Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Boobies - Tatas and Bazongas


Sorry bit of a tease - not going to show you any of these...but am going to take a few minutes of your time to talk about breasts.  

This Sunday I and my 8 year old son will be doing the Race for The Cure in NY.  I have done this race in the past and this year I almost did not participate when the Komen foundation became a pulpit for an anti choice, anti woman platform by implying that they will not be funding Planned Parenthood.  They reversed themselves, sort of - still up for annual review, as the voices of men and women were heard loud, clear and in vast numbers that this would be an outrage.  They, of all people, should know the power of united citizens taking on a cause - they should have remembered that Planned Parenthood (contrary to the lies and misinformation the anti woman far right sends out does mostly family planning, prenatal care, gyn care for women without insurance, birth control options, breast cancer screenings, and yes some abortions - notice I put that last, because that is the least of what they do) is not an abortion clinic but a wellness center for women to educate them.  The Komen foundation reversed it's decision and so I signed up for the race. 

BREASTS -- hmm something women talk about, shop for, nurture children with....something men look at, think about, nurture fantasies about .....whether someone admits it or not they are a part of what being a woman is and there is nothing wrong with that.  They are parts not the whole of a woman - though must say mine have been spoken to (instead of me) many a time so to some people maybe there is a belief that they will magically also respond - say hello -- or something -- sorry fellas to date I have not seen them do that.  I have seen mine in good bras, pinched in bad ones, crushed by inexperienced teenage boys, caressed with affection and as the first food my sons had in this world.  

I have seen the devastating effects of breast cancer on loved ones.  I saw this disease when I worked for a surgeon many years ago, a surgeon who more than once was devastated by the lab results she already thought were possible, a surgeon who offered women all their options with their results and never dismissed these women like many others I have seen who said "well she is lucky it is in the breast - you can always cut that out". That's lucky?? No lucky would be that the lab results came back negative.  Lucky would be that you never have to hold your breath for those results.  The idea that it is just a body part and that any body part can be removed without trauma is just unfathomable to me.  These "girls", boobs, tatas well they define who we are in some ways - and without them while it is the right choice often our lives are changed.  I know that reconstructive surgery has come a long way but please let's remember that it is not as easy as removing an earring for a woman.  

I have seen cancer eat away and spread beyond the breasts even once they were removed - killing slowly and painfully the body and the person  - but I have also noticed it cannot seem to often touch the spirit.  I am in awe of the medical professionals and medicines that have come so far that it is no longer a pre-ordained deadly outcome.  I look forward to the invention of medicines that will not do as much damage to the body as they do to the cancers.  I do not believe in hollistic care on this one - I have seen too many people die on that route - but I do believe in pain relief from the traditional meds that accupuncture can provide.  I have seen my friend Donna beat this cancer with the dignity that it tried to take away from her, with the grace that cancer in it's nasty little form tries to beat away from it's victims, and with the strength that no overgrown white cell was able to take away from her.  She is a survivor and the medicines and care she received should be what all women can have.  I applaud you D and all the women who are survivors.

On Sunday my son and I will run and raise whatever money we can, shameless plug here as my donation page will be at the bottom of this and anything from a $1 on up is appreciated but not expected.  We will walk in remembrance of my close friends' moms, Nuti and Mimi, who had their mothers taken from them by this awful disease at incredibly young ages, who fought and taught me (especially Nuti) that you do not give up ever if there is still a chance.  We will walk to show our support for research and innovations and to tell the insurance companies that while it may not be "cost effective" to have mammograms every year  - since they came on the scene as an annual check, along with education, the numbers on this disease have dropped significantly- and to stop funding studies that imply that they do not help and then spend money advertising those studies without mentioning that they funded them to begin with (how about using that money to fund mammograms for the uninsured instead ?).  I walk because I am humbled by the sea of pink that I see around me on that day, with my friends, family and others (men and women) that say we may not be able to do it on our own but together - well watch out.  I walk because women and their breasts are a force to be reckoned with and should not be ignored, or told what to do, or dismissed -- the "girls" and I will walk because we choose to. Seems like in an election year the power of one voice aligned with many is a chorus that needs to be heard. 

Thank you also to my amazing friend Margaret for setting up a team, Pink Renegades, donations are welcome....

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