Laura J Esserman, you’re singing my tune

In breast cancer awareness month, too many people are clicking on my post of Oct 2013 about “No Bra Day” , hoping (I assume) to see something salacious (but – ha! – I have made the picture very small). Instead, I urge readers to go to the link below for an inspirational article about a surgeon in the States who is prepared to think a bit differently (and rigorously) about breast cancer. I was at the hospital again this week and had to explain myself and my position on mammography to a new doctor. He should read this.


Pink Stinks

My blog doesn’t get many hits most of the time any more. So normally I’m delighted when my viewing rates show a spike. There’s been a bit more unsolicited interest in the last few days, and from further afield than usual, and I wondered why for just a little while. And then I realised that of course it’s October again – so-called Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and that the hits I’m getting on my blog are nearly all on my post (written a year ago now) about the senselessness and insensitivity of No Bra Day.

I don’t feel it all as acutely as last year, but it’s a bit crap, isn’t it? I mean, I’m very glad if someone gets the message that NBD is a bad idea because of what I wrote. But I’m not glad that, whatever else I write about – rivers, memory, poems, music, ageing, cancer, overdiagnosis, getting better – it’s the post about the bras and the boobs that gets the hits.

So, if you’re visiting here because of that post, here’s a challenge. Up your game, and instead of doing something stupid and pointless in the name of Breast Cancer Awareness, read something serious.

Here are a couple of blogs on WordPress which will help. Try Positive3negative, or Evenstarsexplode. Or you could even read more right here. It might raise your awareness.

One right-wing American male changes his mind

This bloke (CS) had advertised a Facebook “event” for the 13th October. He entitled it “No Bra Day” (if Obama hasn’t shut this down too”). There’s a clue in there about his politics.

Here are our exchanges.
Me This is AWFUL. It is offensive to women like me who have had breast cancer. Please look at my blog and think about the message this idea is putting out.

The next day, I picked this up:
CS Dear ED , dont know who you are , but here is a news flash , EVERYONE is entitled to an opinion , i have several close friends who, like you have had breast cancer , they learned to deal with it and so have I , maybe its time you did the same , if you do not like this , simply block any further updates from this page , thank you

The next bit happened in real time:

Me Of course everyone is entitled to an opinion. I am expressing mine. It is less than two months since I lost a breast. I am dealing with it. But I do not expect ever to feel at ease with an event which focuses on women’s body parts rather than women as whole human beings.

CS as ive said , i feel compassion for those who have to go through this , never meant to offend anyone , sorry , wish ya luck in the future , cancer is never an easy illness to deal with

Me Thank you.

You are very welcome , im about to do something ive never done before , I am going to remove this event .

Me Fantastic – I am so glad. And I am very,very impressed by your humility and ability to reflect and change your mind. That is not easy to do.

But CS did not get this last comment because he had already taken his event down by the time I had typed it. I am trying to contact him via Facebook to say thank you.