Laura Wells, Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer Fighter and a member of Inspire.com, has written a powerful post that can be found on the OccupyHealthcare blog. Laura writes about her own experience with the Pink Movement when she was initially diagnosed with breast cancer. Then, having a recurrence of her cancer at Stage IV, she shares with us the perspective of those for whom Pink may have little relevance – “those beyond prevention, beyond cure, beyond survivorship, beyond pink.” As Laura reminds us, many women feel left out in October when everyone is celebrating Pink Power. It doesn’t fit their experience with cancer.
But, the average metastatic woman will be nowhere. There will be no article about her in the newspaper, no story on the news. There will be no TV special, introducing the world to a lifetime patient, who gets up every day, facing constant tests and treatment forever. We will not hear of the fear that an aching back means bone involvement, which causes a woman to start literally breaking, or the worry that a headache may be caused by brain involvement, and not merely stress. There will be no speakers, at the numerous awareness walks, to tell about conversations with their children, which begin with, “Will you still be here when…?”
As I said, Laura offers a powerful and thought provoking perspective that we should all take into consideration as we reflect on the whole breast cancer awareness marketing machine. There is certainly more to the story than early diagnosis and survivorship. Laura makes this point emphatically as she closes her post:
And the problem with “pink” is simply that, with all the awareness it generates, no one is aware of stage IV cancer, the cancer that kills. And no one is prepared to join this club, which is beyond pink, because it will not be spoken of, for yet another year.
To read Laura’s post, go to http://occupyhealthcare.net/2012/09/beyond-pink/.