Every year around this time, I start to see lots and lots and lots of ads about breast cancer and breast cancer awareness — to be honest, it starts earlier and earlier each year. October is the month that is set aside for Breast Cancer Awareness month (BCAM) and whenever I start to think that I’ve seen it all, there’s another company or another group or another entity of some kind jumping in. Don’t get me wrong, this is both a good and a bad thing.
I’ve a love/hate relationship with #BCAM, pink, and #Pinktober and all the things that happen around BCAM.
On the one hand, we all need for the general public to be educated about the risks for developing breast cancer and the experience of living with breast cancer because none of us in this experience wants anyone else to go through it. On the other hand, those of us who are Stage IV and are facing a truncated life expectancy are often left out and much of what is done during the month of October just doesn’t resonate with us as a community. On the other other hand, so many of the companies getting attention for participating in BCAM in one way or another are really just pocketing the money rather than actually funding research.
I think some of this is getting better or maybe I’m just better at staying in the places where #MBC isn’t a dirty word and where those of us living while dying aren’t the pink elephants in the room. Maybe.
As I think about this October, the 6th BCAM I’ve experienced since my de novo MBC diagnosis in 2017, I find that I’m getting tired of loading up the month with efforts to educate and bring awareness to MBC. There are only so many spoons these days and maybe I’ve paid my dues or maybe it’s just that I’m weary of saying and doing the same things over and over without seeing the needle move much. So, this year, I’m pulling back, taking a bit of a break to focus on some key projects that I think will best serve the MBC Community. I may or may not blog about those initiatives during the month of October or I may “just” focus on hoarding some of those spoons for the people who matter the most to me.
One thing I know that I’ll be doing is getting together with the local MBC Community to celebrate the ONE day that is set aside during BCAM for those of us living with Stage IV MBC. If you are in the Orlando (or Central Florida) area and want to join us, you can access the invite here.