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Feb 6, 2014 09:44PM
Thanks EnglishMajor for starting this topic. I think you, Bestbird, Angelfalls and sueopp present very interesting responses. And I don't think there is any one "right" response. All of our voices create a meaningful discussion, which, I assume, might be the intention of this ad campaign. Might there have been another way for this group to present their message and initiate a wave of discussion? I think so, and I would rather have seen a different ad--perhaps one that asks the question, "Do we need to have a conversation about which cancer is 'more important' or 'more frightening' than another? No! We need to have a conversation about how our medical research dollars are allocated!" Creative minds surely could have developed a campaign that was eye and ear and mind catching, so why was this route taken?
I think first about my own experience with a rare, potentially life limiting cerebrovascular illness. I mean no offense to BB (realizing we all have our unique perspectives) when I say that I never thought, "I wish I had MS instead because at least that is a better understood illness, with more ongoing research, more providers willing to address it, and more treatment options available." I also never thought, "I am so glad that I don't have ALS, because that would mean...." (I can't even finish that thought; it seems so disrespectful to those who struggle with it.) Do I wish there were more research dollars being used to address "my" rare disease? You betcha, but I also wish there were more dollars being allocated to other rare diseases, because people who face those diseases struggle with some of the same challenges I face. People often talk about the allocation of research funds, but do we really know how such decisions are made? Should we strive to make our voices heard? Do we only care about allocation when it's to make sure that "our" illness is getting its "fair share" (or more)?
We all probably notice how often a complex issue is reduced to a simplistic message, and I guess that's one source of frustration here as well. We all have thoughts about the importance of communication, what works and what doesn't. Some work harder on effective communication than others, some have difficulty expressing nuance or conflict present in their thinking, some strive to be heard and feel unsure of how best to be part of a conversation. Who knows what the person was thinking when he said he'd rather have "serious cancer" than be addicted to heroin? What does that mean? I wonder if he was even clear in his own thoughts, or if he was responding primarily from an emotional state or from memory of a loved one who had died from addiction. What does it really mean to say you'd rather have breast cancer than pancreatic cancer? Who knows? I know that I don't know what it really means, but one thing strikes me: We all have differing experiences and values that inform our perspectives, and sometimes we don't do a very good job of contributing to a meaningful discussion of very important issues...like allocation of medical research dollars or what it's like to live with any serious illness, including cancer.
Brenda.... Wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking. (Antonio Machado)
1995, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
2006, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2-
2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC)