What a Difference a Day Can Make

Yesterday I was posting on Facebook about the new movie coming out, a prequel to “Gone with the Wind”, chatting how I was looking forward to seeing it this fall. A few hours later I was so upset I could hardly see straight. 

Please let me explain. First off, I am a joyful person, love roses and babies, and would give you the shirt off my back.  I have a happy life and a heart full of hope and gratitude. 

So as they say, “Why so serious?"

A game, a silly game to begin “awareness to breast cancer” and felt like I was slapped in the face.   I see those silly games all the time.  The delete key is my best friend.  That is easily dealt with.  So why did this time hurt to be invited?  The invitation was from a friend, someone who knows me, and I thought understood why I care so much about Inflammatory Breast Cancer.  It seemed more personal and really not funny at all. 

So let’s take the personal out of it and just break it down.  This is the current game to bring awareness.  

You should not have liked or commented! Now you have to pick one of the 14 below and post to your status. This is the 2014 breast cancer awareness game. Don't be a spoil sport choose you poison, and change your status 1) Damn diarrhea 2) Just used my boobs to get out of a speeding ticket 3) Anyone have a tampon, I'm out 4) How do you get rid of foot fungus 5) Why is nobody around when I'm horny? 6) No toilet paper goodbye socks! 7) Someone offered me a job as a prostitute but I'm hesitant. 8) I think I'm in love with someone what should I do? 9) I've decided 2 stop wearing underwear. 10)I still love my ex. 11)I really don't know how 2 tell anyone and I'm sick of hiding it I'm gay. 12) Guess it was 2 good 2 b true I'm pregnant. 13 Just won $7000 on a scratchy. 14 )I've just found out I've been cheated on for the past 5 months. Post with no explanations. Sorry, I fell for it too ! Lmao Looking forward to your post!!

Ok, let’s just overlook that there is nothing there that bring awareness.  OK?  Nothing.  No instructions to a website or education that might just really matter.  Oh but wait, the game players, say “but we talk about breast cancer so don’t fuss, it helps”  Really?  Mentioning breast cancer is not talking about breast cancer.  So let’s move on to the break down. 

The 2014 Breast Cancer Awareness Game: 

14 post choices that are prompts to start the non-conversation on breast cancer as seen from someone on the other side of the ribbon. 

The instructions say pick your poison…insensitive, chemotherapy is poison, also silly opening comment "thank you shouldn't have liked or commented" So I am confused, Hmmmm, not seeming like a good start to a real dialog. 

The prompts:

1) Damn diarrhea-have you ever seen a patient wasting away, can’t get good nutrition in their bodies, due to the therapy that is almost killing them as it kills the cancer more?  I have. Dying at 98lbs? Not funny.  #fail.

2) Just used my boobs to get out of a speeding ticket-wow, really insensitive, truly, we wish we had not lost ours to disease.  I am what I call a double wide flattie, (yes, I do have a sense of humor) mine go in a box every night when I go to bed.

3) Anyone have a tampon, I'm out-Young women are often robbed of their fertility due to treatment, bodies forced into early menopause, so again, very insensitive.

4) How do you get rid of foot fungus –Chemotherapy does hand and foot damage that can be very difficult to recover from, making walking difficult for years post treatment. Funny?  #fail

 5) Why is nobody around when I'm horny? Just like treatment changes fertility, it can impact sexually function.  The loss of intimacy, the giving and receiving of physical love is one of great private sorrow to someone living with cancer. Funny? #fail

6) No toilet paper goodbye socks! How is potty humor ever the basics for a meaningful conversation?

 7) Someone offered me a job as a prostitute but I'm hesitant.  Truly offensive.  I will just stop there. 

8) I think I'm in love with someone what should I do?  It would not be hard to imagine the loss of relationships, or relationships that didn’t’ get to develop, due to illness.  Insensitive?  Yes.

9) I've decided 2 stop wearing underwear.   Well, this one has a grain of truth.  I couldn’t wear a bra for a year post radiation.  Hench, the double wide flattie name I gave myself so I could off-set the stares with a laugh.

10) I still love my ex. This is hurtful.  I am so very grateful for my long marriage, 35 years, but I know that most marriages fail after a serious diagnosis. Sadly, as the NYT just reported men tend to leave the women, at a much higher rate than women leave the wife.  Insensitive.  

11) I really don't know how 2 tell anyone and I'm sick of hiding it I'm gay.   Really?  I just don’t even know how to address this.  Just flat out stupid.

12) Guess it was 2 good 2 b true I'm pregnant.  See # 3 and rethink how that might hurt. 

13) Just won $7000 on a scratchy.  This is the one that I commented on, that led to the invitation to play the game.  I was happy that someone had what I thought was happy news.   Little did I know it would lead me to write this article?  

14) I've just found out I've been cheated on for the past 5 months. Post with no explanations.   Just wow.  To invite the thought of personal gossip on your partner is really low.  Shaking my head on this one.

So that is It.  A breakdown of what we are asking to do to bring awareness.  So is any of this working for you?  Not for me.  Now my friend who invited me to play post my thought of wishing her well # 13 feels she has done her duty.  She said she has “fired me up.”  One person said I was angry after so much loss of IBC sisters who have recently passed away.  One person said I had a “small life”   One man threaten to hurt me, “because I needed to get a sense of humor.”

However on the other hand, I was being flooded with messages from people saying thank you.  Thank you for asking for more- for something real.  Something that might have saved the person they loved or even save themselves. 

Because there is nothing funny, sexy or silly about dying of breast cancer.  Let’s do something real.  It is time to grow up the conversation on breast cancer. 

Hope always,
 

Terry Lynn Arnold 

dx with Triple Negative Inflammatory Breast Cancer, summer of 2007

Founder, www.theibcnetwork.org

 

Change your thoughts and we can change the world 

and if you would like to see what others think:  

http://www.chemobrainfog.com/2012/02/and-for-susan-just-hours-later.html

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/21/no-make-up-selfie-facebook-beat-cancer-research-meme?CMP=twt_gu

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/28/magazine/our-feel-good-war-on-breast-cancer.html?pagewanted=all

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/12/men-more-likely-to-leave-spouse-with-cancer/

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