Barking Up the Wrong Tree…
Let me begin this post by saying that this is an issue I know a bit about. As a 2 x advanced ovarian cancer survivor, a carrier of the Breast Cancer Antigen gene (BRCA2) and mother of a previvor (survivor of a predispositon to cancer due to being a BRCA carrier), I could play on several teams if cancer were a sport. In addition, I have a list of ongoing diseases, including mast cell and celiac. Each has its own ribbon and finding a cure for each is certainly something I’d like to see happen.
So, let me just get put it out there and say it…SPENDING TIME WHINING ABOUT OTHER CANCERS IS A WASTE OF ENERGY.
I must confess this has been a long road of learning for me and continues to be. When I was first diagnosed in 2006, I often asked myself ” Does anybody even care about this terminal cancer I have?” It’s still hard for me at times. And no, I will not start supporting efforts of those organizations that do not include survivors that have metastatic disease. There is so much more I can say about why this occurs and, believe me, I am really holding back. There are many VERY understandable reasons. Much more complicated when you live in the “cancer world” than just looking in from the outside. It’s not merely about team spirit, folks.
However, it’s just plain not in our best interest. We need to be asking ourselves, as cancer survivors, what the impact is of what we do. Are we promoting colors or really assuring our message gets out? I attend many conferences and the theme I hear from doctors and researchers is clearly that cancer treatment stretches across lines. For example, there are treatments in urinary cancer that have shown promise for those with ovarian cancer. If we want to stay ahead of these cancers on research, we need to get out of our boxes.
Seems to me we survivors need to be asking ourselves some important questions. Am I involved with the cancer organizations that advocate for a cure or just complaining about what’s not happening? Do I even know what efforts are being done? Am I spending my energy and time promoting these efforts or complaining about things? Am I duplicating efforts when I could be joining forces and learning from others?
And, yes, I will probably continue to cringe when I see the commercialization of pink this month. And I will remind myself of wise people, like Frieda, who has used her voice in a positive way to make a difference and reach across the lines.
But, I pledge to work hard to fight this beast and use my energy to address what can be done, not what I dislike about what is being done. I feel quite certain after writing this controversial post you’ll hold me accountable 🙂
Want to join me??
- Posted in: advocacy