Several years ago, I posted “black” as my Facebook status. Right along with everyone else, I was posting the color of my bra that day as part of a Facebook meme that was going around, which was meant to raise awareness of breast cancer.
In light of the current Facebook meme going around to “raise awareness” of breast cancer, I reflect on that and feel stupid. What on earth did posting my bra color accomplish in the fight to eradicate a disease which claims over 40,000 American lives each year? Last night, I was incensed by the current meme making the rounds. Someone posts something in their status like, I eat boogers or I’m pregnant. Once you like the status or excitedly congratulate who you think is a mother-to-be, you receive a message saying that you shouldn’t have liked or commented on their status because now you have to post something ridiculous from the list provided as your status. And it’s all to raise breast cancer awareness.
Guys. Seriously. Come on.
I had a hard time falling asleep last night, stewing about why it made me so angry. I realized it was because, to me, it felt like it trivialized such a devastating illness like cancer. I’m sure, like me several years ago, no harm was intended. But people need to know that it is harmful for some and doesn’t do any good for others.
It doesn’t help my father-in-law, for whom chemotherapy and radiation did not work, and is now buying time in his battle with prostate cancer.
It doesn’t help Mike’s uncle, who is thankfully in remission, after lymphoma attacked his body a second time.
It doesn’t help a young woman my age, who is struggling to take care of herself and her family, because the chemotherapy used to diminish her breast cancer makes her desperately ill.
It would not have helped a little girl, not much older than Rachael, who was taken much too soon.
It would not have helped my grandfather, who still died of lung cancer, even though he quit smoking once he learned that smoking was harmful.
It would not have helped my aunt, Donna, who was in incredible pain and rarely lucid as brain cancer took her.
So, rather than tricking others into believing you’re pregnant, I suggest a new meme.
I just donated to the American Cancer Society with the hope that, someday, cancer will be cured and eradicated. Your turn.