From a Brother in Mets, Bill Becker

Bill Becker’s wife Lisa has made the heartbreaking announcement that Bill is taking the final steps of his journey. The end has come very quickly, much faster than expected. It is a shock. I don’t want to eulogize Bill after his death; I want to honor him while he still lives. Bill dedicated himself to spreading awareness of male breast cancer, so I would like to honor him by publishing again a guest post he wrote for the blog just one year ago, in August 2013. Bill, Lisa – I love you.

Bill BeckerDon’t mind us…we’re just some blue in a sea of pink.

Imagine if you can, you’ve been told you have breast cancer. Any diagnosis of cancer is scary in itself. The lump that you’ve found has come back positive for breast cancer. A man in a lab coat sitting across a desk from you just read the results from a piece of paper that was faxed over from a laboratory that performed a test on a sample of flesh from your body. Now let’s change this up a bit, imagine the same scenario accept the ‘you’ in the scenario is a man.

As a man diagnosed with breast cancer there is very little information to guide all the men and women in lab coats with the most current and up to date methods for treating you. When you go in to have an appointment with them, they will tell you that we are basing your treatment on what we’ve found that worked with women. So wait a minute, you’re saying that not only do I have a “woman’s disease”, you are going to treat me based on everything you know about woman. Ok, but I have a penis, isn’t there anything that tells you what to do in the case of a man with breast cancer?

No, there isn’t enough information, there hasn’t been enough research done to directly support medical treatment of male breast cancer. I’m sure you’re thinking, why not? The life of a man is equally important as a woman’s is. Is it because there aren’t enough of us men with breast cancer? Is there some secret society of men who have breast cancer and are just not saying anything? Is male breast cancer like “Fight Club” in that the first rule of male breast cancer is you don’t talk about male breast cancer? The second rule of male breast cancer is you don’t talk about male breast cancer. I cannot sit idly by and not talk about it; I cannot let the so-called stigma of having what is known as a woman’s disease, define who I am. I will not close my mouth and wait quietly with my stage IV cancer diagnosis to die. Like “Fight Club” I will enter a room with a bunch of other men and I will fight! Unlike “Fight Club”, when I emerge I will talk about it (and write about it) and I will tell everyone that I meet…hey men get breast cancer too.

I will join everyone else who fights breast cancer, men and women. When life hands you lemons (or lumps), what do you do? I will make Lemonade, Lemon Meringue Pie, Lemon Chicken, and the list of all things lemon flavored will be infused with the lemons that I’ve been given. I will advocate awareness of male breast cancer. I will tell everyone I can that, yes it is true, men can get breast cancer too!

So how does this scenario end? The most likely answer is that this scenario will end with my death. Before we get to that point, what do you say we talk about it? Let’s make some noise about male breast cancer! Support the awareness and early detection of breast cancer in men. Let’s reduce the percentage of men who succumb to male breast cancer from an average of 25% every year down to 21%. The only way we can do this, is if we talk about it. So go tell someone…men get breast cancer too.

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9 Responses

  1. Paula Sanders says:

    I’m so sad to hear about Bill. Praying for him and his family now. Thanks for sharing him with us Knot. He proclaimed an important message for men everywhere.

  2. I’m so sorry, Knot. So very sorry…

  3. Maxine D says:

    Oh Knots – I am so sorry to hear this – and it begs the question, if there had been an exclusively male treatment regime, would Bill have been better off?
    Is the fact that many of the resources have been focussed on women and their treatment is really the result of the many ‘think pink’ campaigns and the big businesses behind them…. ???
    {{{Hugs}}} and prayers

  4. So sorry to hear this news about a dear friend of yours, and one who has shared the struggle with you in a very personal way that the rest of us cannot.

  5. Joanne Brennan says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this news about Bill! There is sooooo little funding for stage 4 research as it is and we all deserve to be treated fairly. My heart goes out to you and your family Bill!

  6. Knot Telling says:

    Thank you for your good wishes, everyone. Along with our prayers, we can honor Bill by continuing to spread awareness about male breast cancer and metastatic breast cancer.

  7. I can not say I understand exactly what he was feeling but I can say I know what it is to have a cancer that no one really knows about, and just wanting to flood the world with the info. IBC is so often misdiagnosed, because it is so rare, but it’s very, very aggressive, and get this….NOT picked up on our mamo’s!!!! Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Check it out. And in honor of your friend I will be adding to my “Check it out and while your looking it up REMEMber MEN can get breast cancer too. Seriously look it up!!! The life you save could be your own!!! From a fellow Metastatic Stag lV Inflammatory Breast Cancer Awareness Spreading Friend! I’m very sorry for your loss. It may be our destiny but it is never easy!!!!

  8. Tracy says:

    We don’t need the four horsemen of the apocalypse with breast cancer in the world. My heart goes out to everyone with this hideous disease, men, women, young and old, it remains an indiscriminate killer and the only way we can stop that is to keep campaigning for more research to prevent and cure mets.

  1. 21 September, 2014

    […] above to women with metastatic breast cancer, but of course, this doesn’t exclude men. Knot Telling and Le Amazzoni Furiose both share the story of Bill Becker, a male with metastatic breast cancer, […]

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