Princess Muse

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Musings about Breast Cancer Awareness

Most of you know that one of my very best friends is Arlyn...we met at Orientation at Florida State.  She was suffering from officially undiagnosed appendicitis (she knew, but she hadn't been to the doctor's to have it confirmed...not her fault...), and I was my usual perky, clueless self... and it turned out that we would be in the dorm rooms next to each other... she's the reason why I started writing a blog and her blog is linked here on the page (Forgive Me, I'm a Leo...).

Arlyn, as you can tell from her blog, is a breast cancer "survivor" (she doesn't like that term....).  You find out pretty quickly that she had breast cancer.... not because she defines herself by the disease, but because she wants to make sure that other women are doing what they need to catch this early and have a fighting chance at survival.... I don't think of her that way...she's just Ar, my many ways we are nothing alike, but in all the important ways, I like to think that we are exactly alike.  We've suffered through Algebra together (the least said, the better), enjoyed Freshman Biology (us and 998 of our closest friends) together (hey, Ar, remember the professor who dressed up as Dracula to lecture about blood types?), wrote notes to each other during Intro to Anthropology (I might have my notebook around here somewhere....).  She's just Ar, my funny friend.  She's the one who slaps me upside the head when I'm leaving clueless and heading towards thoughtless.  Hopefully, this entry isn't heading there....

Most of you are reading this because you're my friend on FaceBook (which means I've probably at least met you somewhere for at least 5 minutes), which means you're on FaceBook, too.  Most of you probably aren't breast cancer survivors, and haven't had more than the 5 minute scare when the lab calls you and says they had a hard time getting a good look at your tissue, could you please come back?  And most of us have probably posted (and re-posted) those things about thinking about the troops, or animals  in need. And most of us have probably played along with those "games" on FaceBook where all you post is the color of your bra, or where you put your purse, or what your shoe size is.  And someone in the comments usually asks what is this for?  And we're told, "Oh, to help raise awareness for breast cancer," and then we happily post our whatever and feel good that we're doing our part to raise awareness....except......

Well, if you read Arlyn's latest blog entry "Breast Cancer Awareness FB Game?  Who Are We Kidding?," you'll read that there are many breast cancer survivors who don't see the game as cute, harmless fun (and there may be some who do...if in doubt, ask a friend who's walked down that road).  Even though I'm sure they're meant that way.  And you may have seen my status update about stop posting your shoe size, and make the call to your gyno...we don't have to wait until October to do this.  And I'm not trying to be harsh or snarky... I'm sure I posted my bra color or where I put my purse.... but do we need to raise awareness anymore?  Is there any woman under the age of 15 who isn't aware that this can happen?  Most of us may be in denial that this CAN happen to us, but we are AWARE that it could happen, right?

And if you have a friend who is a breast cancer survivor....give her a hug (mental or physical... but if it's mental, you have to tell them that you're doing it)... if you had a friend who didn't survive breast cancer, give yourself a hug for them.

Arlyn has a few charities she'd like you to think of, if you have some spare change....these are charities that aren't looking for a cure, but rather to give money and aid to women who can't afford a mammogram (about $200-$400)... and, you have to qualify for a free mammogram, so there are still women who fall through the cracks....
Pink Daisy Project
Libby's Legacy (if you live in the Central Florida area):
and the Young Survivor's Coalition:

This is about the point where I sign off and go aMuse myself....but today I don't think I will.  One thing that all this Breast Cancer Awareness has done for me is made me realize that I could lose one of my precious friends... and, so, I'm not so shy about telling someone how much they mean to me....

Breast Cancer Awareness FB Game? Who are we 


  1. Thank you. This was awesome.

    And I don't remember the Dracula teacher.

  2. Well, what you said made sense....I guess those "games" would be better if they weren't supposed to and actually encourage women to get screened...

    Really? We laughed so hard.... it was a toss up between him and the professor who gave the absurd reasons why dinosaurs were extinct (not seriously, but just to let us know that there were some pretty whacked out beliefs....)