So now before I start I'll just say - sorry girls if I will be spoiling this for anybody...
Right now one of the things I really truly can't stand is a little game on Facebook. Now it is not so much the game part that is annoying me, but that they are actually trying to say this is more than just a game. I'm fine with people playing along, but really? To keep pestering me on Facebook to play along? That's just annoying.
But before I get all carried away (Terence says it is surprising I still have a mind left because I give a piece of my mind so often :-) ), here is the email that I have been receiving:
It is that time of year again! It is time to raise awareness for Breast Cancer.
Remember the status about our bra color or where we put our purse?? It made more people aware of the problem as it went viral on FB and made the news.
Don't tell any MEN what the status means! Copy, paste and resend this message to all your girl friends, let's see if we can make it work like before, keep them guessing, let's see if we make the news!
The idea is to use you birthdate, month and day only, no year!
Write: "I am going to live in _______ (see below) for _______
Ex. if your BD was on February 14th, then
" I am going to live n London for 14 months!!!!
January - Mexico
February - London
March - Miami
April - Dominican Republic
May - France
June - St. Petersburg
July - Austria
August - Germany
September - New York
October - Amsterdam
November - Las Vegas
December - Columbia
I hope you're in!
So let's look at what they are saying. They are saying that if I type "I'm going to live in New York for 21 months" as my Facebook status that this is somehow going to raise awareness for cancer. Now I've read this several times and really, all this does is confuse people. Unless I'm missing something here... Nowhere does it even remotely make mention of the word cancer.
Another problem I have with this is that the email very clearly states "Don't tell any MEN". Now I have a problem with this bit to be honest. If you are supposedly raising awareness by playing this game, why would you exclude somebody? As much as people might think that this is some exclusive club where only the very privileged might join, men also get breast cancer (click here).
The thing with cancer (any type of cancer) is that it does not discriminate. It doesn't only choose some people, anybody can get cancer. Even when people think it will never happen to them. So if you are truly trying to raise awareness by playing this game, why would you exclude somebody? If a woman is fighting breast cancer, would she not want her partner's support? Would she not want her partner to learn as much as they can? In real life you would not exclude anybody!
The other thing that is making me feel rather uncomfortable about this whole game is that cancer is no game. There is nothing about it that is fun or funny or should be made fun of. (I actually wrote a whole blog entry on this before, click here to read). It is traumatic, devastating and likely the most exhausting thing anybody will ever have to do. And your life will never again be the same.
For me, real awareness is making people aware of the facts. Teaching them what to look out for. Sharing with them whatever knowledge you might have. That is raising awareness.
Sometimes people ask me why nowadays so many more kids get cancer than they did in the old days and this is what I usually say. Kids in the old days also got cancer, but because kids could show symptoms for other illnesses, if the testing wasn't as advanced, then it could be mistaken for something else. With Bianca's particular type of cancer, if she did not get treatment she would have died within 3 months. And the month leading up to her hospital admission and diagnosis she had tonsillitis and that is what she was treated for. If we did not have suitable testing available to us, they would never have thought she actually had cancer. But thankfully through real awareness, things have changed through the years and Bianca's chances certainly are far better now than it would have been 50 years ago.
And this is why I am doing things like Funrazor. This is my way to help raise money so places like CCF can continue doing what they are doing. This is my way to help spread the word. That just because your child is healthy, does not mean that kids do not get cancer. Before Bianca was diagnosed I had no idea that there were different types of leukemia or that treatment for leukemia is as long as it was or that there were other types of cancers kids could get. Doing Funrazor and through our previous blog - this is my way to raise awareness. Real awareness. Trying to make a real difference! Not a silly little game on Facebook...
Sure, I am happy for people to play along with this little game and to keep the men guessing, but then keep it a game. Don't pretend it is actually raising awareness. And please don't send me requests to play along with this. I have no interest in playing along.