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.
image

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??

Patsy

17 Comments

  1. I so agree with everything you say. Let’s put our energies to good use, not to complaining about breast cancer/pink campaign.

    Like

  2. becky alrubaiie

    Love it Patsy. Great article…..I am with you my friend.

    Like

  3. I loved it Patsy! Everything you wrote is so true. Survivors from all cancers need to stand together for a cure. Does it matter if your ribbon is pink, yellow, white, green, etc. We are survivors stand together and fight for a cure!

    Like

  4. Reblogged this on Live Laugh Love and commented:
    I met Patsy at Buddy Kemp, a Cancer support group. She is a wonderful lady, advocate and Cancer Survivor. This being a a Cancer Awareness Month I wanted to share her newest post:

    Like

    • I am honored that you felt my post was worthy of being reposted on your fantastic blog! Thanks!

      Like

      • You’re welcome. It is my honor though to post it 😀

        Like

  5. Missy Martin

    Well said, Patsy! I am an 11 yr survivor of Triple X breast cancer. However, I am currently battling (and beating!) ovarian cancer. I feel that awareness to any cancer is a beginning to get folks involved. Thanks for sharing this!

    ~Missy

    Like

    • Missy, glad to hear you are doing well. I don’t think people how many women have to deal with both ovarian and breast cancer. That is a message worth promoting.

      Like

  6. Heather

    Patsy, I am with ya! I got your back!

    Like

  7. grayconnections

    You’re right. It’s good to be aware of disparities, but whining about them does not help. Breast cancer has found a way to build support and a positive image for their cancer. Let’s focus on ways to do the same for ALL kinds of cancer patients.

    Like

  8. you bet cha. This is articulately laid out and I hope will make all of us think by using common sense. Patsy, having you on my Z team was one of the highlights of the Stiletto Sprint for me.

    Like

    • Phyllis, being on your team was a privilege. I do hope you are getting the care in hospice that you deserve. I love you, my friend.

      Like

  9. Annie Ellis

    Excellent Patsy! We’re stronger together!

    Like

  10. Jo Winchester

    Well said, Patsy. Thanks! This is not some kind of “War Between the Cancers”. We’re all in this together, and together we will find a cure and survive.

    Like

  11. Patsy, This blogpost is in my #Storify story 10/3/14 @BRCAresponder WEEKLY https://storify.com/BRCAresponder/10-2-14-brcaresponder-weekly

    Like

  12. We will be stronger if we all ‘stand together’ and support each other! Love your post! Janette xx

    Like

  13. I agree. Well said.

    Like

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