About this time every year the crude comments about breast cancer start. There’s one post going around that I know of that is declaring some day in October as “Go Without a Bra” day in support of breast cancer. Sometimes even “Save the Ta Ta’s” can rub me the wrong way. Because it shouldn’t be about saving the “ta ta’s”, it should be about saving a life. You don’t see shirts or bumper stickers or posts about “Saving the Colon” or “Save the Liver”, or “Save the Prostrate”. Some people want to treat Breast Cancer Awareness month like juvenile kids and that can really get on my nerves.
Part of it is because I had to have a double mastectomy to save my life. I didn’t choose to have. I had to have. Not only was one breast full of pre cancerous material so that it was only a matter of time before I fought breast cancer again, but I am Brca2 positive so was at an increased risk of developing breast cancer in the other breast. Even with the double mastectomy, I still have a small chance of having recurring breast cancer because they cannot remove 100% of the tissue. Not only that, but of course there is the chance of having the cancer metastasize elsewhere in the body.
I did choose to have reconstruction after my double, but you know, doctors aren’t gods, even though some try to be. When there are issues with your muscles that no one could foresee then you have problems. And those problems require more surgery which with being single with a single income and high insurance deductibles, I’m just now finishing paying off for the two years of surgeries I had to have in the first place. Because of my problems with the reconstruction, I am very self conscious about my appearance.
The other reason why I have problems with breast cancer jokes is because I lost a friend of mine to breast cancer the year after I was diagnosed. In October of all months. She had fought it a year longer than me and she was a year younger than me. When people come up with these jokes, I don’t think they realize how cruel they can be to someone that has had breast cancer or to someone who has lost a loved one to breast cancer.
Honestly, no cancer is a laughing matter and shouldn’t be treated as one. The more you joke about a cancer, the more people stop taking it seriously. So get serious about Breast Cancer Awareness this month. You just might help save a life – and it might be yours.