Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness? Um no.

For those of you not on Facebook this post might not make sense to you. But for those of you on Facebook you more than likely will know exactly what I am talking about. Lately there have been Facebook statuses that look something like this… “I am ___ weeks and I am craving _____”. The first time I saw it I thought the person really was pregnant…um, why would I not have thought that? Luckily, the Lord has brought me to a good place and for the first time in a long time I AM genuinely happy for my friends/acquaintances when I hear pregnancy announcements. HOWEVER, that has not always been the case and like I have posted about before here (I encourage you to check it out if you didn’t read it back in the day), Facebook can be a very painful place when you are struggling with infertility.

It seems like people are ALWAYS announcing pregnancies, complaining about pregnancy symptoms, making comments about wanting it to be over, etc. Those comments HURT when ALL YOU WANT is to experience the exact same thing! YOU want to be the one announcing your pregnancy, YOU want to be the one experiencing terrible heartburn and not being able to sleep at night. Pregnancy announcements cause such a roller coaster of emotions for those struggling with infertility and with Facebook those announcements and following updates can be constant reminders of what you are trying so desperately for.

All that to say, when I saw this post I just thought the girl was pregnant but then farther down in my feed there was another status update that followed the same pattern. I started to get confused at that point and then through some investigating found out that it is a Facebook game to raise awareness for breast cancer. Um, what???

First of all…it doesn’t. There is nothing about that status update that has anything to do with breast cancer. It does not raise breast cancer awareness.

Second of all…it can be VERY hurtful to women (and men) who are struggling with infertility and loss. It is making light of something so special and rubbing in their faces yet again that they are not able to post an honest status about being pregnant.YOU might think that it is silly for such a little Facebook game to cause that roller coaster of emotions, but it does. Approximately 1 in 6 women experience infertility, so chances are there are many women that YOU are Facebook friends with that are dealing with it. PLEASE think before you post!!!

One of the blogs I follow blogged about this exact topic, so I know I am not alone here in my annoyance of this game. Check her post out here…there was some HEATED discussion in the comments section.

What about you? Were you annoyed or hurt at this “game”?

9 comments:

  1. I was certainly annoyed as I thought about person after person who would read those and be brokenhearted!! It makes no sense, and while the first time they did this weird thing I see where it got some press for breast cancer awareness, it doesn't do anything anymore! Go walk the Komen Race for the Cure if you want to raise awareness, wear a pink ribbon, something that actually brings awareness. I agree with you here!

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  2. I think it's in extremely poor taste all around, just as other similar supposed breast cancer "awareness" gimmicks. They do nothing to make anybody "aware" of anything about this very serious illness. The bra color one, for instance, I found revolting, and all other ones insinuating sexual anything. I don't like playing misleading games like that. They're exclusive in nature and cliquish, and to me they seem to be a thinly disguised attempt to legitimize coarse behavior with a noble cause. If anything, I think it trivializes the breast cancer battle. The same with this campaign tease that leads people to believe one is pregnant. Part of me cringes for people like us who've gone through many years of infertility and miscarriages. But then, that's just a touchy place in ME, just like when people make light of domestic violence. For instance, I strongly object to the term "wife-beater" when referring to a sleeveless tee shirt. Putting a term like that into common usage minimizes the very real crime too many of us suffer. BUT THEN AGAIN, that's my own touchiness. I cannot expect the world to revolve around my "issues" and my thin skin areas. Maybe when people say these things that set my teeth on edge, though, it can remind me not only to toughen up a bit so I can be around these otherwise lovely people without pain, but to make myself more consciously aware of other people's soft spots. We all have them, even us humorless old farts. I don't want to think we are compelled to walk on eggshells around each other, but maybe handle each other a bit more gently. We can break.

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  3. I am infertile and my mom is a breast cancer survivor. I wish people would think before re-posting childish games like this. They do nothing for awareness and are incredibly insensitive to those of us who have personally experienced cancer or infertility.

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  4. I did NOT enjoy the game either.

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  5. Just hopped over from another blog. I wondered if maybe I was being too sensitive, reacting so strongly to this latest fb "game". So glad I'm not the only one hurt and annoyed!

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  6. I don't understand the game and think it's ridiculous!

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  7. I think this game is ridiculous, disgusting and cruel. It is suggestive, not informative and should not be so popular. Oh, the many woes of facebook. Love you!

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  8. I was hurt by this little status update on facebook, as well. When I first saw it I believed that my friend was pregnant and when I found out it was about breast cancer I just was puzzled! It has nothing to do with breast cancer! I will never forget infertility and the feelings it can bring about, and so I would never make light of such a serious situation. I actually get annoyed with facebook pregnancy comments in general:). I am with you here!

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  9. I did not see it on FB, thank goodness. Sounds like people who have actually had cancer should be annoyed, too. That is a disease that should not be turned into a game. I still have trouble being around pregnant people and babies. In fact, I avoid them at all costs. Baby showers, unless they are for people who are adopting, are tortuous for me. I don't think I will ever be over that grief and I was fortunate enough to adopt a child. For me, the grief has never lessened and I doubt it ever will, but I try to focus on what I do have. Things like FB make it tough, though.

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