Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Yesterday, I was delighted, thrilled, honored, flattered (pick one, pick all, add some more, too) to accept the invitation of Gayle Sulik to write an entry for her blog.  I hope you will take the time to read it.  The message is important.  We have been buying pink forever.  We have made NO PROGRESS with breast cancer.

Gayle is the author of Pink Ribbon Blues.  The title speaks for itself.  The link to the Amazon page is not a shameless ploy to suggest purchasing the book (even though I do have it on my iPad and it is an eye opener).  The Amazon link is a one click look at all of the reviews written by both critics and readers.  It's my way of saying, Attention Must Be Paid to Gayle's message.  Pink has undermined everything.  NO PROGRESS.

Go ahead.  Quote me a statistic.  Then, please go read the essay and poke around to read about Gayle and all that she has uncovered.  I don't care what statistics get bantered about, in the Fog of CB, I can spot the truth.  NO PROGRESS. What?  You need to stick your hand into the wound to double check.  Be My Guest.  And then, do me a favor?  Throw a heap of money on the table and I'll match it.  Winner take all.

As the month of October in 2011 begins to wind down, have we learned anything different than what we knew last year, five years ago (there is a point in that-just hold your horses), twenty four years ago (there IS a point in that, too-repeating, hold your horses please)?  We know we need mammographies.  Yet, as more people stand up and take notice, even the screening is being called into question.  My favorite line of the week (could be my favorite line to date) is in that article:

We are not going to screen our way to a cure.

Can I Get an AMEN to THAT????

Yesterday, the thrill is still all about Gayle's invitation.  In a poetic sort of way, it was fitting to be recognized yesterday.  You see, yesterday was another of those cancerversaries.  You know.  Those dates we mark because, yes, they ARE that significant and yes, they were that frightening.  Exactly five years ago, I sat in a very comfortable chair in lovely surroundings in that very pretty building with a needle in my arm dripping poison into my blood.  The poison that rearranged my brain.  October 25, 2006.  Hey AnneMarie, this is your semi functioning brain wishing you a slightly belated Happy Fifth Chemoversary.

It is 24 years ago TODAY, that my mom entered cancer hell with the wire insertion "procedure" for the biopsy that would be performed the next day.  She was slashed and then reslashed within weeks.  Mom's first chemotherapy was on November 16, 1987.  The needle was in her hand, the drugs were pushed (not dripped).  And two of those drugs? Methotrexate and Fluorouracil.

Hey.  I had a wire insertion procedure.  I had a surgical biopsy.  I had a mastectomy.  I had methotrexate & fluouracil.

Twenty four YEARS have passed and the only difference in the treatment is an IV pole?

You MUST be kidding me.  In the case of me and my mom, NOTHING has changed.  Like I said.  NO PROGRESS.

You can release the horses now.  They are tied to that IV pole in the corner.

Thanks to my superstar, superhero, super organized and SUPER CARETAKER dad, I have every single one of mom's records from 1987 which were of immeasurable help to OUR oncologist in 2007 when they found the new cancer in her other breast.


  1. Amen, sistah! (I just wrote that at the bottom of your guest post on Gayle's blog too).

    The fact that you still have your Mom's records is awesome and shocking for all the reasons you stated.

    "We are not going to screen our way to a cure." Indeed.

    You are amazing!!!


  2. Thanks, Renn- and AMEN....
    I have been searching for my "voice" for so long and now that I see THIS, I know I found it. I can't have my daughter face this down. I know how my mom felt while she was standing beside me in that room when the surgeon walked in and said, "You have cancer." She felt worse than I did. My dad probably felt even worse than she did. He was there, too. "I thought mom paid for all of you, guess I was wrong." Having to dig through her records at the request of our oncologist (how horrible to have to "share" an oncologist with a child) and seeing the drugs..... people can argue about progress all they want. Complicating things with confusing facts and figures is a wonderful way to shroud the truth. THIS is the truth. In print. For all to see.

  3. This story is heart wrenching. Thanks for sharing. My mom had breast cancer back in the late 1960s. She had a radical mastectomy, but thankfully didn't have to go through chemo OR radiation. At the time I thought her treatment options were barbaric. Now I'm not so sure we've made any progress at all. Bestest, e.


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