A few days ago, somebody posted this. As a result of my response to it, and someone else’s response to that, I have now lost a friend.
As a breast cancer survivor, I’m aware of a lot of things.
I’m aware that breast cancer is not pink or sexy. It’s scars and missing or misshapen breasts.
I’m aware that breast cancer is not about boobs or football players or cute T-shirts or catch phrases. It’s about men and women fighting for their lives every single day. It’s about going onto my support groups, and every single day seeing a post that at least one person has died. It’s about treatments that take away parts of our body, our hair, burn off our skin, take away our fertility, and our ability to neach menopause naturally…and that’s all if we live, and don’t have “severe” side effects.
I’m also aware that a lot of money, and research, and awareness goes towards breast cancer. I’m aware that it seems like breast cancer gets more than its fair share of this. I’m also aware that that’s because breast cancer gets more than its fair share of death, it is the second leading cause of death of women in North America, 20% of female deaths are due to cancer and the majority of them are breast cancer. That, not because it’s about boobs, is why there is so much advocacy, awareness, and research.
However, as a human, I’m also aware that regardless of what “my“ condition is, there are a lot of other life altering and life-threatening illnesses out there. There are so many different kinds of cancer, and so many other illnesses such as MS, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, fibromyalgia, heart disease, stroke, non-cancerous tumors, mental illness…the list goes on and on.
It’s important to me to recognize that, this is why I choose to fundraise for, donate to, and support so many different important causes! Far more than breast cancer, truth be told. I have the tax receipts to prove it!
However, as a breast cancer survivor (who will quite possibly have a recurrence one day) and a mother, it’s very important to me that breast cancer is not minimized. Yes it gets so much money and research and awareness, however I won’t apologize for the attention and research breast cancer gets. Remember; second leading cause of death of women. Think about that. Think about what that means to you if you are a woman, or a mother of women. One out of eight women will get breast cancer.
If you want to post something about another illness, please do! Most people that know me should know that I support everything, I donate to nearly every thing that my friends fundraise for. That’s a goal I made for myself and have kept. I am happy to share an support whatever matters to you. What matters to my friends matters to me. I always want to learn more about other situations, and share, and educate.
Illness and suffering is not a contest or a competition. There is no need to minimize, put down, or make light of another disease to highlight whatever you or your loved one is suffering from. I would never do that, and if I saw someone do that, even to highlight breast cancer, I would speak up against it. I expect the same. If you’re going to post something that minimizes breast cancer, then expect me to push back. If you’re not cool with that, you’re not supportive of me.
Since the original post was meant to educate and inform about diabetes, which I think is a very important cause, I will share some of the own information that I found. Click here to donate to JRDF.