Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness America

As we all know October brings about a massive awareness and support to breast cancer. Pink ribbons start popping up everywhere, TV ads and talk shows feature it, shops and stores sell products benefiting it, hell even the NFL goes pink! This past Sunday as I sat watching the Giants beat the Bears (thank you boys for winning!) I noted each pink glove and pink ribbon plastered all over that playing field and stadium. It is awesome that such support, true nationwide support, is shown for an awful disease that's had to fight its way to recognition and awareness. Breast cancer patients were treated horribly before 1998, when The Federal Breast Reconstruction Law aka The Women's Health Act * was passed. Insurance companies would pay only for complete mastectomy's, leaving a flat scar in the place of a breast with the healthy breast still intact! I recently received a notice in the mail from my insurance company summarizing their benefits regarding breast cancer and the right to have reconstruction and the other non-cancer breast reconstructed as well. I showed it to my husband and said, "Read this. Look at how horrible women were treated. This is now Federal Law. They had to fight for this." He glanced at it and looked at me in shock. He could not believe women were left breastless and unbalanced. He could not imagine a world where that would fly...

We are at the beginning of a similar fight, my Fibro-friends. We are fighting for recognition and awareness of an illness that is mysterious, debilitating and misunderstood. We are fighting to be taken seriously and not dismissed as lazy, crazy or wimpy. We are fighting and we will win when we all come together and demand nothing less. But we are not there yet, oh so not even close. We are a defeated little bunch that have retreated into ourselves as a major coping mechanism. We have been beaten down and abused emotionally and mentally because we happened to get an illness that is not established. We lack confidence in ourselves, our diagnosis, the reality of what we live with day in and day out. We doubt ourselves, blame ourselves, wallow in endless troughs of guilt. We push ourselves well past sick in an attempt to prove to the world at large what we are dealing with is "real". Then we spiral into a whole other level of misery beyond that. I know this only too well, for I did it myself. I firmly believe "early detection" is not just for breast cancer, but Fibromyalgia as well! The sooner a person is diagnosed and begins working with their competent and compassionate doctor on managing it the less chance it has to overtake your life. 

We are in the "building the army" phase of The Fibromyalgia Crusade. Fibromyalgia patients need to find their fight! We need the anger, the passion, the unrelenting insistence that things have got to change or we have no chance of ever changing the reality of living with this illness. I hear time and time again how defeated my readers are. So doubted, so questioned. We must rally together and build each other up. We must use each other to feel stronger, lean on when times are tough, a shoulder to cry on is needed or someone to scream to (softly of course, can't use up all that energy at once!) about how awful you feel or have been treated or horribly your life is falling apart. Whatever way we do it, we have got to get mad, get strong and get ready to march to the battle line. Breast cancer survivors did not do it by feeling sorry for themselves or wallowing in guilt for getting sick or listen to those in their life that told them to deal with having just 1 breast. They did it with passion, and they did it together. And the beauty is, they did it, and we can too.

Thanks for joining,

*Information in this blog provided by thebreastcaresite.com


  1. I have come to look forward to reading your blogs and this one fit perfect today. I have felt so defeated and alone. I'm not alone though, I am just one of many in a fight to be recognized as someone fighting what feels like the fight for life against this monster we call fibro. Thanks for writing this Lea. God Bless.

  2. Yeah! I am glad you are feeling a bit better after being reminded you are part of a big whole that needs you! We ARE fighting the fight for life against an all-consuming and crippling illness.
    Blessings my friend,