Saturday, January 9, 2010

It's not cute or pretty...and it is not a game.

I have a facebook account.  Most of my time I spend there I am trying to figure out what in hell most people are talking about and why am I being asked to milk a cow for someone's farm or join another's mafia family...

I don't do the games. I don't send drinks, hugs, kisses, snowballs or any other application they can think of.

Why? I don't have time. 

I do like to check in on friends and see how and what everyone is doing. That is enjoyable.
This week was particularly busy for me so I only had time for a glance here and there.
I noticed many of my friends had put a color on their "status" section. 
I see it is still going on even today. This morning I asked someone what is it all about.
According to this friend, 
"We are posting what color bra we are wearing to raise breast cancer awareness. It is a game that was started last week! You should do it!"

You have got to be kidding. Posting the color of your bra on a social networking site is going to raise awareness of breast cancer?  What does the color of your bra have to do with breast cancer? Everyone is aware of breast cancer. The people who haven't been touched by it think it is pink and pretty and frilly and now a cute Facebook game. People who have had breast cancer know it is far from cute. But wait, I am seeing my friends who are survivors posting their bra colors too. Is it an escape from the reality of the disease? Are they longing to just have some fun with it for a change?

Could be.

As for myself, I won't be posting any colors on my Facebook page. I have to finish researching a clinical trial for a friend who is end-stage and needs a last ditch chemo to prolong her life. I will be adding a section on Male Breast Cancer to the website in honor of a friend who died this week. I will be sending more grant requests out for the Foundation to raise money so we can raise awareness of something that is not so well known: how young, African American women need to be screened in their 30s because they are at a higher risk of developing Triple Negative Breast Cancer. If they find it in their 30s they have a fighting chance. If they wait for their first mammogram at age 40, it could be too late. It is our Before Forty Initiative. It will save lives. I wish I had started it years ago. My friend Ferne may have been screened before her TNBC tumor had grown too large and spread to her nodes. 

Ferne is gone now. But she is not forgotten. Either are all the other women we have lost to this disease while we were busy painting the town pink.

My Facebook status today?
.... and so on, until the list is done.

That is what Breast Cancer really is. That is where awareness games get you.

For me, I am aware. Now I am doing something about it.


Helen said...

Thank You! I thought that was the stupidest thing I ever saw on my Face Book page! Thank you for putting things in perspective once again!


Anonymous said...

I have found over time that those of us touched by the beast whether personally, or through a friend or family member are painfully aware. However, I'm often surprised by how blissfully UNaware some are. I participated in the 'game.' I knew all about bc, and still put off my mamo when I found the lump because it just wasnt possible that it would happen to me. If by giggling about my pink bra motivates one woman to get her mamo, it's a good thing. I think we should make everyone aware, no matter how and take the opportunity to explain how important research is, so that someday we wont have to miss our sisters & brothers. Carynn

Anonymous said...

Dearest Gina, it's me, Laurie, from the No Surrender boards...and even if I *weren't* forever in your debt for the information and support you provide through the boards and this organization, I would still very much like and appreciate your post about the Facebook meme! Have you seen the post about it on Susan Niebuhr's blog "Toddler Planet"? To the best of my knowledge this is one of the pieces of 'net writing about the Facebook meme that has gotten the most attention--I find it very very good. I will "see" you back on the boards at No Surrender soon! Love from Laurie

Anonymous said...

well I think that the excuses now are pretty lame.
they say it was a "secret" to post the colors.
if it was a secret then how can they spread awareness?
i think you are right. i am sick of it and i still have my breasts.