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Friday, October 10, 2014

It's Not Enough...

This may be a bit of a ramble.....

BRCA testing. I don't think I like the idea of making BRCA testing mandatory, as has been in the news recently.  And no, I haven't read every article or every word or every blog about it. It was mentioned to me in 2010, that I might want to consider it. I am the only person in my entire family to have a cancer of any kind, that I'm aware of.  And I thought about it.  Did some research.  Here's what I decided.  I'm not going to take the test. I don't want or need to know.  Why? Because, just because a person tests Positive for the BRCA gene, it's not a guarantee that they will get breast cancer.  And if a person tests Negative for the BRCA gene, it's not a guarantee that they WON'T get breast cancer.  And I do understand there are no guarantees in life. But me being me, a positive BRCA result is going to wreck the entire rest of my life, even more so than bc has already, and then I'll have to consider whether or not to have all kinds of other surgery to remove this or that. When there's no way to actually KNOW for sure what's going to happen. It's not very scientific, but it's how it is for me. And It's Not Enough.

"It's haunting you from inside now..." 

So I'm better off just being vigilant with trying to stay as healthy as I can, and see my oncology team as recommended and treat whatever may come up, just as I did in 2009 - 2010.  So no, I don't want it to become mandatory testing.  I rather like having a choice.  

It's Not Enough to get your annual mammogram.  I hope you'll click this link and read this article.  Perhaps the mammogram isn't the "life saver" so many celebrity breast cancer survivors & others tout it to be.  When they say "A mammogram saved my life" or "I got lucky, now I'll live to see...."  while still so early on in or after treatment. How can they even KNOW that? Metastases just plain ol fucking happens...regardless of stage of diagnosis, regardless of treatment chosen.  It just appears to be random. The fucker. I'm not so sure I'm ever going to get another mammogram. It's Not Enough. 

And apparently the people around a survivor will sometimes grow weary of hearing about the anxiety that can unnerve us breast cancer people, especially when a doctor's appointment is coming up. Although they mean well and encourage us to "be positive, be happy, get on with the rest of your life! It's over now!" It's Not Enough to have "apparently" beat it.  Let me refer you to the link above.  

It's Not Enough to slap a pink ribbon on something, or turn something pink.  It's just not. Because all this pink is not really helping anything.  There is no more need to push awareness about breast cancer.  All this pink merch is doing is making money for the merch makers. Sure, some donations are being made, but how much really? And to what organizations? When you get asked at the cash register if you'd like to "donate to breast cancer", ask the cashier to which organizations the funds will be donated. (Like my friend AM did.)  I dare ya. Rather, why not make a cash donation to Stand Up To Cancer, an excellent organization that is working hard to fight ALL cancer.

And again, I get both sides of this pink issue.  I know that some, yes, even some stage 4 folks, love this pink time of year and proudly wear the ribbon, not just in October, but all year long.  They are reminded of how far they've come and are reminded to be thankful, so some have told me.  And then there are so many others who are just put off by it.  It's a terrible reminder of the fear...the pain....the uncertainty....just all around badness. 

But the Pink Machine is in full effect, making most believe it's just one big pink party...that it's all "Yay survivors" and "Yay for boobies" or tatas, or second base....(I actually like to refer to mine as boobies..just sayin.) No regard for those who are really living with and in treatment for the rest of their forever.

I think I'm going to once again start sporting the pink ribbon myself...It DEFINITELY gets attention, definitely sparks conversation.  May be the perfect opportunity to share my own brand of "awareness".  

What IS Enough? 

Find the CAUSE! Find the CURE! Find out how to PREVENT it!

It's not Enough
Broken in two
It's not Enough
Speaking the truth


eileen@womaninthehat said...

I was tested after my lumpectomy and found to be BRCA-2 positive. I'm okay with leaving things the way they are but many women would not be. Personally, I completely support your decision to not want to know and for too many reasons than I could put in a comment. One thing is that it sparked my brother and twin nieces to get tested, all 3 of which tested positive. (Men are at increased risk for prostate and pancreatic cancer.) I can see where it gave my niece a mindset that says she's doomed to get it. Honestly, I'm glad my own daughter was not tested. I'd rather she just be vigilant and try to avoid putting crap into her body, just in case, but I don't want her walking around feeling like she's marked for a certain future.

LunaTechChick said...

Hi Eileen! Thanks so much for commenting. Yeah, I get both sides of getting tested for sure. Didn't know what the risks were for make cancers though, so I learned something today! But yeah, I like having the choice to doit or not. Would be v unhappy if it became mandatory. And apparently my oncology team knows me very well, cause they don't mention it or hound me to get it done. It never comes up anymore. Thankfully.

LunaTechChick said...

And the above comment is FULL of typos.

Anonymous said...

Damn right--all the noise and pink explosions and I still got cancer. Not enough of the right stuff is being done!!

LunaTechChick said...

Right. I'm still just so angry that it happened to me. Just not enough of the right stuff...