Ok, so it’s October, aka, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a month whose main importance to me, in the past, had been Halloween and fun Fall decorations. I paid little attention to all the Breast Cancer posts on Facebook. Oh, sure, I would share ‘pink’ articles or pictures on my page that friends had already posted and I would think about how lucky I was to be healthy, yet always “knew” that someday I would die from cancer because of the strong history of cancer in both my parents’ lineage. We all have to die from something and it just makes sense that families share ways to die genetically.
But, I never really paid attention or gave a second thought as to ‘why’ everyone gets on the ‘pink’ bandwagon on their Facebook page; posting links to other Facebook pages that say the same old thing, “Donate Now, a portion of every purchase goes directly to …”, “Your purchase may save a woman’s life by allowing her a mammogram…”… Really? If I re-post or link to these pages, I just might be saving someone’s life? Honestly? Lil’ ol’ me, with my meager, less than 500 Facebook friends am going to make such an impact on humanity just by re-posting a picture or reminder that it’s “Pinktober”? And all of my less-than-five-million-friends (I exaggerate to emphasize the point) are going to run out and participate or donate in a meaningful way that does not involve buying anything pink? I don’t think so!
Yes, my attitude has changed since being diagnosed with breast cancer and having both breasts removed, one which had been confirmed as having breast cancer, the other, removed for fear of recurrence, which proved a wise decision since there were pre-cancerous cells found in it. Feeling as though I am now a “part” of the subject matter which Pinktober addresses, I am paying more attention to what is being said and pimped when it comes to the nauseating “pinkdemic” of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Last year, I didn’t care what people posted, or how often they posted about breast cancer, I always felt sympathetic for them because surely, either they had fought the battle or knew someone who had, and hoped that by their constant posts, they would be healing some emotional wounds. This year, I’m intimately sharing Breast Cancer Awareness month with my 2nd cousin, who had her bilateral mastectomy two weeks before mine.
She is considerably younger than me, and had battled this demon more than once through lumpectomies and radiation therapy and decided to go ahead with the bilateral mastectomy after her most recent diagnosis while shouting once and for all, “F**K YOU BREAST CANCER!” Tracey, not her real name, has been diligent with posting reminders on her Facebook page to get “checked”; posting, sometimes really cute reminders, other times, serious, to-the-point quips. I usually share Tracy’s posts because they are more unique than others that I’ve seen posted, and do send the reminder to GET CHECKED.
Typically, my “friends” don’t click “like” on these shared posts of mine, probably because they’re tired of so many posts about breast cancer, or, maybe they’re disinterested and feel badgered with all these reminders everywhere they look. Or, maybe, they just aren’t real friends. It wasn’t, however, until I posted something about the “No Bra Day” in October, that one of my friends commented that she agreed with this post, that the “No Bra Day” was a stupid, offensive, thoughtless attempt to have mindless women ‘join the cause’ by going bra-less while so many of us have LOST our bosoms.. how is it going to help the fight against cancer if you merely TAKE OFF YOUR BRA? C’mon, get real!
Another friend had commented something similar on a different post about too much pink commercialism and that she didn’t care about any one cancer in particular, she is more interested in fighting the fight against ALL cancers, but prefers to promote heart health. That got me thinking… and thinking… and thinking… And what I am thinking is that I, personally, need to experience Breast Cancer Awareness month individually and not follow the rest of the pack. I’ve always been a loner anyway, and like to blaze my own trails, so, I am making a personal commitment to future Breast Cancer Awareness Octobers to:
- Create an annual “Pinktober” Calendar to use as my FB Avatar, this will negate any need for nag-posting crap about making donations, etc.. anytime anyone looks at my avatar, it will remind them to get ‘checked’, make a donation, research legitimate foundations, volunteer, etc…
- Keep ‘abreast’ and share any news that Breast Cancer Research has developed within the past year