My intent in sharing this particular commentary on the whole Facebook “post your bra colour out of awareness for breast cancer” meme is simply to pass along the poke in perspective. Susan Niebur experienced the personal reality of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer and who must undergo mastectomies to have a shot at life but who must deal also with the loss. Just another way of looking at it.

“In The Name of Awareness” — from http://toddlerplanet.wordpress.com/ by Susan Niebur

Friends engaged me on FB and twitter too, talking about it, asking why I felt left out, and letting me know that the whole meme was staged by some women in the midwest urging awareness of breast cancer.

Really?

Awareness?

Aren’t we aware by now, people? Don’t we know that we need to understand our own bodies, take notice of changes in one breast but not the other, and call the doctor when we see that something’s changed? Don’t we know that we need to talk to our doctor about thermography or mammograms? Don’t we know?

As I talked to friends on twitter about it last night, a single message came through from my friend and fellow survivor @stales. She said something that struck me to the core. She wrote to all: “Time for a little less “awareness” and a whole lot of “action”: the time to act is now: address the causes!” She’s smart, that @stales.

Other cancer survivors joined in, telling me that they felt left out too. After all, this was ostensibly an effort to raise awareness of breast cancer — but one in which breast cancer survivors themselves could not participate, and were reminded (as if we needed a reminder) that we didn’t need bras anymore, that most basic undergarment of women everywhere, that symbol of sexuality, for the simple reason that we had already sacrificed our breasts in a hail mary attempt to keep the rest of our bodies from dying of cancer.

My intent in sharing this particular commentary on the whole Facebook “post your bra colour out of awareness for breast cancer” meme is simply to pass along the poke in perspective. Her response is from the realistic standpoint of someone who has been personally impacted and I agree with her opinion on relatively cutesy “awareness” activities vs. genuine action/empathy.

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