Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Think I Got the Wrong Cancer

from ELNSR's Ovarian Cancer blog, 9/05:

"Here it is September, Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month. Sadly, it is so quiet I can hear my heart beat. This is a very quiet year. Today when I was at a Hallmark Store there were several things for breast cancer. You can even do a Hallmark e-card for breast cancer. In Penney's there was an area with pink items and a big pink ribbon. Someone gave me issues of Redbook and Ladies Home Journal October magazines just out--filled with breast cancer and pink. I know it wasn't teal in September. Even the American Cancer Society has nothing on its homepage on ovarian and gynecologic cancers. There is, however, a box with a pink ribbon for breast cancer.
I think I got the wrong cancer. I got an unpopular women's cancer and no one wants to talk about gynecologic cancers. Uterine cancer has a death rate equal to breast cancer. Ovarian cancer has a death rate four times that of breast cancer.
I think I got the wrong cancer. If I had to have cancer, I wish I'd had breast cancer. There is so much awareness, so many magazine articles, so many companies getting on board the pink bandwagon. I'd have plenty of resources, plenty of support. I'd just have to say cancer and people would say "breast?" and be sympathetic.
I think I got the wrong cancer. This is one that only a very few companies jump on the bandwagon and help spread awareness. This is one on which it is an uphill battle to get awareness/education out. It isn't popular. Breast cancer is popular. Ovarian and gynecologic cancers aren't popular. Everyone cares about breast cancer. Gynecologic cancers? Not unless you have a relative or friend with them.
I think I got the wrong cancer. Since it seems that women only get breast cancer and no other "women's" cancers, I think my cancer got confused. It was supposed to be breast cancer but it got lost in my body and took the wrong road and wound up in the ovaries.
I think I got the wrong cancer. I got a very lonely cancer. I can go everywhere especially in mid-September through October and find pink ad nauseam. I don't see teal. Women don't know enough about my cancer but they know quite a bit about breast cancer.
When, oh when, will our voices be as loud as the breast cancer voices? When will we be recognized? When will awareness and education spread all over? When will women go to their doctors and see materials on gynecologic cancer as well as materials on breast cancer? When will teal be as recognizable as pink? When...?"
p.s. Let's all try to help raise awareness of ovarian cancer this September in honor of Nancy...Ovarian Cancer Month 2008 starts next week!

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