Thursday, September 4, 2008

Why am I not interested in Stand Up 2 Cancer?

Twice today, tomorrow's TV event, Stand Up 2 Cancer, came up. My dad mentioned it and so did the Cheeky Librarian.

Teri (the Cheeky Librarian) made some good points in terms of why she doesn't plan to tune in and I happen to agree with her.

But for me, there's something more going on that I'm still trying to put my finger on. It has to do with the fact that I've never participated in Race for the Cure, even when I was diagnosed six years ago, or Relay for Life. Three of my friends and colleagues either participated in these two events or donated money on my behalf and I really don't mind that. Others donated directly to the American Cancer Society on my behalf. Again, more power to them. A friend of mind mentioned getting a team together for Race for the Cure in Portland later this month and I said I wasn't really interested.

Our local breast cancer coordinator recently mentioned an annual event here called Puttin' on the Pink and I told her that I'm not really interested in that either. Part of it has to do with the critique against "pink ribbon marketing". (I think Breast Cancer Action has a lot of material on that.)

But on a personal level, I don't really want to participate. I think it might have to do with the fact that I LIVE cancer all the time and I also tend to think about it more than the average person (uh, ya think?). So, when I do have leisure time, I want to have fun and live as normal a life as I possibly can, one in which cancer doesn't take center stage. I'd rather be doing different things that define my life more.

Like my son and my family.

Like my friends.

Like my work.

Does that make sense?


Wendy S. Harpham, MD said...

Yes, you make total sense because you are what I call a Healthy Survivor, namely someone who gets good care and who, at the same time, lives as fully as possible.

Sometimes living fully means leaving cancer behind.

With hope, Wendy

jeanne said...

Yep, I'm with you! Well put. nyc j

MisAnthropology said...

You bet it does. There's the wanting to do your own thing on your own time thing, and the fact that this is something you are working mightily -- and with a kind of attitude and success that almost makes it seem easy and matter of course -- to put behind you forever. Add to that the shudder factor of the 'all the kidz are doing it' thing. It's why the concept of the "green wedding" gives me the willies. Yes, the concept is cool and I actually do want to do it, but criminy.... it has become so commodified... . Ick. (We will not speak of ridiculously priced shoes, here.)

And for my part, I'm slowly weaning the fiance of his commemorative rubber bracelets (one of his sisters and her daughter died of cancer). Pink ribbon marketing and yellow Livestrong marketing both drive me crazy. It would be like me wearing a mass produced item that reminded me every second that my brother keeled over from a brain aneurysm, after brain aneurysms became all the latest rage. I just can't see doing that.

That said, people need to do what they need to do. BUT there ain't nuthin' wrong with needing to just live a good life doing whatever it is one needs to do to make that good life happen, without all the color-coded symbolism of this battle or that.

Carver said...

Hi Dee,

I think you make excellent points about this.

Dee said...

Hi everyone,
Thank you all for visiting and further clarifying what it is I'm trying to say. It is because I want to leave it behind (while still doing what I can to fight it) and also because, like Mary, I don't necessarily like to do something just because everyone else is doing it. I hate the commodification of cancer, too.

I hope you all have a great week-end!