I have been trying to find out what is happening for Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day on 13 October 2012 in the United Kingdom. The answer seems to be a big fat nothing. The charity Breast Cancer Care did organise something for last year, but it all seems to have been forgotten, as though we have all gone away - i.e. died. The small amount of effort that they did put in seems to have fizzled out and it is back to service as normal for Pinktober. Pink ribbons and survivors.
Is anyone actually interested in our existence, except as a slogan for raising money for breast cancer charities and early-stage awareness? 'Over 11,000 people died of breast cancer in the UK last year' so give us your money so we can educated people about the symptoms of breast cancer and fund research into preventing the spread of breast cancer. Just one problem with that - WHAT ABOUT THOSE OF US WHO ARE ALREADY STAGE IV? Sorry to shout but for those 11,000 people finding a way to stop mets happening was just not much use; it has already happened and now they are dead. What we need is an effective treatment or cure for the cancer when it has spread. This is the type of cancer which kills, but the focus is all on the survivors who, on the whole, just don't want to acknowledge our existence because we are a reminder of what their future may be ... especially as there is no effective treatment or a cure.
So what will I be doing on 13 October? I hope to be at the Macmillan Cancer Voices conference near London, and one of the sessions I hope to do is about advocacy. The other is about campaigning for changes to my local NHS. However, I have tried writing to the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail about MBCA Day but I have not had a reply, but I didn't really think they would take any notice of me. I may try my more local papers; the good old Lymington Times, or the Southampton Echo to see if they are doing anything to support this day. The real shame is that one thing that I have found is that it is very difficult to get people with MBC to be willing to support others with the disease. Maybe it is just because I really don't have much of a life so I am interested in helping others deal with all of this and trying to get information, advice and guidance to others. So maybe it is me who ought to give up and accept that a lot of other folks just aren't interested?