Last year about this time I decided to start a small campaign called #MetsMonday. I know the name isn’t that great, but I thought something simple and easy to remember was the best way to go – well, for me anyway. And of course, Monday is not the only day I (or others) think about metastatic disease. And obviously if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mets, it’s a topic on your mind 24/7.
I did worry about Mets Monday sounding a little too trite or even patronizing. No one has mentioned such a reaction to me though and I did actually ask a few blogging buddies who live with mets about this very thing, and they assured me they had no problem with the name, so I guess it’s okay with most. I hope so.
As far as I’m concerned any kind of breast cancer advocacy isn’t really advocacy at all without including mets advocacy and of course, as I mentioned, it’s not really about one day. But setting aside one day each week to really focus on mets advocacy is something that matters to me and hopefully to you.
Thankfully, there finally seems to be lots more talk and lots more sharing about metastatic disease going on these days and it’s about time! Maybe at least the fear or hesitancy to talk about it has lessened.
Sure, early detection is vital, as are any actions a woman can take to lower her risk of mets or breast cancer in the first place. But the reality is that every year in the US roughly 40,000 women and men are still dying from metastatic breast cancer. This amounts to one death (in the US) every 13 minutes. We still don’t know how to prevent metastasis or know which cases will or won’t metastasize. We still don’t know how to halt it once it happens. Slowing it down isn’t so easy either. And it seems unless you’re diagnosed at stage IV at the time of initial diagnosis, no one is even keeping close track of how many new cases of metastatic breast cancer recurrences there are in any given year. Hard to believe I know.
This is why we must keep metastatic breast cancer research off the back burner and instead set it right up there front and center with the research dial set on high. Let’s turn up the heat!
Of course there are many ways to help out and many marvelous advocates are doing many marvelous things, but…
What could be easier than joining me in my Mets Monday campaign?
You might be asking, what can can I do?
If you have mets, I wouldn’t even try to suggest to you what to do; but I hope if you’re also a blogger or reader of blogs, you’ll keep on writing, reading, sharing and commenting when you can. I learn so much every time I visit a mets blogger’s site.
If you do not have mets, some easy things to do might be:
1. If you’re a blog writer or reader (you’re reading this one, so I guess you are one or the other or both!), every Mets Monday why not visit a metser blog (or two or three) to learn more about what living with the disease is like. My Mets page has a starting point list for you. I know there are many more mbc bloggers out there. And by the way, if you do happen to be a mets blogger, send me a message and will add you to my list if you’d like.
2. Every Mets Monday, visit one of the informative sites that specifically are geared to mets advocacy. Again, I have a list here. More sites to suggest? Let me know and I’ll add them to the list.
3. If you have a Facebook page, why not share a post written by a metser on your page every (or any) Monday, or share any mets-related article at all on your page, on Twitter, Google+, or where ever you share stuff these days. Using the hashtags #MetsMonday or #MBCaware will bring more views.
4. Share this post.
5. Write a post yourself about mets and share it. Tell me about it and I’ll share it! Don’t blog? Just make a mets-related statement somewhere, anywhere! Help spread awareness that includes the full spectrum of this disease. Share a fact about mets each Monday.
6. Ask your relative, friend, neighbor or co-worker if they’ve ever heard the term metastatic breast cancer and if they haven’t, explain to them what it means if they’re interested. You’d be astonished at how many people know nothing about it or have not even heard the word metastatic before. Don’t believe me? Ask some people.
7. Encourage people to donate to reputable organizations that truly support metastatic research. Answers will only come through research. It’s not about buying pink stuff or donning pink boas or pink ribbons. It’s about research, research and more research.
If you have more ideas, please share them with a comment below. If you’re a mets blogger, leave a favorite post link of yours if you’d like. If you’ve read a great article about anything mets related, share that as well.
Sure I was hoping for that giant wave effect when I started Mets Monday last year, like that silly wave thing one sometimes experiences in a stadium full of cheering fans. I was hoping to start a Mets Monday Facebook/Twitter tidal-wave-type movement.
That didn’t exactly happen. But that’s okay.
Little ‘ripples’ can make an impact.
This is why I’m asking you to jump in too.
Join me on this or any Mets Monday!
Help create a bigger splash, higher waves and more ripples!
Because as always, what you do matters, what I do matters, what we all do together matters even more.
Be a #fearlessfriend. Be a #fearlessadvocate.
What will you do on Mets Monday (or any day) to raise genuine awareness about metastatic breast cancer?
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