I am a wimp.
It is so easy for me to sit here and expound: “I am so marginalized! The breast cancer awareness community doesn’t talk about people with mets. We scare them. That 30% figure just doesn’t bear thinking about. That’s why they marginalize us.”
And we are marginalized. That is a true statement. But so are women with mental health issues who have breast cancer. And migrant women. And refugee women. And women in war zones. And homeless women. That is all true.
But you know who is really marginalized? Men with breast cancer. How often are they even mentioned? How often do you (do I?) think of men when thinking of people with breast cancer? Pretty close to never, I’m betting.
Yesterday I encountered Breast Cancer Brothers, a Facebook community page not unlike Telling Knots, the 30%, and I had the opportunity to exchange a few words with a man who, like me, has metastatic breast cancer. I received a nice comment from his wife, thanking me for sharing their family photo on the 30% page.
My world was jolted.
I admit that it is not very often that I look at my situation and think how much easier it is for me than for someone else. Yes, people have said really stupid things to me about breast cancer, but can you imagine what the men have to go through? I cannot, not really.
I put out a request on Breast Cancer Brothers inviting any man with breast cancer at any stage to write a guest post for this blog. One man has accepted the invitation, which makes me very happy. Maybe more men will agree, too. I’d love that.
Cancer—breast cancer—is no respecter of persons. Cancer does not care if we are rich or poor, married or single, gay or straight, independent professionals or temp workers in a warehouse or street dwellers. Cancer does not care if we are male or female. Cancer is not pink.
I’d like to make a request of everyone who is reading this post: please go over to Breast Cancer Brothers and show them some support. Like the page, leave a comment. Show them that while some of us may feel marginalized, while some us truly are marginalized, we will not marginalize each other.