Wednesday, October 10, 2018

I Am Aware

Let me be upfront here… This may upset some of you.

With that being written… I’m aware of breast cancer.

I get it. Breast cancer exists. It has been around for as long as I can remember. I’ve been fully aware of breast cancer. We lost my Aunt Penny to breast cancer and the complications. I became painfully aware seeing the woman on her death bed in her home. I became so upset that I couldn’t stay the night in the house when she was begging someone in her family to put her out of her misery. I called up a cousin from the other side of my family that lived nearby to see if I could crash on his couch. He obliged. She died in the early morning the next day. I was a pall bearer that carried her casket to the grave.

The family met her the week before to bid their farewell, but I couldn’t make it. I believe that she waited a week longer to see me before dying. I could be wrong. She had a last request of me that will remain private.

It was one of the most unpleasant things that I have ever dealt with. Losing a friend or family member is tough, but to hear them begging to be put down is heartbreaking.

I was aware of breast cancer before my mother was diagnosed with the disease. She had a double mastectomy and occasionally still has problems associated with the surgery and disease. I still wear the shirt that we made to support her and her fight.

I was aware of breast cancer when I saw some friends posting on Facebook about themselves or someone else with the disease. I’m happy to say those women have kicked breast cancer’s ass.

I was aware of breast cancer when my sister was diagnosed with the disease. She had a mastectomy. And just recently, she was proud to “show off” her replacement breast to which I replied, “I never thought my sister would ever ask me how I like her breasts.” Now keep in mind, there were no baring of the breasts… You pervs! And maybe “showing off” is the wrong term. I don’t know. If you believe that I’m guilty of being insensitive, so be it. Our mother got a chuckle out of my comment. People condemn folks quite easily these days so, condemn me if you must. I believe that she felt confident in beating breast cancer and proud of what she regained through the miracle of modern surgery.

It is not my intention to make fun or put down anyone with breast cancer, breast cancer survivors, or otherwise.

I’m just aware of breast cancer.

Ask ANYONE within your space right this second if they’re aware of breast cancer and I’m 99.99% sure that they’ll say, “Yeah. I’m aware of breast cancer.” Or something to that effect.

So… Who ISN’T aware of breast cancer? Where are these people? Are they in the deepest jungle hundreds or thousands of miles away from civilization? Can we fly over and drop pamphlets onto those unaware of breast cancer to make them aware? Why aren’t the Susan G. Komen folks organizing walks through those jungles to bring breast cancer awareness to those that do not know?

Instead we have football players wearing pink. Newscasters are wearing pink dresses and pink ties. NASCAR even has some pink races cars, pink painted walls, and pink painted curbs at Martinsville. Folks are taking walks all across the country to raise money while wearing pink. I see pink ribbons on vehicles on the roadways. Lots of folks are saying that it’s to make people aware of breast cancer.

You know, the people that are ALREADY aware of breast cancer. So, yeah… I don’t get it.

Can we drop the “breast cancer awareness” bit?

Can we just make October the month for the Breast Cancer Pledge Drive?

Make people aware of the Breast Cancer Pledge Drive. That’s the ticket! We’re ALL aware of breast cancer. And folks have been using the word “awareness” instead of “asking for donations”. Lets just call it what it is… We KNOW about breast cancer already. I know it’s a way to increase the funds for researching a cure by saying “breast cancer awareness”. There’s nothing wrong with raising money for such an endeavor. But I have grown sick of bringing awareness to something that we ALL know about. It makes me jaded. It makes me unsympathetic to the cause because “awareness” is constantly being shoved down my throat when I KNOW that it’s all about raising money.

Again, I know my thoughts on this are going to upset someone. Everyone seems to have an exposed nerve just itching to get offended or outraged over something. Did it occur to anyone else that bringing awareness to something that we’re already aware of kind of insults our collective intelligence?

Perhaps we should be upset with the marketers that use “awareness” as a nice way of hitting the population up for donations.

Of course, I know that I’m spitting in the wind here. October and pink ribbons will most likely continue to bring breast cancer awareness to the masses that are already aware long after I’m gone.

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