Friday, October 22, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Technically, I'm a breast cancer survivor. Not that it really tried to kill me, mind you. It was more a tourist than a killer when they found it. The chronicle starts here, and writing kept me mostly sane during the surreal treatment process. My mother, on the other hand, is a for real survivor of not only breast cancer but now ovarian cancer. Hats off, mom.

What bothers me about breast cancer awareness month is that it focuses on fear. Get checked! Get your mammogram! YOU MIGHT HAVE CANCER RIGHT NOW! To me, the tone if it is all wrong. Not that the at risk among us shouldn't get checked - it should be a normal part of their routine though, not something they have to be frightened into.

Here is what I want out of breast cancer awareness month. I would like each and every one of you when you hear something about it (or any other scary awareness month for that matter), to try and make a commitment to treat your body better. Yes, you. Here is what I'm talking about, and over here is a link to a study that backs me up on this one - we could reduce the cancer rate significantly if we just stop living like assholes (oops sorry mom).

1. This is going to sound kind of dumb, but eat things that are actually, you know, food. If you read the label (please read labels!) and it has a bunch of stuff on there you can't pronounce and wouldn't know it if you saw it in the food laboratory or wherever they concoct that mess, please please please put it back on the shelf. You don't need it. Your body will thank you. Also, eliminate fast food from your options. Just pretend all the fast food places were blown off the face of the earth (don't I wish). If you want to know about ingredients you can't pronounce, go to the fast food laboratories... or wherever they concoct that mess.

2. Once you have the hang of ingredients that you can pronounce and identify, get to work on finding organic produce. Here is a picture of how they grow non-organic bananas. Appetizing, no? Following that, see if you can find meat that comes from animals that aren't treated with hormones and don't live in their own shit (sorry again mom).

3. Dairy should be a sometimes food. I know my Wisconsin peeps don't want to hear that one, but there it is. Dairy is another big source of where our hormones get tampered with, along with birth control pills (don't get me started on that one) and the now-known-as-contributor hormone replacement therapy. If you have trouble with the concept, realize that there is no way to process milk enough to remove all the pus and blood from it. Mmmmmoooo.

4. Exercise, and drink water. The exercise part is the most difficult for me, especially now with a wee baby and a full time job. I just have to keep telling myself that some is better than none, and even if I slack for a week or two, I should at least take a walk around the block at some point. Lucky for me, I became a total water fiend while in music school. Speaking of ingredients you can't pronounce - read a can of soda, yuck.

I'm going to step down off the soapbox, now. I just wish I had come to these realizations a long time ago, and without having to go through a "cancer tourist" in order to take a good hard look at how I was treating my body. So, that is my wish for all of you for breast cancer awareness month. I consider this my contribution to the cause.

Plus, I look lousy in pink.