National No Bra Day — An Update

I continue to be amazed by the comments that have been left on National No Bra Day and Breast Cancer Awareness Month — Or — Put that Can of Soup Down and Put Your Bra Back On and some of my other posts in the past few days.  While I am absolutely astonished by how many people from around the world have visited the blog in the past few days alone (over 100,000 people yesterday alone!), what I am most in awe of is the fact that so many people have left such supportive comments or emails.  While I have yet to respond to the comments (with the exception of a few on the first day), I have been reading each and every comment and email.  That little “your comment is awaiting moderation” blurb you saw if you left a comment means that I have the opportunity to read your comment before it appears on the blog.  Reading through your messages has been an incredibly powerful experience.  I am barely keeping up, so if you don’t see your comment yet, this is why.  But I am grateful that I’m having trouble with keeping pace!  What a wonderful “problem to have!!!

I am both honored and touched that you have chosen to share your thoughts and feelings with me and I am so appreciative of the outpouring of kindness, well wishes, prayers, and gratitude for the post and the blog.   And I have been deeply moved by your stories.  So many people have been touched by cancer in some way and have felt some connection with me.  And I can tell you that after reading your comments and stories, I feel a connection to you and I am truly grateful.

While the vast majority of the comments have been extremely supportive, a few have been less than.  In the interest of being transparent, I am approving ALL comments, including the 99.999% that are supportive and the 0.001% that are less than.  And I feel the need to respond in some way to the 0.001%.  I know this may go over as well as a gift-wrapped pair of socks on Christmas morning, and I am normally not a confrontational person at all, but I feel compelled to respond.  I’ll begin with clarifying that my message is NOT that people who wear pink ribbons are bad!  I know this an easy way for people to feel connected and a visible way to show that you support a cause and that there are a rainbow of ribbons out there.  In fact, I often wear a pink ribbon that was given to me from an organization that gave the money from the purchase to cancer research.  One of my messages — and I believe what so many people have been saying in their comments here — is that pink has become a marketing tool that some companies have used to prey on and profit from well-meaning people who are trying to help.  As one commenter whose close friend was an advertising manager for a multinational corporation said, this practice has been referred to as “the marketing of a disease.”   I know that not ALL companies/organizations are profiting from breast cancer (or using the disease as a way to improve their image), but it is certainly enough for it to be a problem.

And, yes, I do believe that breast cancer has been glamorized and cutesied up by all of the pink. I will stand by that.  From the people I have polled — with and without breast cancer — it has become clear to me that when many people think of breast cancer, they envision smiling women covered in pink having a great time on a walk for the cause.

But as most women and men (and their caregivers/loved ones) who have faced this disease will tell you, there is nothing pink about this cancer — or any cancer for that matter.  And these images of pink actually detract from the fact that this is a horrible, often disfiguring disease with harsh treatments and brutal side effects.  The awareness mission has been accomplished — we are aware that breast cancer exists.  But we still don’t have a real understanding of what causes it and why one woman will develop it and another won’t.  Or why one woman will die from it and another won’t.  And with these awareness campaigns we have largely ignored metastatic disease.  And we have ignored the women (and men) who are suffering or the women who are dying or who have died.  Fine, have the pink, but also incorporate the reality.

In my opinion, we need to get away from the message that early detection is the best prevention and focus our efforts on making PREVENTION the best prevention.  And all of this pinkwashing is making that damn near impossible.  You see some of these companies marketing pink products “for awareness” and “for the cause” or putting pink ribbons on their labels once a year, but then some of their products — like plastic water bottles — are made of materials that have been linked to cancer or they sell products filled with nitrates or foods packaged in BPA-lined cans.  And there are so many examples of this, but I would prefer not to name names.

I need to be clear that I don’t believe that all pink is bad.  And that I do not believe that people who wear pink are bad!  I know you have wonderful intentions and want to help.  But I do believe that if companies and organizations are going to pink brand their product (for breast cancer), then they have a responsibility to use that “pink” and their pink profits responsibly and not as a marketing tool to sell more product or to improve their image.  And that we, as consumers, have a responsibility to read the fine print and be aware of where our money (and how much of it!) is ultimately going when we buy pink products or support a cause.  It is unfortunate that this is necessary when we really just want to help, but the simple fact is that it is necessary if we want to make a difference….

It is my hope that if enough of us do this and if enough of us reject the packaged pink image of what breast cancer is and recognize it for what it really is, we might just be able to make a dent in the number of people suffering and dying from this and other cancers.
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Thank you all so very much for reading, for commenting, and for sharing your important stories…

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54 thoughts on “National No Bra Day — An Update

  1. Pingback: National No Bra Day and Breast Cancer Awareness Month — OR — Please Put That Pink Can of Soup Down & Put Your Bra Back On | cancerinmythirties

    • That’s right, you bring it my friend. I agree that cancer shouldn’t be marketed and it is. You like so many others with cancer are a true warrior and survivor. So many of the pink-products being sold do not help people fighting the disease. In my own way, I find that helps the most is being a good friend to someone who is living with it and who is going through treatment. If someone can give money to organizations then great but there’s other things people can do to help. Like helping a sister out with her kids when she’s sick. Going over there and making sure she eats and her family gets dinner. Doing the laundry. Giving a ride to the dr.’s appointments and staying with a friend if that’s possible. And sometimes just listening to a person and not dismissing their fear by saying they will be fine because they’re a survivor. Just being there for that friend to talk to. I wish you the best of health, and I am very happy to have found this blog and know about your story. God bless you and I hope you win your fight. I will pray for you that you do.

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  2. You write very well and from the heart. I am following you because, like me, you write how you feel with a passion. Good luck to you and all of those in a similar situation including my very dear friends Polly and Denise. Take care and I wish you all the very best for the future x

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  3. Preach it, sister! While the awareness movement does accomplish some good, it sure doesn’t help those of us who have lived with or are living with this terrible disease. In fact, it often makes things worse for us; I dread the pink onslaught every October, and it’s a travesty to those with less marketable, less cutesied-up cancers.

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  4. While I still have two breasts I can sympathize with you. When I was 30 I had melanoma that had metastasized to the left axilla, all lymph nodes and surrounding areas. I too was unoperable and had about 13 months chemotherapy. Sounds like we both have experienced the same surgery and I still have numbness in my arm and fingers. My left arm is quite larger than the right since that surgery. I recommend that you see an Occupational or Physical Therapist who specializes in lymphodema therapy and wrapping techniques early on to help prevent or at least lessen some of the swelling that could occur. My arm really started to swell after radiation. This was my 3rd melanoma battle. The first one was superficial on my back (left scapula area) in 1983. In 1986 is when my first metastasis happened to the axilla and a few lymph nodes then the one I have been talking about was in 1989. I’m now a 30 year survivor and 24 years cancer free. A book that helped me through some of this is “Love, Medicine and Miracles” by Bernie Siegel (I think that is his last name, I kept giving this book away to fellow survivors.) Some parts of this book may make you feel uncomfortable, well they (healthcare team) told me to just not read those parts. I did however, find most of this book enlightening. Also look for books by Louise Hay. She talks alot about self-healing, etc. Will send up a prayer for you and will wear my bra on Oct 13th in your honor! Take care. Linda O’Neal in Pensacola, FL.

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  5. In future I will always read and understand before buying anything pink… In fact where charities are concerned I prefer to give to cancer research in general… Your writing has touched many And made them think…Thank you..

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  6. Love your statement! I have been exactly where you are and am now going on 9 years out. I had a bilateral mastectomy and had the drains that are shown in the picture. The cancer was a two part double whammy when my husband left shortly after my reconstruction. I wrote a book about my experience titled “Dancing in Chaos.” I applaud your blog and encourage you to continue to write! You are an inspiration! Thank you.

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  7. Preach, girl! 🙂 Your original post about National No Bra Day didn’t make it seem that you hated the pink movement at all, but you were rather stressing the importance of accountability for manufacturers who decided to use the ribbon and expressing your thoughts and feelings. Thanks for sharing them; you are an excellent writer!

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  8. Thank you for writing this! While I’m all for the movement, I agree with you 110% that some companies/organizations use this as a marketing tool and that’s it. It’s so important to do your research! I’d rather send you $20 instead of buying yogurt and saving the lids. I figure it’s better spent that way!
    Praying for you…your strength and tenacity shine very bright! I’m so glad I found your blog!

    Your new friend, Jenn

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  9. I found the No Bra Day post via facebook as well and I am so happy that I did. I am a huge supported of breast cancer research and agree full heartedly with your sentiments. I lost my maternal grandmother to breast cancer on Christmas Eve when I was 10 years old. She had only lost one breast to the disease and when I was little I was fascinated by her silicone prosthetic (I learned at a very early age that it is not appropriate to say “Grandma! Can I play with your boobie?” in public places). A few years after her death my aunt, her daughter, became diagnosed with breast cancer. A new mother herself my aunt got the genetic test done to make sure her daughter and I were not at risk. Thankfully the genetic test came back negative, but I still give myself a feel daily to make sure everything feels normal.

    When the pink ribbons started appearing every where I was very happy, and I went out of my way to purchase these items. But over the years I’ve noticed that it has gotten to be rather extensive and most do not even mention donations to research. Now I would rather just give a donation to a charity where I know it will be put to good use.

    When I first started seeing murmurs of No Bra day I felt uneasy and almost disgusted; it wasn’t until I read your post that I understood why. You said it beautifully. Women everywhere should en-bra (new word) themselves and donate to a charity to help research rather than give a bad image to cancer research.

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  10. Actually, I agree with the “no bra” day and there are ways to do it without the nipple bumps. As a matter of fact, many of us who have been fortunate enough to not be afflicted with breast cancer would prefer not to wear bras (too much emphasis on obvious boobs anyway) and here are some suggestions on how to do it. http://www.kalilily.net/weblog/2013/08/27/181424.html (could be valuable suggestions for breast cancer survivors as well).

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    • Elaine, I implore you to re-read the posts here and please consider the feelings of the women who have lost their breasts to cancer, the blogger included. These women are saying they find this “preference to not wear bras” by unafflicted women to be in fact very UNSUPPORTIVE and painful for them to view. For this reason alone it is a bad idea. As one who also is fortunate enough to not have been personally stricken with breast cancer, I can understand how the flaunting of healthy breasts in the name of “awareness” would be a slap in the face to those sisters whose own breasts are diseased, disfigured, or lost to disease. I am sure that is not your intent. Thank you.

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  11. I am another of the 99.999%!
    Keep on sharing because by doing so you are educating all who read your words. I’ve included a link to your blog in a recent post on my own blog (which is usually about photography and riding a motorcycle, although I am a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner).
    Keep on writing and know I’m sending thoughts for health and strength your way!

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  12. I know you are very busy with all the comments, but I wanted to ask…what do you think about this: http://www.avonfoundation.org/causes/breast-cancer-crusade/ I am an Avon rep but I don’t know enough about how the money is spent to know if this is something I should push sales for. I do know that 100% of the proceeds from selling the Pink Ribbon products goes to the foundation. Avon sales reps receive no profit from the sales.
    Would you mind giving me your opinion if you can? I would respect and appreciate your very personally vested opinion on this.
    Thank you for your very tough, very needful posts.

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    • I haven’t researched the specifics, but the Avon Foundation does give large chunks of money to fund cancer-related research. My advisor received a grant that funded research for in-office detection of BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 mutations and there were at least two other labs just in the Chicago area that received similar grants.

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  13. I was not aware that not all pink supports the cause. I too know how hurtful this and all cancers are. My sister is a 5 year survivor and only this year was she able to say the word cancer when she talks about her experience, for years it was when I was sick. I watched her wrestle with telling us, her exact words to me were ” I didn’t want to bother you but I thought you should know I have cancer.” and that was after she went through the surgery alone. I said good bye to more than one friend that died from a form of cancer other than the breast cancer they were originally diagnosed with. It is ugly, it is painful and it is devastating, nothing pretty about it. Thank you for your honesty and opening our eyes. May God bless and keep you strong through your battle. Melissa

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  14. Thank you for your well thought out commentary and enlightening discussion. I happen to feel the same way as you, but not having to deal with the issues that arise from this disease, I feel I have no right to express what you have articulated so well. Thank you, brave woman. Be healthy.

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  15. I have never had breast cancer nor do I know anyone that has. It is kind of a “taboo” topic in that people that don’t have it don’t want to offend someone that does by being insensitive. While I’m sure the National No-Bra thing was an effort to be supportive, sometimes people don’t know what to do to be supportive of something they feel strongly about. And I love that you spoke out against National No-Bra Day. Most of the time all that people want to do is help but are too afraid to ask or do not know the best way to ask- or, occasionally, they can seem insincere. It’s one of those, “Well, let me know if I can do anything…..” responses. Those people that do ask most of the time do not get a response from the people they are asking. “Oh, I’m fine,” is the response. Thank you for giving people like me clear direction on what would be helpful and a good, tactful way to monetarily support breast cancer research. GOD BLESS!

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  16. Couldn’t agree more about cancer being ‘cutsied up’ by coloring it pink. It’s all about marketing and money. People who donate would be sorely dismayed if they knew how much of their donations go to postcards, t-shirts, stickers, pens, tote bags, and salaries instead of research.
    And amen to real prevention instead of reaction!!

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  17. Thank you so much for saying what many have thought but few have had the courage to put into written word. My wife and I lost her grandmother to Breast Cancer, and not a year goes by that I don’t think of that wonderful dear woman and miss her. I think she would have had a good laugh at the “pinkwashing” and commercialization of Breast Cancer Awareness, but she too would have been appalled at the lack of real understanding of how devastating this disease truly is. This is a cause dear to the heart of both my wife and myself and we too advocate to all of our friends that they contribute directly to worthy causes rather than buy into the pink. I applaud your courage in the face of such overwhelming adversity and admire your willingness to speak out. You truly are an inspiration!

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  18. I totally agree with everything you said! If we can work to find out more about what we are doing, eating, drinking, and breathing that is causing the cancers we (from the very young to the very old) are dealing with then we will be able to prevent it from happening in the first place. What I mean is, we need to make sure that a good part of our cancer research monies is used to research the underlying causes. I was diagnosed with leukemia four years ago, and that is when I realized that there is a higher percentage of cancers, and MS, diagnosed in my area (southern Indiana) than where my twin sister lives ( southwest Missouri). She and I are identical twins, and she does not have leukemia. Hopefully she won’t ever have it. We have lived in our respective areas of the world for over 30 years. To me, this means that it was quite possibly something I have been exposed to, in my environment, that has caused the leukemia. I also know that there are many, many children diagnosed all over the western world with cancer. I don’t know the statistics…but one child is too many! We must find out the causes and delete them from our lives. Thank you for your blog, it is wonderful!

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  19. You are right. As the mother of a ten year old undergoing chemo, I would love September as Childhood Cancer Awareness month get even a tiny fraction of the attention (funding, gold ribbons and the like) that Pinktober gets. Thank you for sharing your story!

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    • As a parent of a child with cancer, I agree it needs more attention. However, the pink ribbon campaign is for the most part a scam. Awareness does no good if there is still no way to change the situation. I too would rather people spend their time and effort for the kids, then some crooks pocket.

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  20. I admire you for writing this blog.. We’re very close to the same age with the similar situations and its scary… I do admire your strength and courage.. I will be wearing a bra today… And instead of getting my pink nails (which I actually really love) re-done, I will be making a donation to one of YOUR suggestions.. I’m not going to any boozing for boobs.. ( which I think is totally absurd and is not only a slap in face but so condricting) again that 30$ they charge should be going to one of your suggested donors…you really have opened my eyes to a lot.. And it is you that has inspired me.. Thank you !

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  21. Instead of a ribbon or other pink paraphernalia, I’d love to just wear a button bearing that picture of you 5 days post-op. It’s so much more eloquent. Thank you for putting yourself out there and making yourself heard. Your voice is so needed. Thank you for your advocacy.

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  22. I totally agree with you on this! While I love that there is attention called to breast cancer awareness, it’s frustrating that so many other issues and other types of cancers are essentially ignored. (By the way, I do have friends and family who suffered from breast cancer, so I am not ignorant to the cause) For instance there is a week during October for mental illness awareness, during which these illnesses are supposed receive increased attention (see http://www.nami.org/template.cfm?section=mental_illness_awareness_week) – you’ll note that it ended yesterday. Did anyone know about this? Did anyone do 60 miles in 3 days, give a percentage of profits during a given week or month, wear ribbons which are well-known to represent support/awareness for something? No…at least not that I’m aware of – and doesn’t that lack of knowledge prove my point? Should these even exist….these colors for awareness and time periods representing specific causes? I don’t know the answer to that question. What I do know is that I believe too much attention and money are poured into a single issue. Are pancreatic, prostate, skin and ovarian cancers less important? What about the aforementioned mental illness awareness? Alzheimer’s? Homelessness? Foster care? The list of cancers, and other issues is certainly much longer than that, but I think I’ve made it pretty clear that breast cancer isn’t the only illness which needs money for research. Period.

    Thank you for making this post. I hope it makes people conscious of the fact that there are needs in other areas in addition to breast cancer.

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  23. Pingback: National No Bra Day — An Update | Don't Play!

  24. Good for you for blogging in a real way about a real issue. You’re an inspiration for all. Keep it up and keep spreading that awareness. God bless you.

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  25. Thank you for your courage. I am not so courageous. I try very hard every day to pretend that I am not disfigured. I think sometimes that as long as I am alone, no one needs to even know there is anything wrong with me. But, I hate it still.

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  26. While I sat here rifling through ridiculousness at 2am, I came upon your post from last yr on a friend’s FB page and had to read your story. Since my eyes are glazing i didn’t get the full details so I will have to revisit to get the fullness of it.. but what I did get from this is you are amazing and I love you and what you stand for. You are truly a brave soul. Today October 14th, my mom would have been 68. She died 13 years ago from breast cancer and what she went through I know was harder than she ever let on. I miss her each and every day and some days I know she is there by the signs and little things that come across my path. So I know it is no accident that at this strange hour she led me here.. thank you mom and thank You for your incredible strength and poignant words.. love and light to you..

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  27. Pingback: I’m Done With Awareness: Why I’m Wore a Bra on October 13 | Liz Lincoln

  28. Spot on! Have you read Devra Davis’s book The Secret History of the War on Cancer? She aligns with a lot of your views. The reason we focus on the cure and not the cause….money and politics. Nancy Brinker knew two things….how to raise money and awareness, but I would bet even she would say it has gone too far. Best of luck to you and your family and keep posting about the real breast cancer fight! So refreshing!

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  29. I am just finding your blog and appluad you for such courage and strength! And also for sharing yuor story so other may learn. I found out I had a small cancer in me this year. Like you I have two young little girls that I promised to raise to the best of my ability. How could this be I thought? Luckily, mine was small and not so aggressive it appears. I was lucky. But still big hugs go out to you and I trust your recovery (I’m catching up here) Seeing strong people like yourself helps me muster the courage to not feel so bad for myself. Thank you!

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  30. The color pink has been ruined maybe forever. I agree whole heartedly with everything that you have said. I had a double mastectomy and reconstruction. I did not do chemo to the dismay of three oncologists. Instead I’ve built up my immune system and did take tamoxifen for five years. Last year was my 5th…meaning cancer cured in the medical world. The reason I did not do chemo was because I followed the money and I didn’t like what I saw. Thought there had to be another way for me and there was through a self designed health regime to build up my immune system. Prayers in truck loads to you sister! Thousands stand with you and I am so glad I am not a lone lighthouse in the middle of the sea.

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  31. Have read both your posts the original one and now this one.
    At first I was thrilled to see that I wasn’t the only one that found that image whilst my first reaction was that setting tatas free is funny, very quickly I thought how distasteful.

    I think you did a brilliant job of shedding like behind the whole pinkest, we don’t all realize such things. I live in Israel, and sure from time to time the economic news will go on to report how so many different charities, for different causes not specifically cancer, that the public doesn’t really know how much goes to the cause and how much goes to pay for running the so called NoProfitOrg.
    and I suppose every little bit helps.
    the fear factor is as money isn’t easily come by these days that people are just going to stop caring because they will feel cheated. I guess it’s a big game like in politics (congress) of balance. As not all charity organisation can be completely volunteer work, they sometime need offices, etc.

    on a personal level. My grandma + 2 of her sisters had suffered from the BRCA2, my mother as well, I have been tested and I thankfully did not inherit that gene. I am an Ashkenazi Jew and the BRCA1 and 2 is rather prevalent in our genetics.

    I’m going to share your post on my FB and also bring to the attention of some Israeli organisations and my friend who went through Overian Cancer, as I hope to continue your good work so money goes to the right places.
    Yes, in Israel Mammograms also begin at 50, which I do not understand, however in lieu of my history I have had some done since my mid 30’s, I’m 41 now…
    I must admit, I do not really check my self, I let a surgeon check me every 6 mos.

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  32. I must admit, that reading your blog is stirring up a lot of emotion. You have a voice, one that is touching the hearts of so many. I’m sitting here at my computer realizing that every single thing that you’re addressing; are things that have been “hidden under the carpet” for too long. I’m remembering the details of my recurrences, the countless surgeries, and all the feelings surrounding each and every procedure I underwent. I am also thinking about the time I had participated in one of those “long” walks-with a pink survivor hat on my head, (chose to walk alone because spouse had to leave town unexpectedly) and was all distraught because no one in “pink” bothered to talk to me. The whole cancer experience journey has definitely had it’s ups and downs-I’ll say that. It’s opened my eyes up big time; but if I had to mention the things that annoy me the most,….I would have to mention the lack of follow-up care after treatment. Cancer survivors are often left in a manner that leaves them feeling uncertain and confused about so many things. Where is the follow-up care? Who can help them address their emotional issues and address lifestyle changes that need to take place? What about “prevention”? You hit the nail on the head there. Why are we refusing to see the importance of this? We’re not getting the fact that our environment, the amount of stress in our lives, and the unhealthy food we eat-is all part of this picture. I’m glad you are here. Why? Because your voice carries; it’s strong, it’s real, and it needs to be heard. Wishing you health in every possible way. Love and peace.

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  33. THANK YOU for putting into words the feelings I have had over the last 4 1/2 years of my breast cancer treatment, including double mastectomies at the age of 50. I was diagnosed right after my birthday and was still pre-menopausal. In my oncologist’s words “very much female”

    I am a nurse and I, too, found the lump MYSELF between my yearly mammograms- the same year that they came out with the new guidelines about mammograms and also that women shouldn’t bother with breast self exams!

    Now I am enraged about a local fundraising organization that had a post on their Facebook page about a book of his photography “art” of topless women in New York! (See http://uncoveredbook.com)

    When I saw the post and looked into the details about the book it quickly became apparent that the book was NOT about breast cancer awareness. According to the information I found on the internet all of the women were volunteers who became “euphoric” about going topless.

    The following is a copy word for word of the conversation that ensued between myself and the FB admin for THE PAINTED BRA ART PROJECT (TPBAP):

    ME / “NANA”: “I HATE that you allowed an author to use this website to promote his book of photographs of topless women.”
    TPBAP: “We disagree. Regretfully, to settle this and move on – we will take this down. Please understand that Many of TPBAP committee member ARE BC survivors, also. The author of the book did NOT post this – it was shared by a friend.”
    TPBAP: “Several of the women featured in the book are BC survivors.”
    NANA: “That does not matter- a friend posted it and it was free publicity for him. Thank you for removing it- I had a double mastectomy 4 years ago.”
    TPBAP: “Nana, since we removed the link from our page could you please remove the posting from your timeline? Thank you.”
    NANA: Yes. If you will post this: https://cancerinmythirties.wordpress.com/2012/10/13/national-no-bra-day-and-breast-cancer-awareness-month-or-please-put-that-pink-can-of-soup-down-put-your-bra-back-on/

    NOTE: They did not post it, but I sent this to them also or shared it to the timeline-( I can’t remember which) and they allowed it on there: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/16/the-scar-project-_n_4102089.html?utm_hp_ref=arts

    I removed my original ranting post from my timeline (and it disappeared from theirs- you know how it works). Then I proceeded to UN-like the page until I could find out more. (This is AFTER participating in the event this year without knowledge of their philosophy on such posts, etc.)

    The next day I was able to place a phone call** to the person in control of the page and she told me that the matter was settled and she did not want to discuss it. I pressed her for names of who decides what goes on the page but she would not tell me except to try to contact Liz Hurley, our local NBC newswoman and breast cancer survivor who has most every fundraiser in our town linked to her, including TPBAP.

    **(This phone call took place on the way home from taking a dear breast cancer friend of mine to see a new oncologist 2 hours away for a 2nd opinion about her recent PET scan which showed a suspicious spot on her lung.)

    The following is the thread I had with Liz Hurley: (BTW I am not her friend on FB- I tried to send a request but FB replied that she had reached her limit.)

    NANA: “Liz please see this: The Painted Bra Art Project shared a link via Mia Sophia Holguin. I was very disturbed by this post and that it could be linked to Huntsville’s project.”
    “80 Brave Women Go Bare-Breasted in New York”
    http://www.mymodernmet.com

    NANA (2nd message): “FYI: From the web administrator: “The Painted Bra Art Project”
    “We disagree. Regretfully, to settle this and move on – we will take this down. Please understand that Many of TPBAP committee member ARE BC survivors, also. The author of the book did NOT post this – it was shared by a friend.”

    NANA (3rd message): “Liz, I wanted to tell you that The Painted Bra Art Project removed the post about the book of topless women so, per their request, I removed the post I made about it from my timeline. But I still don’t “like” them any more- I think the Huntsville people need to disassociate with this national organization.” (I later discovered that the organization originated here in Huntsville, AL and has spread to other cities)

    NANA (4th message): “I discovered that TPBA project was started in HSV and spoke with “Anna” who informed me that “they” (TPBA committee) did not feel the original post was inappropriate. What do you think since the funds go to YOUR organization? I asked them to post this instead: https://cancerinmythirties.wordpress.com/2012/10/13/national-no-bra-day-and-breast-cancer-awareness-month-or-please-put-that-pink-can-of-soup-down-put-your-bra-back-on/

    LIZ HURLEY: “Good Morning, Pam. Reading your FB thread, you asked a FB group to remove a post you found offensive. That group obliged. What you may find filth, others find fantastic…even moving and inspirational. Art is subjective. It is a free world-especially on Facebook. Most anything can be “shared”. It is not necessarily an endorsement. On FB and the internet, even when there is a warning, we can choose to open links. There are no laws against that. The women involved with the Painted Bra Art Project are amazing -artists- and most are breast cancer survivors who are giving back in a unique and successful way that is striking a positive chord with many,many people. I hope this ends any further discussion on this topic. Best of health to you, Liz”

    So that is that. They don’t care and they will decide what they want to post. After all, it’s a free country. I wonder why they don’t all go topless since they think it’s ok?

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  34. Your article resonated deeply with me as well. I was also a cancer patient in my thirties – diagnosed while nine months pregnant with Hodgkin’s Disease – and although it is what is deemed a “treatable cancer”, I did lose four friends I met along the way with the same diagnosis. Nor does it diminish the harrowing treatment and side effects I still have to manage everyday. I am beyond grateful to have survived and try to handle the journey with dignity and peace. Although I am not a survivor of breast cancer – the pink Octobers drive me crazy as well. Seriously, you need a color and a month to be reminded? It is everywhere and every penny we want to give should be targeted to the worthiest destination. The commercialization of breast cancer is a disgrace and I really appreciated your honesty and recommendations. I am glad your article has gotten so much visibility. There is a doctor, Bernie Siegel, who shaves his head to empathize more with his paitients – really? The whole point is losing your hair isn’t a choice. And he wrote a book about how cancer patients need to learn to love themselves? Really? Do three year olds with cancer not love themselves? Someone gave me his book when I was in chemotherapy and I took great delight burning it in my sink. Misdirected empathy takes on a strange life of its own.

    I wish you the best in your recovery – I know what it is like to be fighting for your life as a young mother and dealing with illness while raising your children – the best and worst of times mixed up together balancing each other out. And thank you again for your article.

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  35. I agree that it has become over the top in the supermarkets..craft stores..etc….cupcakes….made in china cheep crap for breast cancer awareness.(only benefitting chinese importers monitarily)…..and surely silly no bra day is offensive to me as well ……thank u for speaking out about that day so well. I am glad though that pink has put this awful disease in the forfront so people aware of how prevalent it is…..and get early detection….especially the younger women who never get checked or take healthy living lifestyle precautions…….God Bless and keep you..xo

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  36. I found your blog when a friend of mine shared your article about National No Bra Day on Facebook… Thank you for writing your heartfelt and sincere feelings on the subject. That took strength and courage, which is something you obviously possess a great deal of. Although I have not directly been a victim of cancer, I have lost many loved ones to it as well as having loved ones who are survivors. Either way, what each and every one of you has endured, is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. There are no words for the terror it brings. I’m so sorry for all you have been through. Stay strong… Keep fighting… You are BEAUTIFUL~ hair or no hair, breasts or no breasts. God bless you, my friend. Xoxo

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  37. I’ve just read this blog after previously reading the one you posted a year ago–I did leave a comment there. I can’t agree with you more–I am so thankful for my friend who posted the link in an email to her friends and family that have been praying for her for this past year. Today is her one year anniversary of finding ‘THE LUMP’–after having a normal mammogram 6 months previously. Our knitting group has watched what she’s gone through and we’ve seen how she’s endured all those months of chemo and radiation before she could even have her bilateral mastectomy. I’m sending this link to my daughter-in-law and my niece who have both had breast cancer in the last year–both in their mid-forties–for them to read. Keep speaking out–I totally agree with you on giving to organizations–not just breast cancer but a great many others. And as for ‘pinking’ up everything during Oct.–well it has now become ridiculous.

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  38. I ran across your article on Facebook. So glad I did. My 7 year old son is now 2years cancer free. I can say with certainty how horrific it is. It’s not pretty or pink by any degree. I quickly found a great lack of support for children’s cancer. This lead me to investigate cancer charities in general. I too find the pink “campaign” in poor taste. It is amazing how much money is spent to pay lip service to someone else’s tragedy. I do noy buy pink. I give only to reputable organizations or not at all. My favorite children’s cancer charities are the children’s oncology group and give kids the world. I hope you find strength and health in the near future. Bless you for saying what I’m thinking.

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  39. Strong words from such a strong woman. Thank you for giving everyone hope and see through the bullshit that buying that hat or trashcan will do for any of us. You are an inspiration and you make me laugh.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Thank you for your powerful words. Those of us with metastatic breast cancer felt very drowned out and silenced on the one day of the month that is actually designated for metastatic breast cancer, thanks to the efforts of MBCN.org to get it nationally recognized. Several of my fellow MET UP co-founders were in Washington DC staging a Die-In. There is a slow but steadily-growing trickle of media attention. The MBC crowd has been routinely silenced lest we scare the early stagers. But that’s going to stop. As one of the women at the Die-In said yesterday, “No voice is as powerful as that of a dying person.” (Credit Twitter’s Groz_P)

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