But what has it got to do with Breast Cancer?

I’ve debated writing about this for some time. No matter how well intentioned a person is, there will always be another who is offended by their feelings. Since I am non-confrontational by nature, I want to avoid this. I really do.

So this blog has been a long time coming, and in the end, the reason I’m finally writing it is because “well behaved women rarely make history.” And all of that. But mostly because I see something I think is wrong and I want to make it better. It’s just who I am.

A while back – I think it was last year, in fact – something was started on Facebook. It was a “game” in which women would write secret messages to each other using codes generated by someone way high up on the chain of Facebook forwards. These messages would announce to the world that they were “two months and one week” or that they were “going to Germany for nine days” and so forth. The goal? Reputedly the goal was to raise breast cancer awareness. In actuality? I believe the goal was to have “fun” and alienate men.

Anyone who has ever found a lump in their breast or been the spouse or partner or loved one of someone who did the same can tell you that breast cancer is no game. Nothing about it is “fun.” So, it seems strange to me that the beginning of said games are announced with messages like, “It’s that time again, ladies!”… as if it was time to celebrate. To get your engines running. To dress up or something.

Maybe this is just my opinion and maybe I’m missing something. But to me? To me, these Facebook “games” miss the mark in so many different ways. First of all, you’re supposed to “keep the boys guessing” about what your posts mean. Why? Why do we want to leave men out? Do we think that when breast cancer strikes us, it has no effect on our boyfriends? Our brothers? Our fathers or sons? What about our husbands? Do we honestly think that our diagnosis… leaves them out? I can tell you from personal experience that it does not. A father might lose his daughter. A son, his mom. A man will never suffer more than when the woman he loves more than life itself becomes sick.

Emotional alienation aside, we’re also forgetting that breast cancer, believe it or not, is not a solely female disease. Men can develop breast cancer as well. They have breast tissue – and that tissue can develop tumors, just like ours can.

Also, how exactly does this game make women more aware of breast cancer? I’m sorry, but seeing someone joke about being pregnant when they’re not or going to France when they live in Pennsylvania doesn’t make me any more informed on the dangers, preventative measures, or medical breakthroughs of the disease.

So… What is the point? Why does this “game” exist? What has any of this really got to do with breast cancer?

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One Response to But what has it got to do with Breast Cancer?

  1. Patricia Elliott says:

    I totally agree Heather, beautifully said!