Are you ready?
I’ve been fluctuating between wanting to be quiet during October which is of course, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, or trying to “rev things up” a notch. I’m still not exactly sure where
October Pinktober will lead me. Stay tuned.
It seems like I should have some profound post planned as October begins. I’m certainly eager to read words of wisdom from fellow bloggers all month.
As for me, I have nothing profound to offer today, just more questions.
Recently someone said to me, I’m paraphrasing here, you bloggers need to be careful not to alienate people about pink. Most people are just trying to do the right thing. Most people are just trying to do something.
I get that.
Whenever I write a post I always try to bear this in mind. It is never my intention to put anyone down for buying pink stuff, wearing pink ribbons, running in races or donating to their favorite charity. In fact, if truth be told, I still like pink.
But turning everything pink this month is just not good enough!
I want awareness of a different kind and it really has nothing at all to do with pink.
The kind of awareness I’m trying to raise is the one about the reality of breast cancer. I’m also trying to raise awareness about where exactly all that money being raked in is going, or rather where it’s not going.
So, I’m just going to throw a few questions out there once again.
They’re not new questions. They’re not profound questions. What they are is still unanswered questions.
- If we have been so successful in the fight against breast cancer, why are there still some 40,000 deaths each year? What kind of success is this?
- If we have been so successful in our fight against breast cancer, why are more women being diagnosed each year? Shouldn’t there be fewer?
- Why does there seem to be this tendency to gloss over the seriousness of breast cancer? How many times have you heard someone say, “Well, at least you got the good cancer.” How many times have you heard a celebrity proclaim to be cured because they caught their cancer early? Really? There’s a cure?
- Why does metastatic breast cancer so often appear to be a “third wheel” amongst all the pink hoopla? Or worse, not represented at all?
- Why do we focus so little on prevention? And mammograms, by the way though important, are not prevention.
- When did pink morph into the face of breast cancer, or perhaps the face of cancer period?
- And the biggest question of all, with all those dollars being raked in during October, no all year, why are more not directed toward research?
We have awareness. We need more.
We need to start focusing on other things.
For example, we need better screening tools. We need better and less harsh treatments. We need to figure out why some cancers metastasize and some do not. We need to learn how to prevent cancer in the first place. We need to further study genetic links. We need to cleanse our environment from known deadly toxins.
We need to know a lot more about many things.
This October when you’re bombarded with pink ribbons and prompted to support breast cancer by buying a product with a pink ribbon or label, I hope you’ll also think about these questions and ask some of your own.
I hope you’ll join me in raising the bar. Find out if all (or any) of your charitable dollars are really going where you think they are. Dig a little. Speak up. Join a discussion. Your actions matter.
When the little things each of us do are all tallied up together, sometimes profound things do happen.
That’s what I’m hoping for.
How about you?