seasick green walls.  Susan was a bows and frill type of girl and that is why Pink was choosen.  Our waiting rooms are for the most part decorated in good taste today, especially BC ones.  Nancy was surprise at the support she received when she began to take breast cancer out of the closet.  Therefore if she wanted the money to continue to roll in, in my opinion decided to celebrate survivorship.  Stage IV is barely mentioned on her web page and they don't mention this stage "In Race For A Cure".  We are the invisible ones.  After her horrid year, Komen Foundation did include a stage IV ad last year for the very first time.

ACS does the same for "Relay for Life".  Your either in the Survivor catergory or the Memorial one.  What about us, stage IV who know that we won't survive.  

Other than the fact that Komen or ACS doesn't like us stage IV, I do believe they do good work in other areas.  They do need to acknowledge that though 70% is great, 100% survival would be even better.

That is why I HATE PINK OCTOBER, it gives the wrong message.  It makes it sound like the cure is right around the corner if only you purchase more pink towels, pink bras, pink ribbon envelopes and etc.  We all know that most of the money they receive never goes into research.  Only 2 to 5% goes into research for the only stage that kills.  30% die from this disease and until that number is zero there should not be any pink balloons at what looks like a BIG PARTY each year.  I am not suggesting that they should wear black and act as though it was a funeral.  I am suggesting a boycott on all PINK ITEMS until NO ONE DIES from Breast Cancer.  I am suggesting if you have money to burn give it to METAvivor the only group that is actually giving every penny to research for stage IV.  Cure us and no one will ever need to worry.

The message needs to be change so badly...

Is there an email for letters to the editor page for the newspapers that printed these stories?  Perhaps we could all write to inform them that Breast Cancer remains a killer of Women and Men.

Doris

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2300
Joined: Jun 2010

Here's the link for the story:  http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2013/07/26/rocklin-mother-says-ta-ta-to-ta-tas-before-double-mastectomy/#comments   That lady can do whatever she wants and feel however she wants to feel, but I think it's wrong of the media to publish the party part of her story.  They can tell her story and raise awareness (I thought Angelina Jolie did that), but the party part offends me.  I could not readily find a place to leave a comment, but I will.   If you watch this and have something to say, I hope you'll comment as well.

Doris, thanks for the history on how the celebration part evolved.  Everyone knows someone who has had breast cancer and remained cancer free and this is definitely something to celebrate.  The world seems to forget about the 30% and (at least for breast cancer) focuses on those who are cured.  I don't know what the answer is.  i do know that it pisses me off.

Here's another link from the Foundation for Women's cancers:  http://www.foundationforwomenscancer.org/news-release-a-call-to-action-on-behalf-of-women-with-below-the-belt-cancer/.     Having had both breast and endometrial cancers, this article really hits home for me. 

I hope I haven't offended anyone.  The reason I came here in the first place is because it was a safe place where I received support and understanding and knowledge.  Sometimes friends and family don't get it.  I admit that my diagnoses changed me and made me more sensitive to some issues I might have brushed off back in the day. 

Suzanne

fauxma's picture
fauxma
Posts: 3535
Joined: Dec 2008

I haven't seen the newscast but I think that the news should not be focusing on "a Party".  This woman was having this done as a prevention not as cancer so she has no idea what an actual diagnosis does to someone.  I am sure she was doing this to take charge in the same way many woman shave their hair before they lose it to chemo.  Some even have friends and family there to help but that is more emotional support not a Hey let's shave my head partytime.  Feeling in control can be an important weapon in this fight and I suppose this makes her feel like she is in control but having it broadcast as an "event" and in such a cutesy manner is offensive.   I can understand a woman doing this mastectomy for prevention and wanting support from friends and family but this is over the top in my opinion.  

I, like doublewhammy, have had breast and uterine cancer and also have had bladder and skin cancer and had pre-cancerous polyps removed from my colon so I don't take any diagnosis lightly.  I was fortunate with all of mine that my treatments never involved chemo, only rads and pills and topical creams but it was cancer and I can't imagine having a party for any of it.   It's not a party subject.  My party will be when "Stage IV is No More".   That's where funding should be focused.  Yes, keep telling people to get mammos, have lumps checked and be aware but put the money into Stage IV research and cure. 

This is all just my view of this and again, like Suzanne, I hope I haven't offended anyone.  Just not liking this all to made into a light hearted event, cancer is serious business and it is deadly, not for everyone but even one is one too many.

Stef

 

mrsbrandd's picture
mrsbrandd
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2013

Now just a minute!! I am very sorry you find this offensive but I don't!!

My mother is in remission and I am no stranger to this but I am helping cohost a party!

A Ta Ta to the TaTa's party!

The woman is a friend who is in  stage four of hers.

Oh let's add something else shall we? She is also gay. Her family rejected her very early on and family wise, she has no one.

Even after getting breast cancer, her family turned their right wing bigoted noses up at her.

She has had to make a go of this fight alone and it's enough to break your heart!!

She decided to have a double mastectomy to give herself a chance of survival.

Now I don't know about you but I think that's an incredibly BRAVE decision!!

You think it's offensive to have this kind of party? People are always having a party for something!

Even DIVORCE parties! Hey, that means a family was broken up but I don't hear anyone getting offensive about that.

Because to them it meant freedom and a second chance to be happy.

NO ONE IS CELEBRATING HER CANCER. NO one is celebrating if you think about it.

There are going to be women there that this pour soul doesn't even know and why? To show their support.

Can we all say that we would make the same decision? I am not sure if I could.

We are all signing a pink pillow case that I decorated. As a surprise, we are going to present it to her to let her know how we feel.

That even if we can't be there, she can recover and rest on the support that she was shown that one afternoon at a party.

She will know and she will feel the love and support that we all women deserve to have. Not all of us are that lucky.

You know what? I TAKE IT BACK! We ARE celebrating! We are celebrating her bravery and we are celebrating the bond we all should have as women.

Cricket64
Posts: 63
Joined: Sep 2013

I don't think that there is a right or wrong way to deal with CANCER of any type.  It is a journey we all walk alone, hopefully with many strong, kind, loving supporting people walking besides us.  The goal is to be come a survivor, and how ever we choose to get there, is for us the best choice. 

sandra4611's picture
sandra4611
Posts: 121
Joined: Sep 2013

Some of you younger women won't know what the subject title refers to,  but it was a pivotal song from years ago about allowing everyone to experience life their own way. I agree with Cricket. There is absolutely no right or wrong when you are trying to find your way through a cancer diagnosis. From what my therapist tells me, the majority of women experience the classic response: tears, rage, depression, bargaining, acceptance, etc. Some of us deal with it differently - and that's not wrong. I was one of those "different" ones. No tears, no depression...I did a lot of research beginning on the day of diagnosis, made my decision in three days, and never looked back. As a career accountant, I'm a very logical. Things are brought to their logical conclusions, even if it's a negative, and you draw a line and move on.

One thing I was puzzled about was what size boobs I wanted to end up with. Since I've had huge, pendulous breasts my whole life, I had no frame of reference for bra sizes. (Always had to special order mine.) I asked my group of 10 "besties" to come with me to a mastectomy shop and help me decide. They know me so well. It was a perfect Saturday morning full of support, laughter and commraderie. They made lots of good observations and I was able to come to an easy decision. Was it a party? Yes, I loved it. We were continuing our habit of getting together and having fun. I felt so much better knowing that my diagnosis wouldn't change anything. We could still have a good time.  I could still count on them for laughter and crazy fun. A few weeks later they hosted a brunch for me at a high end hotel downtown. They were letting me know how important I am in their lives and how much they support me. We had champagne and talked about lots of things, even making plans for a group cruise next year. Was it a celebration? Absolutely? A celebration of their support. The table was decorated beautifully with a variety of pink scarfs (that would prove to come in handy.) They gave me a beautiful bright pink sequined scarf to wear during the brunch. Loved it so much I wore it to the hospital and then kept it draped across my room tv. Whenever I looked at it, I was reminded how much they love me and felt so very lucky.

What I'm trying to say is that you shouldn't judge. It might not be something you would enjoy, but different strokes for different folks. As a friend, you have to know the person and find out how they are handling the diagnosis. Some may want you to come and sit with them, letting them cry, scream, and talk. Others may just want your presence and to talk about anything other than cancer. Some may want one thing one week and something else the next week. You just have to be there for them and ask how you can help. They may not want to trouble you so you might have to convince them that you want to help in some way. Provide a meal. Go with them to the doctor or just drive them there and pick them up if they prefer. Send a funny card. Call. OR throw a beautiful brunch with champagne and pink scarves. If you know your friend, you will know what to do. Bye-bye to the Ta-ta's party? There is no right or wrong  

cinnamonsmile
Posts: 1049
Joined: Dec 2010

I decided to write a comment on the actual news website voicing my opinion regarding a Mastectomy Party. I figured it was important to voice our opinion. I got kind of caught up in and the fingers were flying. It wasn't as eloquent as what some of you have written here, but I hope I got the point across. I posted under the name, IhadBC.

A couple people were trashing those who disagreed with those that were against this party. One woman commented that those who were against it must be men. I made sure she knew that men get breast cancer and testicular cancer and it can't be at all easy for them to loose a testicle either.

 

All I had to do to post a comment on Sacromento's CBS website (thru Double Whammy's lilnk) was give a name (I chose IhadBC), email address, and password.

 

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5385
Joined: Oct 2010

This is all new to me...

Denise

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