Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Grumbling

Thank you, Nancy Brinker.  For more than you know.
For providing the inspiration I needed to get blogging again when all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and mourn the loss of my beautiful dog.  When the thought of writing about breast cancer was beyond me.
For igniting a spark among my tired, depleted emotions.
For reminding me why my blog exists.  Why quiet bloggers everywhere with something to say -- matter.  We are not simply typing away in lonely, empty rooms for the sake of something to do.  Many of us were pushed into blogging by the sheer, ugly fact of having cancer or by the sad, frustration endured with the growing number of people we’ve lost to it.
In my case -- both.
So, Nancy Brinker, when people who are "scared to death" as your sister was, or like you, have lost someone or are dealing with their own breast cancer, women and men whose dream it is to realize the eradication of breast cancer, have their questions equated to words of “grumblers” and their concerns tossed aside as some lint plucked from a fancy pink jacket, you inspire us to write.  For that is all we can do.  We, the Grumblers.  We can ban together as one and as my friend, Jody, says, “Roar.”


Because, here’s the thing.  No one is denying the good work Komen has done over the years.  Especially me.  I’ve personally seen the benefits of breast cancer awareness after my mother fought her disease in quiet secret and when I was diagnosed years later.  I could choose to keep my mouth closed and solider on, as she had or use my words to describe the reality of the disease; it’s various forms, it’s ability to return no matter one’s prognosis or treatment.  I was able to find empathetic support, because the disease was no longer in the shadows.
And that is a direct result of the pink movement bringing breast cancer education to the masses, making it acceptable to say it’s name, Breast Cancer, in most homes around the world, but not all, not yet.  
So, I actually agree with you when you say “There won't be enough pink until the fight against this disease is won."  People are still dying.  Everyday.  Nearly 40,000 people in the United States alone will die this year, and it’s not because someone didn’t wear a pink tee shirt.  It’s not because someone didn’t purchase enough pink Tic Tacs or donate to yet another fundraiser.  It may not be because someone didn’t get a mammogram early enough.
Forty thousand people will die because we don’t know how to prevent metastatic breast cancer.
Because, in simple terms, we don’t know how to prevent normal cells from becoming malignant.
Maybe, if the bulk of donated dollars were given to research, we'd be more hopeful, but that is not the case.  Not when Komen for the Cure appropriates approximately 19% to research, along with a myriad of other organizations raising money "for the cure," but actually only raising enough to sell additional cute shirts and pink rubber bracelets adorned with catchy phrases.
What an opportunity you have, Nancy Brinker.  To stand up in front of the millions working so hard for the cause and announce Komen has fulfilled their goal of raising awareness, and while it won't be forgotten, fewer dollars will be allocated.  Stand up and declare it’s time for Komen to refocus their efforts where it's needed most -- research, because without that, breast cancer will never be cured.
Komen has the power to fund the most promising work, the opportunity to further incredible advancements.  Komen can be on the cutting edge of the breast cancer cure.
And isn’t that really what you promised your sister so long ago?  Back, when you yourself were grumbling about the way the disease was handled.  How can you fulfill your promise to end breast cancer without prioritizing research?
Please don’t disrespect us for questioning the status quo.  In the end, we all want the same thing.  A clear path to a future without breast cancer.  One where awareness campaigns are gone for good.  


We heard you.  Do you hear us?





13 comments:

  1. Thank you for the pep-talk. I found you just a few days ago; unfortunately it was the day you lost your sweet Goliath. I am sorry for your loss. At the time, (just a few days ago), I almost felt like an intruder, stumbling upon something so emotional and private. I appreciate that you loved him like a child, just as I love my dogs. Congratulations on your one year blog-verssary and I look forward to reading what is to come.

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  2. I'm saddened to learn of Goliath's death. Grieving for a loved one is one of the most painful things we will ever do. I'm not sure I could handle losing another member of my family. Goldie, Sam and Molly are the only family I have left since James died.

    I am so very disappointed in Lesie Aun. I fear her failure to comment on the responses to her blog post on BreastCancerSisterhood is indicative of Komen's refusal to hear their critics. I also know that to effect real change neither "side" can remain ensconced in their corners, and so, I will continue to try to make some kind of headway.

    Heal well, my friend. Your loss is felt by all of us who love our canine family with wild abandonment.

    XOXOXO,
    Brenda

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  3. Thank you fellow "grumbler." This post is perfect! I'm glad your spark is re-ignited and you feel like blogging again. I think I'll pass on giving Ms. Brinker any credit however.

    And I love your line about grumblers' "concerns tossed aside as some lint plucked from a fancy pink jacket,"... priceless!

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  4. Really well said Stacey. You make Goliath (and the rest of us) so proud with your writing. :)

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  5. Grumble on. ROAR!

    Well done!
    jms

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  6. Bravo, Stacey!! We all heard you loud and clear and are hoping Nancy does the same.

    Mere grumbling? I don't think so.

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  7. Where can I get one of those T-Shirts?

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  8. Stacey, Brinker's 'grumblings' have sparked a lot of us off the couch and at the keyboard. And we don't give up! xxoo

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  9. Sorry everyone for addressing you all in one comment. Blogger really needs to get on that.

    Hi Tory, I'm so very happy you stopped by. Thank you for understanding about Goliath. So many people without pets have this "just a dog" attitude that's pretty hard to take. It's nice being around people who get it. Thank you!

    Brenda, thanks for writing, I'm glad you have your canine support group. I can't begin to imagine how much you miss James and hope your doggie friends provide some comfort for you. I admire you so much for approaching Komen. Ms. Aun's lack of response to our comments along with Ms. Brinker's choice of words in her SacBee article may truly be how they feel about those questioning their practices. They're so big now, they don't really need to address our concerns. But, it sure would be nice if they did. Thank you for your continued effort on behalf of all us.

    Hi Nancy, thank you, as always, for your support. I'm always waiting to see what you have to say on things.

    Rachel, so nice to see you here! Thank you for reading and as far as rants go... You're #1 and a tough act to follow.

    Jody, thanks for allowing me to use, "Roar." It's easy to write these kinds of rants because I know I'm not alone. Thanks for being there.

    Beth, thanks for joing in.

    Hi Dave! Maybe we should come up with our own slogan. What should it say?

    Hi Kathi, I loved your response on your blog to Ms. Brinker's words. It's nice knowing our Sherpas are standing strong. I don't think Komen has any idea what they're up against. Silly Komen.

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  10. Great post. Dude (and Dudette), where's the cure? indeed!

    Hope you are holding up OK in the wake of Goliath's passing.
    {{{hugs}}}

    -Renn

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  11. Hey girlfriend--I'd say I'm sending you a big pink bouquet, but I fear it would be tossed aside! You "grumblers" keep me on track!!!
    Hugs x 10
    Lisa

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  12. I want one of those t-shirts, too! Thank you for putting a pen to my thoughts. BC sucks. Where's the cure?? Oh, never mind, we're still focused on awareness. My bad.

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