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Not Good Enough by Shelley St. Godard

2014 marks my 19th Pinktober.  In 1996 the “Pink Ribbon Culture” was in its’ infancy, everyone climbed on board.  In addition to Walks and Runs “For the Cure” an entire cottage industry grew. Pink Ribbon pins, bracelets, and a plethora of other stuffs became available in the marketplace. Breast Cancer became big business.

18+ years later and is it still about breast cancer?  I think it’s all about the multi-billion dollar industry surrounding THE PINK.  People have fun, dress up, and do all manner of foolish things in the name of donating for The Cure.  Most women with breast cancer (and likely no breasts) will tell you how horribly offended they are by “No Bra Day”, “Save the Tata’s”, “Pink Tutu’s”, and Facebook games like “THE 2014 BREASTCANCER AWARENESS game”. Yes, let’s all have some fun because the general public, including women with lower stage breast cancer THINK THAT THERE IS A CURE! They’re blissfully unaware:

Shelley

 So where’s The Cure?  While I’ve been living with the disease there have been advancements in available treatments.  Thanks for that and please don’t judge me ungrateful when I tell you NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

Over the years, many of us diagnosed with breast cancer have been walking, running, campaigning, raising money for the Cure, and all the while SUFFERING.  Suffering through surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation treatments, anti-hormonals, lymphedema, and debilitating side effects caused by the drugs that keep us alive.  We WANT THE CURE NOW.  We’ve worked for it, suffered for it and paid for it in cold hard cash.  

Breast cancer used to be an old lady disease.  Not any more.  Young Women are dying, leaving small children Motherless. Why? Generally the disease is far more aggressive in young women.  I’ve made it 8+ years past my predicted Expiry Date. Today I’m 18 Months into a Stage 4 (metastasis) diagnosis that has an average prognosis (life expectancy) of 42 Months. Unless I get hit by a bus first.  In the US approximately 108 people per year are killed by being hit by a bus.  109 US women/men die from breast cancer EVERY DAY.  We really hate that ‘hit by a bus’ analogy.

This year, please THINK BEFORE YOU PINK. Not all organizations and businesses are entirely honest about their charitable breast cancer donations.


About Shelley: “She” (from “She who must be obeyed”) has been living with breast cancer for over 18 years; two years with metastatic disease. An active advocate, She’s mentored and assisted women navigating the system through breast cancer treatment for the past thirteen years. Currently approaching nine years past her “predicted expiry date” She’s also an active member of a private stage 4 online group with nearly 900 members ranging from their 20’s to 60’s. Her mantra: “I refuse to let cancer take more from me than what it’s taken without my permission.”

Project Occupy Pinktober: Throughout the month of October 2014, I am bringing guest posts from people who have been touched by metastatic breast cancer. Breast cancer is not pink and fluffy; it is a killer disease. This is not about saving breasts; it’s about saving lives. Thirty percent of everyone who gets breast cancer will develop metastasis. There is no cure. The goal of treatment is merely to prolong life and reduce suffering. We deserve better. Please like and share these posts to spread the word. Thank you, Knot Telling.

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5 Responses

  1. Judy says:

    I’m relatively “new” to breast cancer. I am a 2 year survivor, nothing compared to you. BUT I agree, enough pink!!

    Pink is a reminder of what I’ve been through and I don’t need a color to remember surgery, chemo, radiation, etc.

    I’m tired of pink. Take ALL the money these races, walks, benefits, etc. make and we maybe could find a cure. Since only a small percentage of these fundraisers make I don’t think they’re helping. Maybe they make people think they are helping to find a cure but I don’t.

  2. Lisa says:

    It’s easy to say that the money isn’t going to find a cure or for research but look around. On this one page alone, https://www.breastcancertrials.org/bct_nation/browse_trials.seam?categoryString=TREATMENT_VACCINE, lists 22 studies for a vaccine that will treat, prevent, or reduce recurrence of breast cancer. The research is being done. We may have needed it yesterday, but we can’t claim that it isn’t happening.

  3. I am one of those young mothers- leaving three very young children behind. Please invite me to join the private group mentioned in your bio. Thanks!!

  4. Maxine D says:

    I hear what is being said – and I agree! I thankfully have not had to deal with the dreaded cancer personally, but have family and friends who are living with the spectre of it over their heads, or have been overcome by it. 🙁 I am thankful for what has been achieved, but long for a true ‘cure’.
    Blessings
    Maxine

  5. Judith LaBonte says:

    i don’t have breast cancer – i did have very early stage endometrial (lining of the Uterus) cancer in 2010, which was pronounced “cured”. i don’t get that as i had always heard that cancer can never be cured but can be in remission after 5 years – i got a little over 4. i know when i first heard “the ‘C’ word” i started crying and the Doc acted like i was nuts. To this day, it haunts me. i was with my Dad, may he rest in peace, when he died of stage 4 lung cancer. i know it’s not pretty.
    i think people who do the whole “pink” (or purple for other cancers) are trying to be brave and, by denying their fear, hope to abolish it. i didn’t find that this works. Some 10 or more years before i actually had the disease, i had a biopsy for it – self–fulfilling prophecy, perhaps. And for 3 weeks i was a mess – i was terrified. The truth is, i still am. And i don’t say that because people act like i’m crazy for it.

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