Thursday, December 14, 2006

MY cancer's better than YOUR cancer!

Okay, call me a snot (and many do) but am I the only one getting kinda tired of hearing about breast cancer??
Now...don't get me wrong, it's a horrible thing to get. But as a colon cancer patient I feel like the red-headed stepchild of cancers. Noone wants to talk about colon cancer...b/c well, that'd mean talking about butts and poop (to put it mildly). But BREASTS! breasts are glorious....we must do everything in our power to save the breasts! The great american breast! So you have both men and women fighting to save the breasts. Sooooo much money and research goes into it. I feel smothered by pink ribbons. EVERYthing you buy donates money to breast cancer research. I bought a latte at my local coffee shop and the little stopper they put in the lid to keep it warm was a little breast cancer stopper!! You buy a mattress and proceeds go to breast cancer, you buy a power drill and proceeds go to breast cancer...SHEESH.
I feel like every celebrity who comes out that they have cancer...has breast cancer. Sheryl Crow, Melissa Ethridge, er...you know, a bunch of others. But who comes out as having colon cancer...uum....(drawing blank here). Oh yea, Sharon Osbourne. (actually, there are several other minor celebrity, or maybe some 'elder' celebrities, who's celebrity really doesn't count anymore).
Farrah Fawcett now has ANAL cancer *Which I have NEVER heard of referred to as anal cancer. Isn't it supposed to be Rectal Cancer...ah well, semantics.
But how much do you hear from her? Do you think she'll stand up and become a staunch spokesperson for getting checked early? I predict No. Why? She probably wants it to fade into the background when she's all said and done. After all, who wants to be known for having butt cancer?
Not me!
but oh wait...I did.

Now, thats not to say that I think breast cancer should not be researched. But I almost feel like it's drawing money away from other cancer research. Is that just my crazy chemo-brain at work? Maybe.
I just don't understand why some cancers get priority over others. Isn't ALL cancer bad? Shouldn't we be concerned with figuring out this Cancer Beast as a whole?
So my kinda cancer isn't as pretty...you have to talk about things like rectums and anus's and anal fissures, fistulas, sphincter muscles, stool (or "output" i like that...thats cute), and things that most people don't ever want to have to speak of in public. But it's an easily cured cancer when caught early. And it can be hush hush if you caught it early, treated it, and go on about your life.
But what is catching it early? Getting a colonoscopy at age 50? Well. I guess. Although if I did it at 50, well...lets say I wouldn't have gotten to do it at 50 if that was the case. I wouldn't have made it to see 50.
Who, at age 25, gets up one morning with no symptoms at all and thinks "Gee, it's a good day for
getting a camera shoved up my butt."
Shouldn't the fact that it CAN and DOES happen to people much much MUCH younger than 50 be publicized? If it is, in fact, so easy to cure early on? My cancer progressed to stage III before my 26th birthday. How long must it have been growing in me then?
Eh, I guess I'm a bit bitter today. But only b/c I see nothing but report after report on the news about Breast cancer. I feel overlooked. Without a voice. I suppose that is what finally spurred me to get my lazy (nonfunctioning) butt up and start blogging.

more to come.

7 comments:

  1. You might be interested to know, Becca, that Olympus, the camera company, is active in creating awareness for colon cancer issues: http://www.olympusamerica.com/msg_section/msg_colorectal_cancer.asp

    OK, so aside from the people at Olympus, I don't know of any other products or corporations working to create awareness about colon cancer. There must be something else out there. As for breast cancer ... well, it does get quite a lot of attention. Earlier today I saw a video story on the CNN webpage about cancer, and clicked on it with great interest. It was all about breast cancer. But yes ... breast cancer is important. Even men get breast cancer, although that is uncommon. I have compelling reasons to believe that I have a genetically destined to develop man-tits one day (judging from the times I have seen my shirtless father), so I should learn a thing or two about testing procedures for breast cancer.

    So my question, then, is what products can effectively be used to promote colon cancer awareness and raise money for research. I really thought about making a t-shirt that says “My best friend got diagnosed with advanced colon cancer, had his (or her) bowels surgically removed, endured intensive chemotherapy with major fatigue, explosive diarrhea, and anal fissures, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.” Then there was the “anal fissure are not funny” t-shirt idea. But the latte at the coffee shop, with proceeds going to benefit breast cancer research … now that gives me an idea. I might approach them with an idea for a coffee drink called an adeno-mochanoma. I envision a mocha cappuccino with the frothy top leveled, and a little pieces of chocolate floating above the froth with drops of red food coloring to represent the bloody stool in the toilet bowl. It would certainly get people’s attention, and proceeds could go to colon cancer research. Maybe I’ll approach them tomorrow!

    Rodney (rthornton on colon club)

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  2. I saw your blog link over on j-pouch.org and bounced over here.

    You make a good point. I thought maybe the reason that breast cancer got all the glory was because there was a much higher incidence of it than rectal/colon cancer. I was wrong on that one.
    I looked up the statistics and found that although more people were diagnosed with breast cancer...
    217,440 vs. 146,980 (colon/rectal)
    colon/rectal cancer had more deaths...
    40,580 vs. 56,730 (colon/rectal)
    Which means that breast cancer has twice the survival race of colon/rectal cancer.
    In the end, I guess it doesn't matter why breast cancer gets all the glory...C'est la vie.

    Source

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  3. Hey. I LOVE the name of your blog!
    I'm a breast cancer survivor. I understand what you're saying about it always being in the news and so much money going for it. I don't get it either. Cancer is cancer. It all sucks. I do know Katie Couric's husband had colon cancer and she does a lot for the cause. She's out there talking about it and I know there's a month devoted to awareness just as October is Breast Cancer month.
    But, I hear ya. You have a great sense of humor about such an ugly monster.
    Rock on.

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  4. hi
    As one of the breast-cancer-afflicted (who also had thyroid cancer), I just wanted to say: "I totally agree with you."
    The way that attention is centered around women's anatomy, the way that the media portrays breast cancer is somehow "sexy"--- which is messed up and disturbing, but there it is. But for me, what's most disturbing is the message that "we need to save the breasts".
    No way! We need to save the women and men (everybody always forgets the men) they are attached to.
    No one needs boobs to live. It's certainly not as difficult a transition as having part of your color removed. (or your thyroid...trust me on that one)

    Funding is very popular to breast cancer, but the end amount of money that actually gets to the researchers? Who knows. A lot of businesses do these feel-good "shop to end cancer" campaigns that slap pink labels on everything and the actual money that gets donated by them is pitiful.

    I love how honest & open you are about dealing with the day-to-day issues of your struggle & I hope that you live a long & healthy life after this bout with cancer is over!

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  5. For what it's worth, I agree with you about breast cancer. I guess it's not socially acceptable to say "I have cancer of my shit-tube" or something.

    In any case, acceptable or not, I do. Although I'll usually refer to it as "colorectal cancer" when talking to most people, heheh. (I went through a period where I would tell people, just because I thought too many were afraid to talk about it, due to stigma or something.)

    Based on the name of your blog, I probably should mention I have an ileostomy. Most people wouldn't know what that means, but I somehow suspect you know all too much about such things.

    And yes, I most likely will not live to see age 50, and have no one else in my family with this history, yada yada.

    Anyway, take care,
    well

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  6. Just wanted to let you know that anal cancer IS NOT the same as rectal cancer. Cell types and treatment are quite different.

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  7. I'm well aware that there are differences. I don't feel like going back and altering my posts after the fact, but if you will notice it was posted just after the convoluted news of Farrah's diagnosis was released. And for a good couple weeks (or months?) there were varying "reports" of what her cancer actually was...was it colon? was it anal? was it intestinal? was it rectal?
    I posted this during all of these conflicting reports.

    I HAD rectal cancer. Of course I know there's a different, more rare ANAL cancer.

    That is hardly the point of this post though.

    thanks for attempting to clarify it, i suppose.

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