Thursday, June 13, 2013

Score for Humanity

The supreme court today announced that you cannot by law patent DNA!  Well color me happy!  We are well on our way to making the BRCA genetic mutation test available to everyone!

Score one for humanity, Myriad= 0

Read all about it here: Court says human genes cannot be patented

Monday, June 10, 2013

New Challenges

To this point, I have felt very pleased with my decision regarding my surgery and I have been extremely open about it.  However, I find myself in a new challenging position.  In this situation, I feel embarrassed, uncomfortable and modest. 

The locker room.  I am now coaching swimming at the local YMCA and with that employment, I get a family membership.  I decided Friday that I was going to take a mid-day class and shower there to be ready for a formal celebration afterwards.  Everything was all fine and dandy until I had to shower in a large room with a bunch of naked women.  As a former swimmer, this would not phase me in the least; until now.  Sans areolas (funny, spell check doesn't recognize this as a word), I clearly look different.  I get noticeable stares.  I find myself rushing and covering and cowering to hide my scars.  I find myself embarrassed.  Not ashamed, but definitely uncomfortable and not open to discussing my surgery with strangers while naked. 

For the first time in 2 year, the 2 years since my surgery, this situation has me baffled.  How do you deal with this?  The obvious answer is getting nipple tattoos.  But I don't want that.  I want a mastectomy tattoo, and I have one scheduled, but in the meantime.  How would you feel if you saw someone without nipples in a locker room?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Money Talks; Cancer Research Suffers

Susan G. Komen announced today that they are cutting the 3-Day Walk event in seven cities!  7 Cities!  That's nearly a million dollars worth of money to cancer research and countless amounts of awareness lost.

This article relates the decline in participation and lack of fundraising potentially to the controversy last year with SGK and Planned Parenthood: Komen breast cancer charity cancels walks in seven U.S. cities

I urge anyone reading this blog, or others, to put aside political opinions, religious "laws" and personal reactions to SGK and Planned Parenthood to see the "real" loser in this battle.  The real loser is cancer patients and survivors.  People are reluctant to donate to SGK and SGK events because SGK supports Planned Parenthood and on the other side are reluctant to support SGK because they broke partnership with Planned Parenthood.  It's a lose lose for SGK.  But again, who is the real loser?  All the women that SGK supports and touches with their power, reach and funding. 

As a former 3-Day walk participant, 3 times over, and raising nearly $10,000 single handedly, I can say that I have done my research.  SGK gives around 80% of funds raised to research and advocacy.  80%!  They aren't paying secretaries, or breaking even on event costs.  They are putting money where it needs to be. 

I urge you to find other ways to express your political/religious opinions that doesn't include punishing cancer patients and women.  I know that is a lot to ask.  I hate to say it, but not funding programs from SGK because of Planned Parenthood (whether for or against) is misguided.  It's not having the intended impact desired, and instead is harming women across the country and the world.  Think about it.  Cancer doesn't discriminate.  It strikes all races, religions, political party members and genders alike.  Fighting cancer with politics and religion is ineffective.  Cancer, I assure you, doesn't care.