This is the post in which we say goodbye. We’re both leaving our respective jobs at Beliefnet, and so it’s time to step away from the blog. So, this is the post in which we say goodbye…by saying thank you. Thank you to you, the readers, for clicking and visiting and sharing the myriad ways […]
We are proud to offer an extensive array of supportive features in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But as one of our authors, Lori Hope, points out in this powerful guest post, it can be difficult to be a non-breast-cancer survivor in October because you can easily feel like your disease is carried out to sea on a tide of pink ribbons. –Holly
challenging to be a Breath Cancer survivor during Breast Cancer Awareness
Month. What‘s Breath
Cancer? It‘s the
cancer that attacks the organ behind the breast, the organ we cannot live
Its proper name is Lung Cancer. But I prefer to call it
Breath Cancer, because it literally and permanently takes the breath from a
jumbo jet-full of people every day.
I bet you‘re
wondering if I smoked. Did you know that up to 20% of people with Breath Cancer
never smoked, 60% don‘t
currently smoke, and most of us wince at the question?
ask Breast Cancer survivors whether they‘re
overweight or drank wine (raises the risk), exercised (lowers risk), or got
regular mammograms. Is this partly because Breast Cancer is sexualized? As the
new “Save the
Boobs“ PSA shows,
breasts are beautiful. And the thought of losing them? Terrifying. No blame, no
shame to Breast Cancer.
Not so with Breath Cancer. Although it‘s usually caused by
smoking — which like
overeating, is a lifestyle choice —
most fighting the disease don‘t
smoke. But that shouldn‘t
matter anyway. Cancer is cancer. I lost one friend to Breast, another to Colon,
another to Breath Cancer. Did one deserve to live more than another?
challenging to be a Breath Cancer survivor during October because everyone cares so vocally about Breast Cancer. And although Breath Cancer kills twice as many
women, during Lung Cancer Awareness Month (November), you won‘t see invisible ribbons (the non-color of
Breath Cancer) used to hawk everything from tissues to tampons.
Stigma has kept Breath Cancer deplorably underfunded. And
that‘s why only 15%
of us live longer than five years. That‘s
unfair. So please. Care.
And by the way, yes, I smoked, but quit almost 20 years before my
diagnosis. Regardless, don‘t
I deserve to live?
Lori Hope is the author of the top-rated cancer support book, Help
Me Live: 20 things people with cancer want you to know, and speaks and blogs about
how to help people facing cancer and other life challenges. For more
information, see LoriHope.com, or read her
interview with Time,
“How to talk to a friend with breast cancer”.
Read Lori’s powerful cancer features on Beliefnet:
(image via http://shop.advanceweb.com/)
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