Spreading

So,

Despite all good intentions, I’ve once again been away from blogging for an extended period of time.  We’re mostly settled in to the new place, I’m working, Dru’s making friends and doing well at daycare, and Kris is doing well in his new job.  

But October always is a busy month for us anyway.  It’s Kris’ birthday, a number of family member and close friend birthdays happen, and our anniversary.  Now that Dru’s big enough, he had 2 birthday parties to attend, and there’s Halloween tomorrow, of course.  But it’s also Breast Cancer Awareness Month and World Series Season, so everything seems to be happening at once.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month arouses mixed feelings for me.  I don’t think we should need a month to push awareness of this – I don’t think you can turn around without bumping into someone whose life has been changed by Breast Cancer.  My maternal grandmother had breast cancer in the 80’s and wore a prosthesis the rest of her life (except when she forgot it in hilariously random places).  My mother-in-law’s dear friend lost a battle with breast cancer last year, and her family is still learning to cope with her absence.  Needless to say, I don’t know that there’s anyone out there anymore who ISN’T aware of breast cancer.  I appreciate the walks, and the fundraising push, but I don’t know that we should be focusing on awareness so much as Prevention, and I know that there is a larger push for prevention awareness now than there used to be.  

I know that it’s not fun to think about having to check yourself, but all of us, men and women, need to be getting checked regularly for all cancers – if you’re eligible for a cancer screening, whether breast, colon, prostate, etc, PLEASE get checked.  And for those checks you can do at home – especially breast checks – do them!  Get your partner involved, they have a vested interest in keeping you healthy as well!  It was something that we, as girls, were briefly taught how to do the self-exams, I think I even received a little door hanger thing showing me the steps.  However you get the info, use it.  And if you find something odd, don’t wait, talk to your doctor.  I’d much rather be embarrassed because I had a clogged milk duct then find out I ignored a serious problem because I was afraid of being paranoid (that’s a fun paradox isn’t it).

As for the World Series, well it kind of ties in, doesn’t it?  The past few years, the World Series has been doing a Stand Up To Cancer Push, and actually, that’s a bit more towards what inspired this post.  One of my oldest friends has an uncle who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year.  Recently, a group of students at the High School where he taught (in Troy, MO) started a fundraising and awareness campaign in his honor.  It’s trending on Twitter, they’ve got pictures and signs from the World Series (GO RED SOX!) and it’s becoming a huge thing.  I think it’s great that social media is being used to help this man and his family.  It’s always been my belief that social media can be a great tool, even if it’s used usually as a way to overshare pictures of hamburgers or thoughts about kittens.  

So, even though October is almost over, let’s continue spreading awareness and prevention.

 

#TheMixMovement

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Raising

Awareness.

Most of you are aware of the plethora of ways people are supposedly raising awareness for breast cancer and other illnesses.  The most recent one for breast cancer sent me over the edge.  In the past they’ve simply annoyed me, but this one seems particularly bad.

The messages I was getting yesterday told me that I needed to make my status “I’m x weeks and craving y” x being determined by the month I was born, and y being determined by the the date of my birth.  In my case, it would be “I’m 12 weeks and craving bananas.”  Here is why this bothers me so much.  THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BREAST CANCER.  Instead, it’s designed to get people commenting on the poster’s status – apparently about a pregnancy.  It’s HUGELY insensitive.  Whoever came up with this idea didn’t stop to think about a couple of things.  What about women who can’t conceive?  Couples who have been trying and trying and are now being asked to make light of something that important to them.  Or people who are not close (geographically) to their families.  What if I had posted that I was 12 weeks and craving bananas?  Most likely I would have been flooded with congratulations posts (as I was when we announced that we were pregnant with Dru) and my parents and friends that would NEVER find out that kind of information first on FB would have seen that and known that I hadn’t told them.  Which is why this version upset me so much.

So I decided to post a different status: “Okay, I have a better idea than trying to confuse people – I SUPPORT BREAST CANCER AWARENESS. I donate, I walk and I wear the ribbon. Please, instead of spending time on FB confusing people, bring real awareness and help.  Thank you”.  I didn’t really do it to start a war, but I wanted to put out there that I do, in fact, support Breast Cancer awareness (as well as other causes) through REAL effort.  I then posted a call to action for those who chose to step up.

I am walking in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Walk (their breast cancer walk) with Kris’ office team on October 16th, 2011 in Hoffman Estates.  Here’s the link to my walk page.

For those of you who are willing to step up and not just be attention whores on FB, support me or someone else in walking, walk yourself, or maybe just post what I posted as my status.  Let’s bring REAL awareness here.

And don’t forget – men can get breast cancer too (and lose loved ones to it) so there’s no good reason to set out just to confuse them.

And yes, I understand the ostensible purpose of these statuses.  But as someone on my status said last night (I think it was Brandee) it tends to trivialize and annoy more than raise awareness.  So instead of playing games, let’s make a difference.