Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I posted this on my personal facebook page, and it turned out much longer than I intended.  So, I thought I'd copy and paste it here:

Tomorrow marks the beginning of October. Please, no pink hearts by themselves as a status update. It's not spreading awareness, especially when you're supposed to "keep them guessing", and "don't tell the guys". How is that spreading awareness when you're not supposed to say what it means? And - newsflash - guys get breast cancer, too. And face it, we're all aware.

NFL -- You can stop turning everything pink during October. We're aware. The money that you're spending on all that pink stuff can be better spent on research. That goes for the pink firetrucks and police cars I've seen, too.

And please (and this goes for any charitable organization), if you see something out in the stores that has a pink ribbon emblazoned on it, read the fine print. If you want to buy it to give to someone in a show of support, by all means, do. If you want to buy it because it says that a portion of the proceeds go to breast cancer awareness or research, please read the fine print and verify where it actually goes. There are so, so many things in the stores with pink ribbons that the profits go into the business' pocket, not to any reputable cancer agency. And while I'm at it, I'll say this -- even if it is a reputable organization that we've seen out there countless times, take a look at where the money goes. How much goes to awareness (that it not needed anymore)? How much goes to research (which is sorely needed)? How much goes into Nancy Brinker's pocket? If you really want to help, donate to an organization that puts the money towards research. For breast cancer, Metavivor.org is a good one. If you want to help a friend or family member who has cancer, send them gift cards to restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, a spa for a mani/pedi or massage, maybe even their local medical supply store for things that insurance doesn't cover (a cane, maybe, or a walker/rollator, or maybe a wheelchair carrier that hitches to the back of their vehicle because the insurance company okayed and bought them a wheelchair, but doesn't cover any way to transport it. Or, they can buy puke bags to carry around with them, or handicapped bars for the shower/bathtub. I have a list on my blog of wonderful organizations (Nails & Faces of Joy Spa, who come to you, Cleaning for a Reason, who will provide four house cleanings, Little Pink Houses of Hope, LESLIE'S WEEK, and Ally's Wish, who provide vacations, Do It For The Love, who provides concert tickets and VIP packages, Bob's Boxes, who provides care packages to women undergoing mastectomies). There are so many more organizations out there like the ones I listed -- look for them; support them.

Alternatively, there are plenty of things you can do for your friend that doesn't cost a dime. You can post a selfie with the hashtag #KissThis4MBC. Novartis will donate $10 for each one to Metavivor. You must make the post public so that they can see it. You can do this up until October 13, with is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. You can give your friend a ride to treatment, especially if you happen to be going to same way at the same time. You can go sit with your friend at her house with a bottle of wine or a pot of coffee because she's too tired to go out after working all day, and spends the weekends resting. Watch a movie with her. Talk with her. Listen to her. Tell her how your life is going; it doesn't have to be all about cancer.

Wow, that ended up way longer than I intended. I sure hope you stuck with me, as this is very important to me. 113 women are dying every single day from metastatic breast cancer. 113 a day. One day I will be one of those 113. Research for a cure is what's needed, not sorority house type pinkness everywhere. Cancer is not a party, it's not frilly pink cuteness. It's having your breast(s) amputated. It's dealing with side effects of medication even years after chemo is over. It's worrying about if you'll be around for the next milestone in your children's lives. It's feeling inadequate when you can't be the caregiver to your spouse (who has his own medical issues) that you should be. It's taking four times as long to load the dishwasher because you have to rest every few minutes. It's ... it's just so much. If you've stuck with me through this long post, I thank you. Please post a blue heart (blue is my favorite color) or a coffee cup or a wine glass in the comments so that I know this was actually read and not all for naught. Thank you. 💙

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