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Topic: Saw "Save the Tatas" & felt like crying

Forum: Relationships, Emotional Crises, Anxiety, and Depression — Meet and support others who are affected by these issues around breast cancer fears, diagnosis and treatment.

Posted on: May 3, 2011 11:48AM

amontro wrote:

I've seen the discussions here before about the using of other words that breasts.  I've heard of "Save the Tatas", but for the first time yesterday I was behind a car with a pink ribbon with that saying.  I thought it trivialized what we're all going through.  I felt so sad.  I know that some can handle it, but I was surprised at how it affected me.

Maybe the pink ribbons and walks are good for the cause, but I don't feel like this disease warrants a happy parade. 

Do any of you think it's worth it?  All this upbeat stuff, that is.

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May 3, 2011 12:35PM JBinOK wrote:

I think it is silly to get upset about this sort of stuff.  Alot of women want to "Save the Tatas"...IF THEY CAN, otherwise they wouldn't have lumpectomies.

I see nothing wrong with "upbeat stuff," as you put it.  If that's what other people choose to express, I don't care.  

I have more of a problem with women who want breast cancer to be their flag; they just marinate in it all the time and wrap their whole lives around having breast cancer.  But that's me.

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May 3, 2011 03:54PM leaf wrote:

I think every person should be given the room to experience this in their own way.  We all have our own personalities, backrounds, etc. and experience things differently.

Personally, I don't like 'Save the Ta-tas', or the pink ribbons, or any of this.

I hate it when people tell me I'm supposed to be upbeat.  I don't like anyone telling me how I should feel.  I want the freedom to feel whatever I am feeling-good, bad, angry, sad, happy, just like anyone else.  'Normal people' aren't told how they are supposed to feel.

I don't think its 'upbeat' news to be told that you have cancer (or, in my own case only with LCIS, that I'm at higher risk for bc.)  To me, that's crazy thinking.

It makes me feel like I don't have the right to my own feelings, or, as you so well put it, amontro, 'Save the Ta-tas' trivializes things.  We have every right to our feelings, whatever they may be.

If you're going through hell, keep going-Winston Churchill

Dx 12/8/2005, LCIS, Stage 0, ER+/PR-Hormonal Therapy 07/15/2006 Tamoxifen
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May 3, 2011 03:57PM mspradley wrote:

I view the situation from the opposite lens.  When I was first diagnosed with stage III IDC, I was astonished at the outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and colleagues.  One thing I noticed was how awkward most men, including my sons (ages 20 and 16) were in expressing their concern about my having breast cancer until they realized that I was absolutely okay with the conversation.

My husband immediately asked me if I minded if he wore a pink bracelet during my chemo and radiation treatments, and where did he think I could get one.  I found the "Save the ta-tas" website and saw their bracelets and car magnets.  I thought they would be a way to remove a little of the awkwardness, since I was the one initiating the idea of buying those rather than the traditional ones from the Komen website.  I never considered them trivializing - simply using a more comfortable expression.  

My 16 year old asked if I would order him one as well.  I ordered 20 bracelets and a couple of car magnets. Two male co-workers immediately asked where they could get a car magnet.  Both had lost their mothers to BC years ago.  They both felt that this particular slogan was one that could be expressed by anyone, not just the patient or survivor herself.  My teenaged nephews all wanted a bracelet once my younger son posted a picture of his on FaceBook.  I think they believed it was a "cool" way to show their love and support for me.  I ran out of bracelets within two days of receiving them.  

No, the slogan, bracelets, and magnets did not trivialize my cancer.  I can truly say that because I purchased them in December of 2009 and my husband still wears his to this day, my two co-workers still have their car magnets on their cars (although one lost his in the car wash and replaced it), and my sons and nephews wore them until they broke.  Had they considered the slogan or symbolism trivial or silly, the novelty would have worn off rather quickly, don't you think.

This journey is much to short to be offended by people whose own story or motives are not known (as in the case of the magnet on the stranger's car).  It might be that this person is walking in similar shoes or simply watching in their quiet pain from the sidelines.  Cancer simply sucks and we all deal with it in the best ways we can muster. 

Diagnosis: 11/23/2009, IDC + Pagets, 4.5cm, Stage III, Grade 3, 3/21 nodes, ER+/PR+/HER2+, BETH trial 1/2010-1/2011,6-TCH + Avastin 12-Herceptin + Avastin, 33 rounds of rads, 3/21/2011 DIEP flap bilateral reconstruction, 5 years tamoxifen

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May 3, 2011 04:11PM NatsFan wrote:

We are all different.  Right after I was dx I saw a "Save the Ta-Tas" bumpersticker and thought it was hysterically funny.  I pointed it out to my dh and we both had a laugh - it was a good moment at an otherwise emotional time.

At my one week checkup after my bmx, we were passing my dh's office and he said he had to stop by for a moment. His office had been so good to the both of us that I wanted to stop in as well to thank them, so I somehow managed to get out of the car (drains still attached) and went up the elevator with him. 

Well, it was a set up. I got off the elevator and there was everyone in his office wearing Save the Ta-Tas t-shirts - men, women, old, young - the entire office!  They'd gone to the trouble to order shirts for everyone of them to wear in my honor.  It was so moving yet so funny to see them all lined up wearing those ridiculous shirts - I was laughing and crying at the same time.  Then they presented me with a shirt they'd ordered for me.  It had a pink ribbon on it, and the writing said "Cancer can take my ta-tas, but it can't take my sexy!"  That was over 3 years ago, and I still have that shirt and love it.  When my SIL was dx and had her bmx, I immediately ordered one of the shirts for her and sent it off.  We have a picture with the two of us wearing our shirts - it's one of my favorite pictures.

That said, while the ta-tas shirts/bumper stickers, etc. were cute to me, these bracelets about "boobies" offend me for some reason.  Completely inconsistent on my part, I know.  Wink


Dx 12/31/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 01/30/2008 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Right); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Chemotherapy 03/04/2008 Adriamycin, Cytoxan, TaxotereHormonal Therapy 07/01/2008 FemaraSurgery 10/09/2008 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Both)
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May 3, 2011 04:17PM elmcity69 wrote:

amontro, your reaction is perfectly normal. as some of the women noted, we all deal with it differently, and even our overall worldview on it changes according to current stressors, etc. i hate the "boobies/tatas/pink blather bullshit even more than when i was in active tx. does this mean i assume ill will on others' part? not at all - but it still remains, they don't get it. but then again, many other folks have traumas i haven't experienced or understand.

as far as another poster commenting that some women "marinate" in their BC: quite ludicrous notion, that. some women simply struggle with prolonged depression, PTSD, or came to this struggle lacking adequate coping skills.

any woman who would willfully "marinate" in her CANCER needs help, not scornful statements. my girlfriend lost a baby at 10 days old and still speaks of him frequently -hmm, is she "marinating" or "wrapping her whole life" in it?

didn't mean to hijack the answer.

take it easy on yourself...and coming here to "rant" is always okay.

Dx 9/24/2009, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIIc, Grade 3, 15/19 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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May 3, 2011 04:24PM, edited May 3, 2011 04:24PM by Lowrider54

I have ranted on this topic since my mets dx...going to try something a little different - I am taking my soapbox on the road to those that most definately don't share my dislike for this triviliazation...

Smile...it will make people wonder what you are up to...Initial dx 04/99 - CMF; 9/2009 bone mets Arimidex; 6/2010 Faslodex/Xgeva; 8/2011; abdominal wall invaded, ER/PR flipped to TN, Abraxane/Avastin//Xgeva 09/02/2011; 11/2011Xeloda/Avastin/Xgeva.

Dx 9/16/2009, Stage IV, 5/25 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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May 3, 2011 04:50PM JBinOK wrote:

Sorry, elmcity69 -

I see women who do marinate in it.  They become "breast cancer survivors" rather than "woman who have (or had) breast cancer."

It's all in how you frame it and, sorry, some women get off on the attention the "survivor" flag gives them.

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May 3, 2011 09:11PM elmcity69 wrote:

like i said, JB: any woman who does that needs help.

yes, "it's all in how you frame it" - one can generalize about whole groups of us, or not.

some folks "get off" gatekeeping others' feelings.

Dx 9/24/2009, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIIc, Grade 3, 15/19 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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May 3, 2011 09:19PM LtotheK wrote:

I agree with the original poster.  "Save the Tatas" sexualizes the disease, so I see it as an extension of sexism.  Imagine a "Save the Cohones" campaign--just not the same thing.  I object to how it makes it seem cutsie, women often get infantilized that way.  

It is part of the same mindset of folks who told me how great it would be to "get a new pair".  As soon as I started talking about all the complications of lymphedema, cording, and disability associated with breast surgery. believe me, they scattered.   

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May 3, 2011 09:20PM lrr4993 wrote:

My opinion: whatever brings attention to the disease and increases funding for a cure is fine with me.

I don't think it is intended to trivialize BC.

I am not remotely offended or hurt by it. But then, I am rarely offended or hurt by anything. I just don't give that much power over my life to others.


Dx 8/6/2010, IDC, Stage Ib, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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May 3, 2011 10:13PM, edited May 3, 2011 10:14PM by JBinOK

elmcity69 -

I know that we don't agree on things.  Clearly, some stay stuck; some of us move on.  Take another pill, elmcity69; and keep waving your flag.  

Me?  I'm tap dancing and hiking the Grand Canyon.  Breast cancer is a chapter (no, make that 2 chapters) in my very long, active, vibrant life. It is not the book.

"Save the tatas?"  Really, some women would rather get offended than get on with a life that doesn't revolve around their "disease."  The rest of us are having adventures.

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May 3, 2011 10:32PM, edited May 3, 2011 10:33PM by elmcity69

JBinOk:must thank you for that good laugh out loud.

i'd take the time to psychoanalyze you, but i must get on with my pill popping, flag waving, marinating adventures!

last word on it: if you're posting here so often, why, it simply isn't a chapter of your life then, is it? else you would leave the sandbox. now please play nicely.

Dx 9/24/2009, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIIc, Grade 3, 15/19 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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May 3, 2011 10:37PM lisa-e wrote:

As one  who has no ta-tas to save, I find the slogan insulting.   Saving the tatas had nothing to do with my treatment.  I don't know if the slogan is intended to trivialize BC, but it is making money and I strongly suspect very little of the money is going to research.  Try googling 'save the tatas bracelets.'   A lot of links to commercial companies pop up.

I also resent the implication that if I find the slogan insulting,  my life must revolve around breast cancer.  You are out of line, JBinOk.   

Initial BC dx with dcis & idc after lumpectomy & snb in 6/08. in 8/08 dx with multicentric bc (idc) after mri. had bilat mastecomy in 9/08 w/o reconstruction

Dx 5/2008, DCIS, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3Dx 6/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 8/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 3, 2011 10:41PM Valgal wrote:


Perhaps when you're hiking the Grand Canyon and you fall in someone will walk by and say:

"Oh, she doesn't need any help - she's having an adventure!"

Your long, active, vibrant life needs some introspection, empathy and humility.

Dx 7/2/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 3, 2011 10:48PM, edited May 3, 2011 10:50PM by YramAL

I have yet to figure out whether JBinOk is a troll or not. I have her posts blocked because they always seem to raise my blood pressure. I can't even see what she posted here, but I'm guessing from others' reactions that she was being her usual self. I just can't figure out why someone would come to a breast cancer support site and belittle the people that are seeking support.

On topic, I don't really like the "save the ta-tas", "I love boobies" merchandise myself, but it doesn't offend me. If someone thinks they are honoring me or helping me by wearing it, I just say "thanks." 

Mary-Oncotype Score 11

Dx 12/7/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 3, 2011 10:51PM Suze35 wrote:

Save the ta-tas? How about Save My Life! When I think of all the brave women fighting Stage IV BC, and how close I am to doing the same, yea, I find it offensive. You can take my "ta-tas," hell take my arms and legs if it means a long life. I guess I just think it completely obscures the true nature of this disease. I'm not fighting for my breasts, I'm fighting for my life.

Original dx Stage IIIa TN 9/2010

Dx 9/19/2011, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IV, Grade 3, 8/12 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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May 3, 2011 11:04PM JBinOK wrote:

I see.  You all are bitter.  Quit your whining and bitching.  If you spent half as much time and energy focusing on other things.... Like the saying goes:  "If you didn't have breast cancer, what would you be doing right now?  Well, DO that to the best of your ability!" 

By the way elm, I continue to post here because my experience has helped others deal with their situations.  They too, (and I speak of the women who PM me,) want to find the blessing in their diagnosis rather than a label.  One can share their experience with others WITHOUT making their own world revolve around and around and around....and around the matter.

I've said it for months on other threads, (and I always catch hell,) but honestly ladies, some of you just look for @#$%to be offended about.  Tatas, etc. etc.  Get a grip.  Get a life, and live it.

"Whatever I concentrate on will become central to my life."  Like, um, another road trip, rafting and skydiving.  And prayer.  Lots and lots of prayer.  And good food.  And helping others, at least those who are too busy constantly whining.

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May 3, 2011 11:08PM Luvmaui wrote:


I rarely, if ever, comment on someone's post but your reply to JB was so "right on" and absolutely hysterical that I had to commend you and the others who are calling out JB. I really doubt she's tap dancing, hiking Grand Canyon or much else since she seems to have plenty of time to spend on this board.


Dx 3/9/2009, ILC, <1cm, Stage Ia, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-Surgery 03/05/2009 Lumpectomy (Left)Radiation Therapy 04/03/2009 External
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May 3, 2011 11:18PM JBinOK wrote:

Sorry Valgal, that's why I was gone for a month.  (I know you'll check....)

And true, I have plenty of time right now.  We leave again in June, which prompted my "going topless after BMX" topic.  Then I will again say, "TaTa for now"

Back to Save the Tatas, I gave my car magnet (a gift from a friend) to another friend after I was unable to save mine (after my 2nd diagnosis.)  Maybe she can save her tatas.  I tried, but it wasn't to be.  Proud to be breast (and breast cancer) free, and bra free, and prosthesis free, at this point.

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May 3, 2011 11:19PM Suze35 wrote:

I don't normally Bite, but here goes...

If my diagnosis had been two rounds with DCIS, then I'm sure I'd be doing more "living" as you call it. But just 5 months after a clear mammo, I discovered over 8 cms of TN tumor along with 4 nodes. After 5 months of chemo, two surgeries (where I gladly gave up my breasts), and starting radiation, I had MORE cancer than when I started, I may still not be cancer free. I am facing another 4 months of chemo and likely a year of Avastin. Not to save my breasts, but to save my life. In the very slim hopes that when all the side effects have eased, hopefully, I can take my beautiful kids hiking, traveling, all the things we did before. And it is incredibly insensitive to suggest some of us wrap ourselves in the mantle of this horrific disease, when you were lucky enough to be spared many of its grim realities. I truly hope you never have to hear the words "very high chance of recurrence" in your life.

Gah. I don't mean to insult those who aren't bothered by it. That is an individual choice.

Original dx Stage IIIa TN 9/2010

Dx 9/19/2011, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IV, Grade 3, 8/12 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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May 3, 2011 11:19PM, edited May 3, 2011 11:20PM by YramAL

I love the "ignore this poster" feature. It's like putting my fingers in my ears and saying, "Lalalalala...I can't hear you....."

Mary-Oncotype Score 11

Dx 12/7/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 3, 2011 11:29PM, edited May 3, 2011 11:31PM by Anjanita

I think now and then even the most upbeat of us will have those thoughts and feelings of self-pity.  I know that I do in spite of myself.  And for me they are absolute poison.  Entertain them for any length of time and I'm the most miserable person on the planet.

From now on when I need a tap on my shoulder that I'm heading for Glum City I'm going to whisper in my own ear, "Check yerself, Gurl.  There ya go marinating again." Tongue out

I've come to recognize in myself a distinct difference between what I recognize as as treating myself gently as opposed to feeling sorry for myself.  Here's how:  When I'm practicing sound principles of mental health it's healing.  It's about what I am able to do to make myself feel better.

When I'm feeling sorry for myself it's about expecting others, sometimes unrealistically, to fix me.  And if no one meets that expectation then I can end up feeling uncared for and unhappy.

And lest we wander into all-or-nothing territory here I'd like to say that I have a day now and then when no one seems to have time to give me a boost and I do allow myself the luxury of a bit of "poor me-ing."  I'm only human and I make mistakes.

I just know it's best to keep that crappy feeling to a minimum.

Edited for crappy spelling.  Did I catch them all?

Gratitude is the attitude!

Dx 10/2010, ILC, Stage II, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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May 3, 2011 11:39PM Suze35 wrote:

Nancy, thank you. I truly don't mean to belittle anyone at any Stage, JB just really chapped my a$$. I usually abhor the "whose pain is worse" game, as this disease is scary no matter when we find it. Most days I'm pretty upbeat and even live life, lol, although with three kids in school, not as easy to go climbing the Grand Canyon!

Original dx Stage IIIa TN 9/2010

Dx 9/19/2011, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IV, Grade 3, 8/12 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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May 3, 2011 11:39PM pejkug3 wrote:

More (((hugs))) for Suze35...

Dx 1/13/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 1/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+Surgery 01/27/2011 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection, Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Chemotherapy 02/24/2011 carboplatin, TaxotereTargeted Therapy 02/24/2011 HerceptinRadiation Therapy 06/28/2011 ExternalHormonal Therapy 09/01/2011 Tamoxifen
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May 3, 2011 11:44PM elmcity69 wrote:

valgal, your response is hilarious. i keep picturing the scenario.

yramal: taking your cue and hitting the ignore button. i think at best jb  is determined to provoke and belittle, and at worst, is a troll. it's annoying, but we've seen worse.

Dx 9/24/2009, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIIc, Grade 3, 15/19 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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May 3, 2011 11:48PM Valgal wrote:

Elmcity and Maui- Ya gotta just laugh at some of these posts- I have to go now I'm planning my trip to climb Mount Everest. Oh wait... those are the wrong kinds of cords in my arms. LOL

Dx 7/2/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 3, 2011 11:49PM slg2130 wrote:

I think I can define "marinating." Co-worker of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer, not yet stage 1, lumpectomy, no radiation, no chemo.  She's pink everything - if there's any kind of pink event she's signed up, will talk to anyone about her "horrific journey," pink bracelets, pink ribbons, pink magnets on the car.  Everything is all about breast cancer now.  She even told me that since we had the "exact same journeys" I would feel the same way (I had bilateral, chemo and rads - not quite the same journey).

Personally, I don't want to be defined by breast cancer.  Yes, it's something that I'm dealing with and it will always be a part of my life, but it definetly doesn't have to be the only part of my life.  I like pink - I just don't want to get nauseous because I ate too much of it.

Dx 9/17/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 4, 2011 12:01AM 3jaysmom wrote:

you gals are cracking me up! at first, i got "tweaked" but, how CAN i , when you turned "a  frwon upside down..." thanks ladiers!     3jays


Dx DCIS, 2cm, Stage IIb, 1/27 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2-Chemotherapy 04/21/2009
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May 4, 2011 12:06AM Ang7 wrote:

It's a shame that JBinOK was the first person to comment on this thread.

I don't want to be defined by breast cancer either.  Yet, the other day when I saw a guy wearing a "Dudes for Boobs" pin it bothered me.  Sayings like this make it all seem light and airy.  I don't know why we have to "dumb things down" when they are actually very serious.  Just my opinion...

Very pleased Penguin Cold Cap user

Dx 5/25/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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May 4, 2011 12:06AM Valgal wrote:

After I climb Mount Everest I'm going to swim the English Channel in a pink bathing suit.

Dx 7/2/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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