I posted the below feelings on a personal FB site that my sister set up for me. Danny thought that I should share it here. Let me know how YOU feel!
As October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, approaches, I have some feelings I would like to share as a breast cancer warrior. Some of them may be controversial or sound critical, but, please remember, I am just ventilating personal feelings and not a spokeswoman for cancer.
1. Pink is nice. I actually love the color, but, before you purchase something pink, think about it. Probably 99% of the pink merchandise out there says it is to support "breast cancer awareness." This means it benefits the seller and not research or a legitimate charity This year, instead of buying pink socks, think about making a donation to a local cancer center, cancer research or a legitimate charity.
2. I am personally uncomfortable with the "Save the Ta Ta's" and "Save the Hooters" merchandise. It has nothing to do with being a prude, but everything about my feelings that these slogans perpetuate a myth that breasts are what matters most to a breast cancer victim. I would guess most of us are more interested in the illness and deaths that breast cancer causes.
I have a sense of humor, but far too many suffer and die from this disease and, although progress has been made with early stage breast cancer, very slow progress has been made with Stage 4 (partially because, until very recently <5% was spent on metastatic disease even though 90% with metastases died from the disease). Forget the Ta Ta's and make me healthy!
3. Hearing people say that a mastectomy is a "mutilating" surgery pisses me off. Would anyone tell an amputee that they are mutilated? I personally have had reconstructive surgery (and am happy I did), but no woman should feel pressured to have these surgeries--they are painful and tough surgeries.
4. Do not share "cures" such as kudzu tea with me. Sell it somewhere else. I am busy fighting for my life. It is exhausting for most of us to listen to these stories.
5. Do not "blame the victim." I often hear people thoughtlessly say that they believe so and so got breast cancer because of diet, weight, attitude, etc. I was 33 and doing Jane Fonda videos when I was diagnosed and have 2 sisters who were young and healthy when they were diagnosed also. I do believe that folks may do this because they are frightened that they will get the disease and they try to distance themselves this way. But doing this is hurtful to those who are battling the illness (even if they don't eat right, etc...Lol).
6. Cheerleading, prayers, encouragement, good wishes are all so helpful to me. Horror stories about Aunt Mildred who died the worst death ever from bc are not helpful.
7. Also, do not forget the caregiver. Danny has been my rock and, if you want to make me smile, don't forget to do something nice for him (a meal, a coffee, a kind word). He has to be physically and emotionally exhausted at times, but he has always done his best to hide it from me.
8. And did I mention how much I love and appreciate my support? I have been blessed with receiving unbelievably kind and sensitive encouraging words that have lifted me up so much. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
9. And thanks for letting me get this off my chest . It is an October phenomenon for me...Lol.