Mindfulness of cancer


I recently saw this on Facebook:



Okay ladies, it’s that time of year again, it’s breast cancer awareness month. So we all remember last years game of writing your bra color as your status? Well this year it’s slightly different. You need to write your shoe size (just the number) followed by the word ‘inches’ and then sad face. Remember last year so many people took part it made national news and, the constant updating of status reminded everyone why we’re doing this and helped raise awareness. Do NOT tell any males what the status’s mean, keep them guessing And please copy and paste (in a message ) this to all your female friends to see if we can make a bigger fuss this year than last year……………….




My family has cancer on both sides. Dad’s family was mostly lung cancer – just the smokers, but still, it hit Dad and my uncles in their 50s and 60s, and it was very nasty, and it killed them. Mom’s family contributed a horribly twisted gene that manifests in aggressive ovarian cancer: my sister Susan died of it in 1995, Mom in 1999, my sister Darlene in 2005, and (youngest of all) my niece Kimberly in 2009, at the age of 40. Kim knew she carried the bad gene and had her ovaries removed as a preventive measure, but somehow the cancer grew anyway. She left two daughters, both of whom are at risk.



I need no reminding about cancer.



Awareness programs like the above are worthwhile if they get even a little good work done, and I don’t doubt the seriousness and sincerity of the people who participate.  But sometimes the nature of the programs has little to do with the nature of the problem itself, or the search for a solution. (I’m thinking of things like wearing pins and red bows for cancer and AIDS, or changing your Facebook photo to a cartoon character to show your opposition to child abuse. Do you need to show your opposition to these things? Are you afraid that someone might think you’re pro-AIDS or pro-breast cancer?  And, yes, I’m a lemming, I wear them too.)



Here are some excellent things to do and places to visit:



The Gilda Radner Foundation, which began fighting ovarian cancer, and has branched out wonderfully.



For those of you in Rhode Island: The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Foundation.



Hospice, for those who need it. (Mom and Susan both used Hospice, and it is amazing how much they helped.)



Here’s hoping for a cure.



Or a whole passel of cures.




About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

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