Tuesday, February 14, 2012


JEEZ.... I had every intention of doing some sappy Happy Valentine's Day post.  Instead, I'll follow the Al Capone version of Valentine's Day.  It's time for a breast cancer massacre.  If you recognize yourself in any of this, consider this a fair warning.  Next time, no warning will be issued.  I will simply let the dogs out to hunt you down......

Is it really necessary to have this conversation yet again?  A couple of months ago, I was seeking sensitivity training for the TSA over the implant pat down.  Now, there seems to be a constant and ever growing onslaught of articles (and tweets, too) stating ways we can PREVENT breast cancer from developing.  That article came to me via a tweet by Lani who blogs at Chemobabe! and was subsequently retweeted by Lisa Bonchek Adams.

It really is time for some sensitivity training and it's time for all the big frikken mouths who have all the answers to STOP making grand pronouncements about how we may "save ourselves" from breast cancer by employing a mess of lifestyle changes.  Frankly, this is insulting to every single one of us who was diagnosed with breast cancer and I find it particularly disgusting to read this when I think about those who have died or those who are living with metastatic disease.  In the wake of what happened in our community of bloggers and tweeps just one week ago, I'm a bit outraged.  Ok.... a lot.

NOTHING..... Let me repeat that for anyone who may be hard of hearing or for anyone who may have taken up residence in Fantasyland (which, by the way only exists in the simple-minded or within the Magic Kingdom that is Disney) or for the utterly and completely stupid or for the horribly insensitive....

NOTHING.... NOTHING..... NOTHING..... can prevent breast cancer.  NOTHING.  PERIOD.  THE END.  NOTHING.

Can we employ healthy lifestyles?  Absolutely.  By doing this, we are engaging in risk reducing activities.  Yes, ABSOLUTELY.  Risk reducing activities.....  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  Too many of us have done everything right.  Too many still developed breast cancer.  No known risk factors and employed every conceivable health suggestion.  And bam, "You have breast cancer."  This will continue as the status quo until it changes.  And it won't change until we do the right research.  I believe the words of Dr. Love in the trailer for Pink Ribbons Inc were, "We're missing something big."

For the record, I was NOT one of those "do everything right" people.  I didn't slather on the sunscreen in my younger days. I was always in pursuit of the Hawaiian Tropic look.  Did I drink a bit much in my younger days?  Yes, at times.  Not with any frequency, but yes, there were evenings I took it a bit over the top.  Hell, there have been times within the past few months I've taken that over the top.  Do I eat healthy foods?  Yes.  And sometimes, I eat JUNK, too.  Carrot juice.  Not so much.  I prefer water.  Exercise.  Yes.  And sometimes not as frequently or as vigorously as necessary to really count as "exercise."

We TRY.  That is the point.  We try to live healthy lifestyles.  Or we don't.  And regardless of which path we are on.... or, if like me, you are in between the two paths, any implication that my choices are able to PREVENT cancer, breast or otherwise, quite frankly are more examples of perpetrating some sort of urban myth.  It's another one of those effin soundbites.  Splash it in a headline for the masses and make those of us who live with this every single day of our lives feel like we are somehow to blame for our disease.  GET OFF THE FRIGGEN GRASSY KNOLL ALREADY.  Enough.  I truly have had enough.  I'm tired of listening to this bullshit and I'm equally tired of writing and rewriting and writing some more.... each and every time I see this hogwash printed, spoken, blogged, tweeted....

I am done with this portion of the program.  I intend on calling out ANYONE who uses the word prevent in the same sentence as breast cancer.  Every Time.  Until prevention means 100% guaranteed preventable, I don't want to hear it.

Feel free to cut & paste as necessary.... If you want to cut and paste this as a reply under an article rather than provide a link to this page, please let it be known it came from here.  Hell.  It's likely to cause some sort of moronic debate anyway... and I'll gladly step into the fray.  In other words, I'll take the bullet for ya.

On THAT cheery note, Happy V Day.... Hearts, Flowers and V for Victory.  Sappy Valentines..... despite what one might think based upon this vivid red blog background, not really my holiday.


  1. Prevent breast cancer? That is the billion dollar question that billions of dollars have not answered yet, perhaps due to misuse of said dollars.

    We must do better, AM. We must keep crying out when people abuse the narrative of our disease.

    Thanks for this post.

    1. Yes, we MUST do better. Billions of dollars and decades of research..... Progress? Not so much. If anyone happens upon this post who does not know my whole story, I was a "high risk" person... Now, I'm just a breast cancer patient with a daughter who I am told should be "followed as if she has a BRCA mutation." I have my mom's medical records from 1987. Her treatment then and mine in 2006-07---with the exception of the manner in which they administered the chemotherapy... NO CHANGE. ZIP.... NADA.... NONE.... Where did all those dollars go..... No commentary as I believe we have had far too much backward conversation. We can NOT keep lamenting the loss of money and time.... just a suggestion... "LOOK FORWARD and DEMAND better" ..... Keep demanding better. Stop bitching about what we can't UNDO and start insisting we change things from this very moment.

  2. This is one of my pet peeves, too. When I got breast cancer, I barely had time to do anything bad to my body! (I was healthy, didn't smoke, barely drank, was a mere babe in the woods at 27!)

    Something caused me to have breast cancer. Doctors think that perhaps my family has a gene we don't know about. (Our genetic tests were negative.) Perhaps it was something in the environment, perhaps my body makes too much estrogen, perhaps there was a full moon....

    Seriously, the fact that people think I could have prevented my breast cancer by drinking raw juice makes me CRAZY! (Yes, I have been told as much...)

  3. Oh, GM....

    I know we are singing the same song. We've had this conversation a few times already. Drives me BATTY that we have to KEEP having the same things tossed at us.... Yes, The Blame Game.... It gets really exhausting and upsetting and VERY frustrating.... all we can do is keeping making noise. Dispel the myths.... on with the truth.....


  4. LOVE this post. Another crazy-making thing...you get in a conversation about the "causes" and you're told, oh, drink green juice, don't drink (I gave up on that one long ago), exercise every day. But when I bring up environmental causes, additives to our foods, chemicals in practically everything and say, "Why don't we limit those?", I get, "Well, that's not going to do anything." GRRRRR.

    1. GRRRRRRRRR... I am right there with you. There are so many factors and NONE of this exists in a vacuum. I think this is my biggest gripe with pretty much everything in my life that I GRIPE about.... Can we all keep an open mind? You are spot on to include the environment etc. But, if you think about it..... When someone can stand in front of you and ask what you did or did not do.... they feel they can somehow save themselves. The minute you mention something that is outside of said scared person's control, it's not part of anything......

      Bottom line, we need to push the research.... and push hard....

  5. Love your post AnneMarie !!!! and boy oh boy - I think their is an earth mama some where that needs to read this ;)

    1. Hey Tammy..... And I loved your post enough to leave a comment for you and a comment under the link in the article!!! You know the saying, "sick and tired of being sick and tired" ...... E-NOUGH already....

  6. AM, another great post, as always!!

    Ever notice that the people who say breast cancer (or any cancer, for that matter) can be "prevented" don't actually have cancer themselves?

    1. Yep, Renn.... that is SO true..... once you step into this mess, there are things that keep us bound together.... and I think that's why we "get it".... and why we end up feeling so close to one another....


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