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Topic: Feelings about breast cancer awareness month

Forum: Coping with Holidays, Special Days and Anniversaries — Holidays and special days, like birthdays and anniversaries, can be filled with complex emotions. Are they a time to celebrate or are they extra difficult? Share your feelings and experiences here.

Posted on: Oct 2, 2015 06:42AM

Moderators wrote:

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, which can be an overwhelming time for many women and men affected by breast cancer, but could also be seen as a month of hope and progress against the disease.

We want to hear from you about what you think and feel approaching this month.

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Oct 3, 2015 02:35PM Larkspur wrote:

Beyond all of the infantilizing pink and the cutesy crap that Barbara Ehrenreich and many forum members have documented: we're all farkin' aware of breast cancer already! So could we call it something more meaningful, like "Breast Cancer Education Month," and then proceed to provide better education about breast cancer? Perhaps we could hold rallies or just leafleting events with one-page handouts containing information about the different types of breast cancer, how having dense breasts hinders the effectiveness of mammography (I really loathe the simplistic and idiotic slogan "mammograms save lives," as I'm sure others do), the benefits of ultra-sound and MRIs as screening tools, genetic testing for women--and men--with a strong family history, &c., &c.

Long before I was diagnosed with it, I knew many people who had been treated for it, including one man who lost his mother to BC when he was a baby and who probably has a genetic predisposition for it. But until my own diagnosis earlier this year, I had barely heard of DCIS, let alone its different subtypes; its relationship to invasive cancer; and lots, lots more.

Dx 1/5/2015, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 2/10/2015, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 2/11/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 4/13/2015 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/11/2015 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy
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Oct 3, 2015 02:40PM wrenn wrote:

Pinktober doesn't bother me any more than any other sick thing about this society. North American culture is ugly in so many ways. The pink thing is more noticeable to me since I was diagnosed but there are many worse things going on....like GUNS, Monsanto crap, Trump, Kardashians being seen as significant....endless.

Metaplastic IDC Triple negative...Tumour is 1.5cm. BMX Aug. 16th. Chemo cancelled after one dose due to complications. Dx 7/25/2013, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/16/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Oct 3, 2015 04:03PM Spookiesmom wrote:

Travel, I'm interested in your opinion on the paper article? Pros, cons?

Reoccurrence 3-19. Dx IDC, Stage IIIA, Grade 3
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Oct 3, 2015 04:49PM thepinkbirdie wrote:

A couple of things come to mind on what I've found in the past (have photos of them somewhere)....

Breast Fest at a local nightclub. I think they caught so much hell for it that the club itself shut down.

Walking through the ice cream section at Publix and seeing a frozen Carvel Cake full of pink ribbons. Like a birthday cake, "Happy cancer to you, happy cancer to you, happy cancer dear ......... happy cancer to you."

Who in their right mind comes up with this crap?

thepinkbirdie.blogspot.com Dx 6/2/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 3, 2015 05:54PM - edited Oct 3, 2015 05:55PM by Traveltext

The article is fine, very basic, but makes its point - men need to be aware of breast health too. I like to draw the analogy between young women (those under the age of 35) diagnosed with the disease and males (of all ages). Each group represents about one percent of the total cases diagnosed each year. And both groups have poorer survival outcomes, perhaps because there is no public screening of these groups. Both groups are more likely to have genetics involved. Having the BRCA 1 gene gives women an 80 percent chance of getting the disease, while having BRCA 2 gives men a 7 percent chance. I have an unknown variation of the BRCA 1 gene, and my mum died in 1962 when she was 40.

Men with BC have a couple of sites (HERE and HERE) which is good because, like with women, early detection is paramount for good survival outcomes. BCO has a section for males with BC, but it's not really very active. Guys generally don't support each other in the same way as women. And, of course, some men don't like to publicly acknowledge their condition.

For guys, navigating the pink junk month is perhaps a bit different. Those of us who want to get the message out, have to join the media scrum and present ourselves as the blue among the pink. Hence the publicity material you see below.




But, wouldn't it be good if we could ditch the pink and present a united message that anyone can get breast cancer.

Cheers, Rod


NED breast and prostate cancer. More on Male BC

Dx 03/14, IBC, Lgth. 2cm, Stge IIIB, Gde 2B, ER+/PR+, HER2- ; FEC x3, Taxol x3; Mx & 2/23 nodes; Rads x 33; now on tamoxofin.

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Oct 3, 2015 06:50PM 208sandy wrote:

I hate October - I call it Puketober - I hate pink - I am Stage IV and I'd like to see money donated for research YES, RESEARCH - sick to death of awareness!!!!!!!

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Oct 3, 2015 07:02PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

I'm not filled with hate about the pinking of October and refuse to let it upset me (stress is bad, right?) but I certainly don't support the pink washing. Although I find it irritating, I do my best to ignore it, however I find myself getting snappy and unkind when checking out at a store and being asked, "Would you like to donate to a breast cancer charity today?" On more than one occasion, I have pointed to the right and left sides of my chest and said "I've already contributed twice." I know this is wrong and unkind as the clerk is just doing what they're told to do. I need to learn not to take my frustrations out on the innocent.
Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Oct 6, 2015 12:06PM ClaireFraser wrote:

208sandy,

First let me say, God bless you and I pray you will be healed.

I am a survivor, but mine was caught early. Do I feel safe? Hell, no. Do I hate PINK, yes. Billions of money is raised in the name of breast cancer. Consumers buy "pink" because they believe they are helping. Corporations are getting rich, because of breast cancer. While I'm not saying awareness isn't important, what i want to know is... why is the mortality rate still high? Women have yearly mammograms (some bi yearly) and can still be diagnosed at a late stage. It is time to focus on research and prevention. This should be at the forefront. And don't get me started on fracking and the pink drill bit that Komen put their stamp on. Research, prevention.

The National Breast Cancer Coalition is working hard to end breast cancer.
www.breastcancerdeadline2020.org

Claire

Dx 10/22/2013, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 12/3/2013 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 1/28/2014 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Surgery 6/17/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Oct 11, 2015 11:58AM HLB wrote:

Caryn, my mom got snappy with someone on the phone asking for a breast cancer donation. They called the wrong person at the wrong time, as my mom is very nice and is loved by many many people. But she let that woman have it! "What are they doing with all this money?! Why is there no cure yet!?" Etc etc. Lol.
Dx 10/2004, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/29/2004 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Surgery 11/29/2004 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 1/1/2005 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/14/2005 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 7/23/2012, IDC, Stage IV Hormonal Therapy 7/23/2012 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 3/31/2015 Aromasin (exemestane)
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Oct 20, 2016 11:19PM Meow13 wrote:

I guess I should just stay off facebook. My "friends" sharing puketober crap. I am so sick and tired of the pink crap I could just scream. Maybe I should pray more or make sure I have the right attitude. Never give up, just go away!

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Oct 21, 2016 08:49AM Claire_in_Seattle wrote:

Love Selena Wolf's list! Otherwise, I mostly ignore what's going on. Last weekend, we had a storm, I finalized my taxes and did the Office 2016 update. I am doing a 60 mile bicycle ride in the country tomorrow. Lots to do, and nary a pink ribbon in sight.

After all, I don't waste my time with "Reality Shows" either. - Claire

Completed all treatment (AC +T, lumpectomy, radiation and 5 years of AIs - anastrazole). Now celebrating every single day for the wonderful life I have been granted. Dx 8/2009, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH)
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Oct 21, 2016 10:29AM - edited Oct 21, 2016 10:29AM by dlb823

While I certainly understand the emotional need of many survivors to minimize their exposure to Pinktober, I personally feel it's the best time to educate people and correct misconceptions about awareness and the fact that mortality stats haven't really changed since awareness programs began, and that while awareness has its place, at this point what we need is much more research funding, especially metastatic research for more and better tx options. I won't stick my head in the sand. Pinking needs to be exposed for what it is -- at best misguided folks believing they're helping "awareness" by making a pink product; at worst, corporations blatantly profiting from our disease.

We must continue to change the dialogue and treat seriously a disease that will kill 40,000+ Americans this year. We can do better than the NFL selling pink gear or the military painting a fighter jet bright pink. Thankfully the tide is turning and people are waking up to the truth that finding your bc early is not an assurance it won't become metastatic in the future, and that being Stage IV is not an automatic death sentence, but with more and better meds it can be made a chronic condition. That's the message I will continue to share passionately during October and the 11 other months.

Deanna "The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears" Native American proverb Dx 2/1/2008, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/3/2014, Stage IV
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Oct 26, 2016 05:31PM Jelson wrote:

getting towards the end of the month - had pretty much turned a blind eye to pinktober but today, 10/26 - plastered on every door of the community center at which I exercise is a flyer with the pink ribbon - saying wear pink on Oct 28 - SUPPORT BREAST CANCER ..and that is all. like we forgot all about it (thank heavens) but now we remembered (too bad) and what is that supposed to mean anyway? promote awareness? cure? spread? like I can't even start a conversation about this without screeching.

Dx 4/17/2009, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Oct 26, 2016 07:26PM Merymete wrote:

Hahah Jelson, I completely agree. Thank Zeus the month is almost over.


My dear friend gave me a whole ton of pink crap for my birthday. I'm like, gee, thanks, I needed to be reminded of this 24/7.

Dx 10/27/2015, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/17/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 1/17/2016 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Radiation Therapy 1/18/2016 Hormonal Therapy 3/23/2016 Femara (letrozole)
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Oct 26, 2016 10:03PM Artista928 wrote:

Glad it's almost over. I already said in the pinktober thread that moneys raised by charities should be put together to help people get the tx they need. I don't see a cure coming. At best maybe there will be a test that will stop cancer before it forms but the rest, I don't think so. It's too tricky and there is no rhyme or reason why this is for this person and not for that, etc. So let pharma and other large organizations fund research for the elusive cure and help those afford tx who are in financial distress because our insurances suck.

Dx'd at 50. Doing it all, all by myself. Stopped Letrozole after 5 weeks. Debilitating se's. Back on Tamox now. Dx 6/2/2015, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (DUAL) Surgery 8/6/2015 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 11/3/2015 AC + T (Taxotere) Radiation Therapy 5/2/2016 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 6/28/2016 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 12/9/2016 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 2/14/2017 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 3/26/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 9/1/2017 Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant
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Oct 27, 2016 01:14AM Traveltext wrote:

Mostly in October pink charities are peddling the myth that our contributions will help raise awareness and perhaps find a cure for the disease. This tired old formula works year after year to raise bucket loads of cash that prop up charity market departments and their administration costs. Meanwhile, at the coal face bc patients struggle wth countless problems with little practical support. I agree with Artista, let's offer practical and financial support to those in need.


NED breast and prostate cancer. More on Male BC

Dx 03/14, IBC, Lgth. 2cm, Stge IIIB, Gde 2B, ER+/PR+, HER2- ; FEC x3, Taxol x3; Mx & 2/23 nodes; Rads x 33; now on tamoxofin.

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Oct 28, 2016 05:01PM edwards750 wrote:

Me too Travel. I'm sick of the BIG push during the month of October. There are a lot of women who can't afford treatment. We don't need awareness we are all too aware. Put the money where it is needed most for a change.

Diane

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Oct 28, 2016 09:33PM Meow13 wrote:

I do laugh at one pink item I received from a friend.

I call it the pink puke bucket.

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Oct 28, 2016 10:36PM Traveltext wrote:

Good one Meow13. I'd like one of those to carry around in October. There's so much to puke about.


NED breast and prostate cancer. More on Male BC

Dx 03/14, IBC, Lgth. 2cm, Stge IIIB, Gde 2B, ER+/PR+, HER2- ; FEC x3, Taxol x3; Mx & 2/23 nodes; Rads x 33; now on tamoxofin.

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Oct 29, 2016 05:24AM dtad wrote:

Hate Pinktober!

Dx 3/20/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/10/2015, ILC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/21/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Oct 29, 2016 06:52PM Meadow wrote:

I respect you all, and your opinions of course. In my area, I have seen very little Pink this year, and I miss it. I have always liked the wash of pink, others thinking about this disease. I know there is a lot to fix, but this year, for me, not seeing it around, it is missed.

Dx 8/15/2013, IBC, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 8/26/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 2/11/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 1/15/2017 Reconstruction (left)
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Oct 29, 2016 10:48PM Meow13 wrote:

Meadow, I too notice less of a presence of the pink hype. It is important people know how many of us there are and the need for a cure. I want Joe Biden to start turning up the heat and encourage researchers to information share.

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Oct 30, 2016 12:23AM - edited Oct 30, 2016 01:11AM by Traveltext

Everyone is obviously free to do what they want as far as the pink events go. The five guys I know with bc (all diagnosed late, one now stage IV) hate the month since it reinforces the disease as one that only women get. I see no willingness from the pink charities to be more inclusive as I guess it disrupts their marketing plans or diffuses their message. This year I tried to condense my message into a simple infographic, so here it is.



NED breast and prostate cancer. More on Male BC

Dx 03/14, IBC, Lgth. 2cm, Stge IIIB, Gde 2B, ER+/PR+, HER2- ; FEC x3, Taxol x3; Mx & 2/23 nodes; Rads x 33; now on tamoxofin.

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Oct 30, 2016 03:19AM DivineMrsM wrote:

As always, TT, you do a good job advocating for awareness of make bc.

Imo, the presidential election completely overshadowed bc awareness in October. I saw so few people references to it in my local media such as newspaper and local tv stations. Even on the national news, the main event front and center was the campaign for president, Anything else has fallen to the wayside in 2016

found lump 12/22/10~er+/pr+/her2- stage iv bone mets------------- Chemo~lumpectomy~radiation~arimidex------------- March2019/Ibrance-Aromasin---------- Sept2019/Verzenio-Aromasin
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Nov 15, 2016 12:13PM Momine wrote:

A little late, but this is how I feel about it: https://goinggreeksite.wordpress.com/2016/10/24/breast-cancer-as-fairy-tale/

Dx 6/1/2011, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 7/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/20/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 9/13/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 1/9/2012 Surgery 3/8/2012 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2012 Femara (letrozole)
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Nov 15, 2016 12:21PM sandcastle wrote:

Just Hate the color Pink....Liz

Surgery 12/9/2010 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Dx DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 15, 2016 12:24PM Traveltext wrote:

Never too late to draw attention to an excellent article, and this one really is a reality check post Pinktober. Thanks Momine.


NED breast and prostate cancer. More on Male BC

Dx 03/14, IBC, Lgth. 2cm, Stge IIIB, Gde 2B, ER+/PR+, HER2- ; FEC x3, Taxol x3; Mx & 2/23 nodes; Rads x 33; now on tamoxofin.

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Feb 10, 2017 10:47AM cliff wrote:

I have been interviewed on tv twice about mens breast cancer. I hope nobody gets mad, but I have contacted komen about trying to spread the word that men get breast cancer too. my second tv interview was on a local tv station just before Christmas. KAKE.com kake on your side, buddycheck 10, the old guy beside the Christmas tree. I realy hate cancer.

Dx 3/16/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, 2/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 4/1/2016 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Feb 10, 2017 12:35PM - edited Feb 10, 2017 12:37PM by Traveltext

Cliff's video can be found HERE at the top video in the right column.


NED breast and prostate cancer. More on Male BC

Dx 03/14, IBC, Lgth. 2cm, Stge IIIB, Gde 2B, ER+/PR+, HER2- ; FEC x3, Taxol x3; Mx & 2/23 nodes; Rads x 33; now on tamoxofin.

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Feb 10, 2017 01:01PM cliff wrote:

travel, thank you for posting that, I was having trouble with my old "what the dell" computer doing that.

Dx 3/16/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, 2/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 4/1/2016 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)

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