Monday, September 10, 2012

How Does This Help?

I really want to know.

Let's take it bit by bit.

When people post this on your page, it comes with the canned phrase:

"This is a cause I really believe in. Join me in supporting it." 

I don't know what happens when you click on it, because I am not going to click on it. Maybe someone else who did click can report back.

OK, so you are not clicking, but just reading what is posted on your wall:

"Turn Facebook Pink for a week to Celebrate Remember and Help People With Breast Cancer!"

OK, I was a person with breast cancer, so this interests me.

1. " Celebrate People with Breast Cancer!" thank you! I do not want or need my breast cancer to be celebrated. It is CANCER, not a PARTY.

2. " Remember People With Breast Cancer!" I hope my friends remember me regardless. I do not need to be "that person who had breast cancer". I am still just ME. Of course remembering me in your prayers is always appreciated! I will do the same for you! I would hope that I can be remembered and prayed for without turning anything pink.

3. " Help People With Breast Cancer!" Here is the part that really confuses me, and I would like the answer to. Just HOW does this "Help People With Breast Cancer"? (Sorry about capitalizing all the words. I did it because this "cause" did it, and although it is really annoying to type, I can't seem to stop myself. Anyway just in case this is the Helpful part, I would hate to do anything to stop the mojo.)

Seriously, how does this help? I just want people to stop and THINK before they post stuff like this, especially if they are thinking of posting it on my wall. Is it supposed to be some sort of petition? Maybe if 1 million people forward this on to all their friends, breast cancer would be eradicated forever. Woohoo!

Last line: "Make people aware of breast cancer and its importance". (sidebar: THANK YOU, cause writer, for the proper use of "its"!)

A. Is there anyone, in the entirety of the civilized world, who is UNAWARE of breast cancer? Assuming there is, how does this help spread "awareness"? Breast cancer exists. I get that. So what? If we're "spreading awareness" shouldn't there be more to it than posting this on people's Facebooks?

B. "its importance" I don't even know what to say to this one. Really, I'm sorry. I just don't. I am rendered temporarily speechless, which almost never happens.

I honestly believe that people who post this stuff have good intentions, but that is not good enough. If you really want to help, make a contribution to legitimate research like Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. Donate to an organization that REALLY helps cancer patients, not just says they do like Komen (please do not donate to Komen, at least not in my name! Hopefully they will change their ways but for now, I can not recommend donating to them in any way or amount.). And don't single out breast cancer! There are lots of cancers out there, some that people are actually not aware of, where is their party?! I have prostate, colon and ovarian cancers in my immediate family, but they didn't get a party, a fun run or artificially colored junk foods to help them celebrate. (For heaven's sake, don't read that as my WANTING those things!) If you have a friend with cancer (ANY KIND!), offer to help - don't just ask them what you can do, but make an actual offer. Or JUST DO IT. Things that would have really blessed me were meals, housecleaning, yard work, shopping, calls and visits, a pedicure, bathing the dogs, laundry, etc. Some of these things would not even cost you any money and would be way more useful than posting a pink ribbon or buying a pink everything or forwarding senseless memes or playing stupid word games about the color of your bra.

I am not even going to tell you to go get a mammogram, because the jury is still out on that. As you should with your donations - do your own research, then do it if you want to. What I will tell you is to do your monthly self checks, EVERY MONTH. That is how I became aware of my own breast cancer.

My goal here is not to make anyone feel bad for posting these things. My goal is to get you to "Think Before You Pink".

For more, very interesting information on the pink ribbon movement and how breast cancer patients and survivors really feel about it: and the book/movie "Pink Ribbons, INC" are a great place to start.

There ARE ways to help. I just want those people with good intentions to think about those and then do something that will really do some good.