BCAM 2021: Day #8

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Knowing that our black and brown brothers and sisters are more likely to die (whatever the actual reasons) keeps me up at night. Breast Cancer, particularly Metastatic Breast Cancer, is a horrible disease and to start out with yet another hurdle is nearly unthinkable. That anyone who is dealing with something so life changing then also needs to think about a lack of access to good care and a medical system that is biased against them is just unconscionable.

We all need to be aware of what is, rather than what we hope might be.

Black and brown people, generally, are much more reluctant to participate in clinical trials, the vital research seeking to answer the questions necessary to find an actual cure.

If the participants in a trial aren’t representative of the population needing the medication, then how effective can that medication be?

We all need to be part of the antidote to this problem.

So, look around and see who is in the room. We all need to pay attention and we all need to speak up to ensure that our sisters and brothers are included. Only when we each take responsibility for these wrongs will the system change.

5 thoughts on “BCAM 2021: Day #8

  1. Amen, Abigail! There is so much documented evidence of inequalities in disease diagnosis and treatment among women/men of color. It is shameful and must be addressed. I agree: we all have a responsibility to speak up and say this situation is inhumane and unacceptable—and to keep speaking up until systemic change occurs.

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  2. However log this will take I only hope there’s other voices we encourage to take over when ours are no longer available. Having lost yet another woman who was once a best friend this weekend I cant handle much more death and dying and mourning with anyone who’s not been diagnosed with MBC. They can’t get it — spending nearly a week with four other women who do get it – we took care of one another in the way we needed no questions, apologies, nor even a thank you necessary. I wish I could live with others like myself but there’s nowhere to do that – except online, and some days it’s simply not enough. I realized this by just being with my tribe. We did what we wanted, when all of us, sometimes just two or three, and it was fine if someone was tired or having digestive issues. Saying goodbye was harder than I thought. I will see them again and it proves seeing those like ourselves regularly is therapeutic and necessary. I won’t let much time go by allowing distance to take my relationships to the next level of trust and love away. I missed Lori by a few days. I also went to see my mother’s grave finally and have closure with her – that was the most important thing I needed to do before I die. And I will die. It’s a matter of time and how much more I am able to handle too. We will see what it feels like when I know its time to go. Meanwhile what else do I know? What can I know? That systematic change is important for women of color women in rural areas, women without access to quality care in or outside of the home. I’ll keep speaking up but how much impact I have is minimal. Together we have more impact but again – who is listening and who needs to hear it may be of different groups all together- just as I don’t know my expiration date I don’t know where to make my voice heard louder so…keep speaking up. Someone is bound to hear us – but not through pinktober – it should be butterflies and rainbows and death shouldn’t ne a part of the happy conversation of how far we’ve actually come.

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