This blog will probably upset some people. I talk about real life. In fact I talk about my life. My life with incurable, but always fatal, secondary breast cancer aged 36. So if my reality distress you then don’t read. Plus this blog might use naughty words. So beware and enter at your own risk.
Today is secondary breast cancer awareness day. The day when people like me who are dying of the pink and positive “good” cancer are meant to be the centre of attention. I mean ONE day in breast cancer awareness month to acknowledge those of us who are dying for a cure doesn’t seem that excessive. Does it?
Instead #NoBraDay is trending. Today on secondary breast cancer awareness day of all days. Why does that annoy me? Let me count the ways. Firstly a bunch of juvenile idiots are just sharing pictures of breasts on social media. I mean seriously who hijacks a day for the dying with soft porn? Secondly I hate the idea of not wearing a bra – it’s uncomfortable and I can’t do sports. Thirdly it’s great to see mastectomy photos being shared, but hi there – not all secondary breast cancer patients get a mastectomy. Some of us get diagnosed de novo at stage 4. No NHS mastectomy for us! Fourth I still have my breasts and need a bra to support them. Finally, how the f*** does not wearing a bra raise awareness of the 31 British women a day who are dying of secondary breast cancer? My breasts are still killing me, despite some women not wearing a bra. Are they raising money for research into new and innovative treatments for secondary breast cancer? If not f*** off #NoBraDay.
Even when we cut through the noise a bit with campaigns like #IAmThe31 by @metupukorg, we still get drowned out. By ostriches. By the I don’t want to know brigade. By the be positive cheerleaders who don’t understand that positivity doesn’t kill cancer cells (though see Tassia’s post the other day). Imagine dying in your 30s and then being told hearing about your life is “too upsetting” and needs a trigger warning. If anyone thinks hearing about my life is hard, try living it.
So please follow @metupukorg and hear our truths. The women and men in the group would love to be ostriches, but we don’t have that option. Nor do our loved ones. We are living with a killer inside of us. We need people to fight for us.
Honouring the fallen is all very well, but what does it do? Tears don’t stop my friends from dying. Flowers don’t bring my social media followers back to life. If only they did. 31 a day die in the UK alone. We’ve tried smiling, waving pink ribbons and being positive. Nobody listened. Now we are DEMANDING. Not just for our lives, but for our children and your children. Because without action, they will be cursed to our fate and the 31 will just keep dying, every single day. So I’m sorry if our reality is sad and upsetting to you. If you want positivity, then help us fight for it.
Kit – METUPUK activist & advocate