Friday, October 22, 2010

Facebook Plus Breast Cancer

Pin It Allow me to step up on a soap box for a moment.

(why yes, those are my shoes. Do you like them?)

I am scratching my head. Seriously. I get that October is breast cancer awareness month. I'd really be interested in statistics to see if there are more new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in October than in other months. I'd be willing to bet that there are. Reminders are everywhere, to do self exams and to schedule mammograms. I think this is a VERY good thing. I get it, trust me I do.

What I DON'T get though is this:

This year's game has to do with your handbag/purse, where we put our handbag the moment we get home; for example "I like it on the couch," "I like it on the kitchen counter," "I like it on the dresser." Well u get the idea. Just put your answer as your status (i.e. don't respond to this message, but put it on your status) -- and cut n paste this message and forward to all your FB female friends to their inbox. The bra game made it to the news. Let's get the purse in as well and see how powerful we women really are!!!

and this:

Okay ladies here is another breast cancer awareness status game. Thanks to all of you that have been playing so far! Copy and paste this email and send it to all the ladies on your friend list NO MEN! This time we are going to post your shoe size followed by the word "inches" and a sad face. This will really have all the men asking questions! Remember the whole bra thing made the national news! Let's do this again!

Please someone tell me how this is helpful. How are jokes with innuendos helpful to raise awareness? Put a pink ribbon on your page, or post to your wall "HEY, get a checkup!" But I read these and feel like it's all supposed to be a cute joke. Maybe I'm missing the point, but I really don't get it.

Wanna know something interesting? A couple of weeks I received the "purse" message about 12 times. It left me scratching my head, and one of my friends found this post and I linked it. At the time, breast cancer had never affected me in a personal way. It still bothered me to try to figure out how "I like it in the chair" was supposed to help. The next day? The world shifted.

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.

There are so many foundations and charities doing real work to treat this disease. Don't like the Susan G. Komen Foundation? No problem, there are hundreds of other organizations raising money for awareness and cures. I could get you a long list if you like. Or on a more personal level? Offer love and support to someone dealing with it. Taking a meal, helping with kids, helping to drive to treatments, offering hope and days that feel less than hopeful, or even giggles on days that aren't especially giggly. Prayers, love, support ... much better than posting an innuendo on a facebook page, doncha' think?

(and FWIW -- I'm not a serious prudish facebook user. Most of my posts are silly and 100% for fun. It just puzzles me that posting 8" :( could possibly help breast cancer research, sufferers, survivors, or those of us who are trying desperately to come up with a way to help, could possibly help anything in any way. Forgive me for venting in this post. I'm just a girl facing something scary.)


Becky said...

Girl, I hear you. And I'm sending you huge hugs. We were living with Dan's parents in Fort Worth when we got his mom's diagnosis. While she was under anesthesia. And Dad had to decide then and there what to do because the "lump" they were going to biopsy turned out to be the size of a lemon and highly aggressive and already invading lymph nodes. A mastectomy, radiation, Chemo, and all that go with it ensued. And we were there, living it with her. Wouldn't have traded that ability to cook, clean, take care of her on her bad days for anything. We were half a continent away when she found that it had recurred in the other breast some years later. That distance made it impossible to do the hands-on support, so we had to find other ways to help her. This year is her five years clean. It's joyful. But it isn't a joke. It's scary and painful - even when you know in your mind that the long-term prognosis is very hopeful. I know that reeling feeling. The world does stop spinning, and the battle - tough though it is - can be endured. Love you, lady.

Yvette said...

Thank you for this Melanie. I think is something that needs to be said. I love you and am praying for your family. Call when you need me.

Annette said...

My friend that was diagnosed in May of 09 requested that instead of cards (that were intended to cheer her, but usually just reminded her of the illness) that people send her copies of their mamogram results in a post card. What better way to show someone that they are making a difference even though they are going through something rough. I thought it was a great idea and I know it made a lot of women at our church get check ups they had delayed. She has been cancer free for 6 months and is feeling great. I am praying for similiar results for your Mom.
I am here when ever you need to drop kids. As you know I am a depository for the ones next door, so our door is already open 24/7. We would love to entertain your kids anytime!

Anonymous said...

Obviously, since you just commented on my blog, you know I agree with you! I'm sorry to hear about your mom's diagnosis. I'm saying a prayer for her! Hope we'll meet again in the blogosphere soon!

Mel's Dad said...

All prayers are appreciated and very much needed. I hope that all of you will not worry about where to put your purse, but will instead go get your mammogram. Mel's Dad.