Breast Cancer Awareness Month ~ heartfelt truth

Unless you are a hermit you know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Don’t get me wrong, yes people need to be aware and after Ron’s diagnosis and treatment my own thinking as increased and even changed.

A friend of mine posted the following on Facebook and did it get a response from me.  With Danette’s permission I am sharing it here:
From a cancer fighting friend:

While the majority of people believe that Breast Cancer is a pink ribbon, a pink Pom Pom, a pen with a pink ribbon, a tote with a pink ribbon, an encap at your local Walmart engaging you to be a “part of the cure. 

First, a hard reality, you are not being part of the cure, you’re just throwing your money away to propaganda, uniforms for NFL cheerleaders, and kiosk after kiosk with items from handbags to ziplock bags. It’s all a hoax. Susan G Komen is the worst offender. They are not trying to fight the cure. Most of their funding goes to advertisement, 6 figure CEO salaries. And when I asked for help, I wasn’t given any, DENIED. Denied by the very people who claimed they would help me in their “advertising”. A pink ribbon isn’t the men and women fighting for their lives with metastatic breast cancer. I cannot comprehend how people can not grasp the simple concept that if you cure stage 4 you cure them all. It’s that simple. You will not have to worry about dying because, there’s a cure if you get to that point. 
Breast cancer is often very sexualized. Showing models with fake scars, beautiful bodies and breasts with the strap so perfectly dangling from her shoulder. That’s not what Breast cancer is. It’s CTs, surgeries, amputations, biopsies, MRIs, X-rays, radiation, chemo, IVs, blood tests, fear, worry, hate, anger, confusion, sadness, loneliness, medications, check ups, anxiety, depression, insomnia, pain. It’s so much more than a pink snickers bar because it “supports us! 
We do not receive free boob jobs. We have reconstruction. Expanders placed to stretch your skin to fit the implants, complications, tram flap surgeries, sometimes our bodies reject the implants, some choose to go flat, some reconstructions are amazing and look fabulous, some look completely deformed. However, in no way did any of us receive a free boob job. We amputated them and had foreign objects placed in our skin to resembles the breasts we once had. We tattoo our nipples on, we get prosthetic ones, or we go with out. But none of it was free. 
Save the Tatas, save 2nd base, no bra day with a bunch of nipples poking out in no way supports those with Breast Cancer. 
This is what a lot of cancer really looks like!

Pink isn’t pretty, it’s not a ribbon and it definitely doesn’t help us!
If you want to do something to truly help. Donate to someone in YOUR community needing help!! 

There is so much truth in the above post and as the wife of a wonderful man who has recently dealt with the diagnosis, surgery and ongoing treatments a lot of thoughts run through my mind…

Yes…women need to be checked but the word needs to get out that MEN get breast cancer too!!!  I have watched my hubby struggle with how to tell someone he has breast cancer, the looks he gets like “you (a man) has breast cancer”  oh come on, the struggle of watching him be the only male in a room full of women in a clinic that is frequented by women who then look at him like “what are you doing in here?  this is for women” and even seen professionals look quizzically at him when he tells him his diagnosis.  And then trying to find financial help…there are lots of websites and links saying “help with breast cancer needs” and then calling or writing and being told “we only help women, we don’t have the means to help a man” over and over is so frustrating.  

It hurts my heart to see my wonderful strong hubby struggle with issues that are common to women: physical appearance, hearing him say he won’t ever go to a public pool again or how he thinks our grands are going to think he’s ugly with that nasty scar…the scar runs from the center of his chest to under his arm pit…there is not reconstructive surgery for me, or the emotional issues of taking a medication which has side effects of hot flashes and extreme emotional reactions.  My husband has always been a sensitive person and now those emotions are extreme which bothers him at times…me…it makes me hurt for my hubby.

October is almost half over

and the ads for breast cancer are in full swing on the television.
Just once I would like to see an ad with a man saying men get breast cancer, its not just a woman’s disease.

Just once I would like to contact a foundation for helping those with breast cancer and not be questioned or told no ~ we don’t have resources for men. 

So as you hear and see about breast cancer awareness in the days and weeks to come, remind people men should be checked as well, men get breast cancer too!


When you think about helping someone with a cancer diagnosis, don’t just think globally, think of your neighbor or co-worker or a friend of a friend,
help locally when you can!!!

This post is important to me and yet it feels disjointed to me as I write…so hopefully those who are reading this can understand what I’m talking about.

I googled 
Breast Cancer Awareness

  

and everything is PINK,
talks about women,
BUT

no mention of 


so I ask that if you hear someone talk about breast cancer,
just mention that men should be checked as well

and if you hear someone, anyone is dealing with cancer, 
cancer of any kind,
DO something to support them,
don’t just say “call if you need anything”
(heck we (those dealing with and partner of someone) don’t even know what we need)
but DO something,
send a card,
call,
stop by,
bring a meal,
drop a check in the mail, 
say a prayer,

BUT DO SOMETHING!!