As I’ve written about before, October will always belong to my dad. This fact will never change, and I find so much comfort in it. And balance. And a lot of other things. But, of course, October also means it’s time to brace yourself. The Pink Wave is upon us. Again.
Are you ready?
Every year, I think about how best to approach October, aka Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Sometimes, I gotta admit, I don’t want to approach it at all. I mean, how many ways and how many times can we keep harping on some of these same issues, right?
As I said last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, and the year before that – as many times as it takes.
Speaking only for myself, silence is not an option.
Looking back at my first BCAM month post (yikes, it’s pretty bad; it literally makes me cringe now), I realize I had a lot to learn back then.
I guess my point is just because those of us in Breast Cancer Land are too well acquainted with all the problems with BCAM and beyond (and there are many), I don’t think we can assume everyone else gets it. Clearly, they don’t.
I keep reading that everyone’s aware of breast cancer. True.
But specifically, what exactly are most people aware of?
That’s the million dollar question, and it’s why I keep pounding the keyboard writing pieces that I hope might resonate or make a small difference when someone out there sees it float by on Twitter or wherever.
Did you watch the Ruth Bader Ginsburg special on CNN?
I love that woman.
One really good quote of hers that stood out for me was this one:
Real change, enduring change, happens slowly, one step at at time.
I know my friends with metastatic breast cancer are impatient, as they should be. I am too. We all want change (such as better, less harsh treatments that extend lives) to speed up. We all wonder why the same issues many of us have been talking about for years, still need talking about.
The primary one being the fact that 41,000 women and men are still dying from metastatic breast cancer every single year in the US alone. Why hasn’t this number gone down?
And why do so many people know little or nothing about metastatic breast cancer?
I fear we’ve not been as successful as many claim we’ve been.
And there are all the other issues/questions such as:
Why is breast cancer still so often portrayed as merely a bump in the road that you can easily navigate, preferably, with a smile on your face, in about a year’s time and then simply move on?
Why is breast cancer so tied up with shopping in the first place? I mean, really, why is it the shopping disease?
Why do pink ribbon shenanigans continue year after year too often portraying breast cancer as some pink party-like sorority?
Why so much focus on saving breasts rather than on saving lives?
Why is a still too often deadly disease still trivialized?
And on and on and on.
But this is exactly why those of us who are able and feel up to it must persevere. We must keep the #breastcancerrealitycheck narrative going. Slow change is better than no change.
So what will my approach be this October?
It’ll be the same as last year. To persevere.
I hope you’ll join me.
And come November, I will be more than ready for a wave of another sort and another color.
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How are you feeling about BCAM this year?
What helps you persevere in advocacy, or in anything, for that matter?
Do you intend to get louder, quieter or just “hide” until November?