Cancer Battle

Whatever You Do…Do NOT Think Pink

Just before I went in for my mastectomy.

Just because it is October, does not mean that cute little sayings like “Save the Boob Beez” is bringing awareness to the truth about breast cancer. (Sometimes, like in my case, it is impossible to save the breasts from removal in order to survive.)

Please consider what you post this month before you post it. Most people mean well, and in the past I have possibly posted in ignorance too, but in an effort to show “support” for breast cancer supporters things are posted that are ineffective, baseless, and insensitive.

If you want to support people with breast cancer, then consider volunteering or donating to the Canadian Cancer Society (who do tremendous work in support of people fighting the disease), donate to hospitals who are on the cutting edge of cancer research (like Princess Margaret in Toronto), or knit caps for cancer patients in your local area. (These things directly affect cancer patients) Also, talk to someone who has gone through Breast Cancer and ask them how you can show support, or educate yourself. Understand the differences in the different types of breast cancers, know the signs and symptoms, discuss with your doctor any family history and know when you can begin to be screened, and know how to examine your chest for lumps or abnormalities (women AND men!)

Posting memes or cute pictures, copying and pasting a status or wearing pink does very little to actually bring awareness to breast cancer. (or ANY cancer in general) And as I am learning, “pink culture” is actually a very sore and sensitive subject with most cancer survivors because making a fashion statement doesn’t address the difficult journey that most women and men go through in order to fight this disease. Further to that, very little of the money made goes toward fighting cancer, it lines the pockets of retail corporations. This month, please don’t belittle the struggle that is breast cancer. I know that most mean well…but until you have had to watch or endure this disease that robs us of so much you can’t understand how sometimes the “cute” things in relation to cancer can sometimes be upsetting.

Cute, but ineffective in bringing awareness. Sometimes it is just not possible to save them, but it is possible to detect the disease in order to begin fighting it before it can spread to the rest of the body.

I personally have used humour as a defence mechanism…it has kept me sane…so I understand how some might read this and be confused. Humour has been the thing that has kept me sane…but it has not been my strength. My strength has come from my family and friends, my faith and my willingness to not give up my life. There have been things that I have had NO CHOICE but to endure, because to not endure them meant this disease would take my life. My humour can sometimes be interpreted as dark…and not all women find ANY of this funny what-so-ever. But I can say with all certainty that there is nothing CUTE about breast cancer.

So this October…please think before you post. It isn’t because you are offending me…you’re not…it’s because if we truly want to bring awareness to something that has the potential to radically change our lives then we should be willing to do more than just make a Facebook post.


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