A Rant about cancer “awareness” on Facebook

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Pink Ribbon chocolate lollipops for Breast Can...

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Every so often (Well, more than that. Like every other day) a status update will pop up on my Facebook feed that says something like this:

Please do me a favor. Only some of you will do this and you know who you are. If you or anyone you know has battled (or died of) cancer put this up as your status update for an hour (or some other bullshit time limit). I hope all of my friends will post this, but most of you won’t.

Or something to that effect.

OR, even worse, I will see a vague message from my female friends, a secret code that only “we” are supposed to know about and that is supposed to make the men wonder what the fuck drug we are all on. Example:

I am eleventy billion weeks and craving Tootsie Rolls

Or what have you. I still don’t know what THAT one is all about. I was told this was supposed to be about Breast Cancer awareness. But how does this make anyone aware of anything? Except how fucking inane my Facebook feed is?

And let’s talk about cancer awareness. I don’t know about you but I could spend a great deal of time counting how many people in my life – directly or indirectly connected to me,   have died of cancer. As you know (if you read this blog) I watched somebody I love die of this horrific disease. I saw it completely ravage his body in the year before he succumbed to it. I fucking am VERY AWARE of cancer. Thank you very much.

So may I suggest, instead of posting vague status updates and inane copy and paste messages, that you actually DO SOMETHING worthwhile about it? Like maybe donate to cancer research? Here is a good place to start:

National Lung Cancer Partnership

And if Lung Cancer isn’t your thing here is a list of other cancer charities that might be:

Runners World: Cancer Charities with a Running Connection

in the blink of an eye

Life

At Post Falls
Saturday morning at 8:30 AM I received a call from my mom. “I have some distressing news” she said. She proceeded to tell me about her evening and morning.

Friday night she and my step-dad were getting ready to go out to dinner for their anniversary. When my step-dad got up to go he couldn’t stand properly and complained of nausea and dizziness. My mom decided to take him to the emergency room. He was having problems with his sinuses and nothing was working; this was the last straw. So she took him in and they tested him out and scanned everything.

It turns out they found a tumor the size of a golf ball on his frontal lobe. They also found one the size of a walnut in the back of his head and one in his lower left lung. I heard all of this and could literally feel the blood drain from my head. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She told me she would call me later when she found out more, like if he would need surgery or anything. I hung up the phone in complete and total shock.

I didn’t know what to do with myself so I went outside and did some yard work to keep myself occupied. I just needed something mindless to do while I took in all of this. After awhile I went inside the house, sat down on the couch and cried. It was around this time when my older brother called me (I’d left him a message earlier) and I told him what was going on. I was barely coherent on the phone with him. So much for being strong for my family. We found out that he was going to have surgery first thing in the morning to have the tumor on the frontal lobe removed. We went down to the hospital that evening to visit him. He looked really good and it made me feel better. They had him on steroids and it was taking the swelling down on that front tumor so he seemed like his old self.

We basically spent the whole day at the hospital on Sunday. The surgery went well, thank goodness. We went to visit him after the surgery and he was kind of goofy from the drugs. He was talking and joking but wasn’t making much sense, which is totally understandable.

We went to see him Monday evening and I was really happy to see that he looked really good, especially for someone who had just had brain surgery (can you believe it? BRAIN SURGERY! It kind of freaks me out just thinking about it). He chit chatted with us and he seemed to be bouncing back really well.

So that’s where we are right now with all of this. He’s recovering really well from the surgery and will probably be able to come home soon. He is going to start treatment on the other spots very soon. ugh. I can’t believe this has happened over the past few days. We are staying positive though. What else can you do? You just fight it.

Thoughts on the Edwardses

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Elizabeth Edwards attends a house party in Bre...

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There is all of this talk about whether or not they are making the right decision. My thoughts? It’s none of our business. They know what they can handle. It’s thier decision. Not ours.

What is it with the media and the pundits? Why do they think they can make these judgements for people? It’s annoying.

Here is a quote from a New York Times article on the subject:

Janet Leff, 65, a breast cancer survivor whose cancer had also spread to her bones, said all the talk about what the Edwardses should or should not do is misguided. It is nobody’s business but theirs, she said.

When her cancer was diagnosed five years ago, she was volunteering as a social worker in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Family members urged her to come home, give up the hard life in a war-ravaged country. She ignored them, she said, and she thinks that is partly why she is still alive.

As far as my take on the actual decision (which is really none of my business anyway), I think that it’s very courageous. I only hope that, if I am ever in that situation, that I would have the will and motivation to keep going and doing the things that I’ve planned on doing. I wouldn’t want to cower in a corner, either. I would want to go out there and live.

Read more here:

Public Takes Up Pros and Cons of Edwards Bid – New York Times

Molly Ivins

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Molly Ivins

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I just now heard on the radio that Molly Ivins died yesterday. I’m totally heartbroken.

Syndicated columnist and best-selling author Molly Ivins has died of breast cancer at the age of 62.

She was one of my heroes for standing up and telling it like it is. With humor and grace. May she rest in peace.

Read about it here:
NPR : Treasuring the Wit and Wisdom of Molly Ivins