It’s October and also breast cancer awareness month. Several of my friends attend a breast cancer charity event every year which include free swag bags, alcohol and lots of food. Sounds like a blast huh? My friends try to get me to go by enticing me with how good the food, music and free gifts are. It bothers me that this is their main focus on going however would for sure argue that it isn’t. But, this is all I hear. I have yet to attend.
My grandmother had breast cancer. She had a mastectomy at an early age, then another later on. Her cancer spread its nasty self into her knee. The bone was replaced and it was a horrific surgery and recovery. The cancer then decided to show itself by way of tumor in her abdomen, spine and throughout her body. She was nauseous, in pain and it was a very hard and painful thing to see. She was a strong educated woman. She was the rock in our family, the one who encouraged us to follow our dreams and always recognized our talents and gifts and encouraged us to continue developing them. She was a realist. She saw things as they were. She could read people out and continually educated us all. She saw things that others did not and was very intuitive. She always bought an extra loaf of bread of quart of milk for the homeless person who was always in the grocery store parking lot. She said she would rather feed the homeless than give them money as she did not want them to use the money for boos. She was an artist. She helped her community through the Soroptomist organization in her community. The organization motto was Women helping Women. It was a fantastic organization and I enjoyed being a part of it. Events to help women get back on their feet after a divorce, or being homeless or anything else to help women educate themselves and get back on their feet was what her organization did. The events were tactful, classy and filled with dignity. They also raised money that was intended to be raised for the cause. There was no catch phrase or shock factor involved to raise funds. It was done with dignity.
So, how does this all tie in with raising our young ones to respect themselves without compromising their dignity? First things first. Many may disagree with me, many cancer patients may disagree with me and do, but hear me out. The saving the “Ta Ta’s”, saving “Second base,” “Save the boobies” phrases are just plain tacky and compromising the dignity of women. I hear comments like, “Who cares! These shock phrases are raising funds to help find a cure!” So it doesn’t matter what you put on a t-shirt, at least money is being raised. We are teaching our young children that we need to lower ourselves in order to raise money. How about save a LIFE! I cannot imagine my grandmother approving let alone wearing a t t-shirt like this. This is about life, not a woman’s “Ta Ta’s.” Breast cancer Killed my grandmother, It spread its nasty self into my aunts body and my great-grandmother as well. It could find its way into my mother, myself and my daughter. I want to live to see my grandchildren. Why do we settle for this and allow these phrases to de sensitized our culture and our children? If my son came home saying “save the ta ta’s” I would be furious. Breast cancer does not only affect the breasts, It SPREADS to other parts of the body. This is why women opt for a mastectomy. When I saw a Facebook post of a photo of a friend at the event and a caption over it saying “Save the Boobies!” I almost went ballistic. This is not the message we need to be sending to our children. What would Jesus do? What would he say? Yes, we need to have a sense of humor but at the expense of a woman going through chemo? Going through hair loss? Going through major surgery and taking away her femininity at the same time? Compromising our dignity for a buck to raise money. Breast cancer walks are terrific.I would love to participate in one of those. Wearing the pink ribbon, pink shirt as a symbol is classy and dignified. Why do we need anything else? Why should we compromise? Why should a cancer patient compromise? Every person is different. I have read plenty of stories about breast cancer survivors having a non issue with the catch phrases out there. For them, good thing, for me, not. Breast cancer detection did not save my grandmas breasts. It did not save the “ta ta’s.” It killed her. She is now gone. She was an amazing woman who was loved and respected and I intend to honor her by teaching my children to respect others and themselves and not compromise because everyone else is saying it, doing it and wearing it. How many catch phrases do you see out there for prostate awareness? Hmmmmm…something to think about right? The effects of prostate cancer can render man to lose his masculinity if severe enough. But, women are used to being sexualized in the name of cancer, right? Time to take a stand and show our young ones what is right. Do something to change this. Id rather go on a walk or run to raise money for this great cause. This is what went down at the event some of my friends attended. They paid for a cheap ticket, ate until they were bloated and drank until they were drunk. They danced all night and brought home free gifts. Give me that alcohol, those gifts, that food so that I can carry it over to the dying woman’s hospital bed who has breast cancer with NO breasts. Now, give that woman a shirt to wear that says “save second base or better yet, “save the ta ta’s.” Think about it…..
My prayer today is that we can teach our young children to respect the seriousness of this cancer and do it with class and dignity. It can be done. And while I’m on my Humongous, ginormous soap box, no man should ever use any of these phrases. It’s just plain disrespectful. Why? Because my beautiful , wonderful, dignified grandmother who died from Breast Cancer said so.