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It was 1974 when Betty ford declared her Breast Cancer diagnosis, and changed the world of Breast Cancer forever.
The 1st Lady, talking openly about the “C word” and sharing details about mastectomy and treatments, has distinguished the blame, that was an integral part of being a breast cancer patient until then, and made it sure that each and every woman in the US would be aware of the diseases.
20 years later, Evelyn Lauder thought it was time for awareness to go farther, deeper and higher, and together with Alexandra Penney the editor of Self magazine, founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and formalized the pink ribbon as its symbol.
The conversation was changed; now, it was not only about the Awareness, this time it was also about raising money, a lot of money. For 20 years, Breast Cancer awareness charities and organizations are raising money for research, screenings and support groups and facilities. Women today are aware of the disease and its signs, the importance of early detection and the risks, like never before, but that is not enough anymore. The conversation has to change again.
No pink KFC buckets donation, is worth the damage this awful food is doing to the body of the eater, and no headless chic with huge breast is doing any good to the cause. And by the way the cause, well it’s about time it stopped being about early detection, and became the search for prevention and eventually, a cure.
At first, when Cancer took me online, I was looking for information, research and statistics. Later, I began searching for solutions and products, for my ever changing needs.
I was spending most of my bed times online, and was amazed when I realized, there was almost no online presence, regarding the quality of life of women facing breast cancer. There’s been a lot about the “before” and a race and a walk for the “after”, but in the meantime, the “during”, the present, It seemed that diagnosis made me transparent…
I couldn’t figure out how it was possible, that there were so many of us, and so much PR on our disease, and our day to day life, were an aspect that no one seemed to care about, (not counting drug or insurance companies…).
It didn’t take me long to understand that the disease, the awareness and the cure were all much bigger issues than the women they claim to take care of or represent.
I started searching for new conversation, I got lucky and found the sharp and bright chemobabe – who lead my way to an inspiring, enlightening, educating and life changing group of amazons who broadened my horizons and changed the kind of Survivor and advocate that I am.
It is the end of October 2012, and after 20 pink years, this year I think that you can clearly hear new voices. There’s a new approach making its way towards a significant change in priorities, there is an ongoing improvement in treatment and in the attitude towards women living with metastases, and towards prevention.
A new Breast Cancer language and literature, is being written in blogs and on twitter, there’s a democracy of voices and opinions, the unseen bare truth of what Breast Cancer is all about, is all out there, and Advocacy succeeds in making a real progress.
Thanks God, it is the end of October, it’s been long and pink, and to celebrate its ending, tomorrow I have an appointment with my Oncologist and maybe, get the results of my MRI.
At the end of the day, awareness, as far as it went, has yet, saved the life of many of us… I hope that in 20 years, all of this would seem irrelevant…
Wish me luck