This Friday, I will be on a plane, albeit one a bit smaller than I prefer, bound for Washington DC to participate in the National Breast Cancer Coalition advocacy summit. That big clock above the blog posts? Deadline 2020? That's the genius of the National Breast Cancer Coalition.
These are the people who are trying desperately to change the conversation. And with good reason, don't you agree? We are insane with the breast cancer thing. I've learned that insanity is when you keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. Some might argue. Some will say we've made progress. Some will say we are saving more lives and I won't disagree. We have made progress.
Early detection is saving and will continue to save lives but we've known THAT for many years. We've found ways to minimize the side effects of chemotherapy. I don't know who exactly perpetrates this factoid but for me, that seems like an urban myth. I double dare you to wait near a chemotherapy suite and ask one of the women who is either entering or exiting how they feel in the days immediately following their chemotherapy.
Plastic surgery techniques have come far. This is NOT an urban myth. The plastics guys seem to have made the most progress. They have come up with some ingenious methods to reconstruct us once we've taken the big plunge. They are moving fat around, reconnecting blood supplies, using implants, taking muscle from other parts of our bodies to create the illusion of breasts. Still. Let's make no mistake here. They are not breasts. It's slight of hand and an illusion. And make no additional mistake. Some women are severely and seriously compromised after surgery. But it looks good. Forget about how it feels. Billy Crystal...... You Look Mahvelous.......Absolutely Mahvelous.
None of this takes away from my "we are insane" position. We're barking up the wrong tree. We're moving in the wrong direction. We are doing little more than marking time. Meaningful progress matters. The progress we have made stopped being meaningful about twenty years ago. This week I will gear up to add my voice to the hundreds of others who will be in Washington DC demanding better.
Coincidentally, the DC Avon Walk is this weekend, too. I don't think I'll arrive in time to help greet the walkers if Army of Women has a sign up table at the walk registration but Army of Women will have a table at the advocacy summit. And I will be at that table lending a hand whenever I can. If you are in the DC area, come see me at the Hyatt Crystal City. If you are attending NBCC, time to start planning for the meet ups!
Are you going? Roll Call........ Kindly sign the attendance sheet.