Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I don't want to moderate comments on this blog and I don't really like to delete things either.  I pride myself on being willing and able and absolutely desirous of hearing all points of view.  I never EVER expected to be put in a position where I feel I'm being bullied.  That all changed last night.

The post that was up yesterday touched on a mess of things that were all somehow connected.  It was up from Friday and remained up until this morning.  Late last night, there was a comment that was inconsistent with the manner in which I choose to conduct things "in my room." My friend Chayra beautifully referred to our personal blogs as our private spaces.... the places where we retreat to collect our thoughts and wage intimate battles that observers or even other members cannot fully appreciate.  She was specifically referring to "us" as the community of breast cancer patients.

One of the movie reviews for which I provided a link contained this comment from the man who reviewed the movie.  It was on HIS review page in response to the pushback he was receiving from many women.  I left a respectful comment (and very short.... yes, hard to believe but....) and I replied to a woman who jumped to his defense.  That reply was also written very respectfully.  I don't name call.  I don't bully.  I may get sarcastic HERE, in my own room, but I always attempt to take tremendous steps to use care when I'm in someone else's arena.

This is now a zero tolerance blog.  I will listen to any and all points of view.  That will not change.  All voices are invited to share in the conversation.  However, the moment anything reads like an agenda, there's a better than 95% chance the comment is going to be deleted.  And, the instant a comment contains language that is demeaning to me or anyone else for that matter..... or belittles me...... or calls me names like a "miserable little troll" or accuses me of being "blinded by ideology and hatred" and further insults me by stating that I don't care about breast cancer victims (his word not mine) a fraction as much as the Komen people...... that's pretty much 100% guaranteed to be deleted.

Politics aren't tolerated.  Ultra liberal, Uber conservative.  All Welcome.  Devoutly religious or decidedly atheist.  All Welcome.  Name callers.  Closed minded, ignorant people pushing their agenda down my throat.  Not in my room.  Not happening.  Anymore.  I'm leaving this comment here in case The Guy decides to delete his words from yesterday's blog. This is my reminder of what I will no longer tolerate.

This comment broke every rule.  He talks politics and religion.  He uses words that are offensive to women everywhere. Words like hysteria and shrill are nasty words.  He claims we are mean spirited because we care more about abortion than breast cancer.  He claims whenever a film like this is made, "a little bit of research is in order."  To that I say, "Yes, research is in order and YOU have failed miserably in your research."  Dude:  This movie was already released months before SGK shot themselves in the foot with their Planned Parenthood debacle.  And, FYI, when you donate to PP, you can DESIGNATE that your donations go to fund mammography screenings.  Where did you dream up the rest of the shit you simply spewed with such venom and directed it all at me??

I'm not blinded by anything.  I stand true and proud.  I stand up for the women with metastatic disease.  The women that Komen chooses to ignore.  Ask any one of them..... Ironic, considering that is WHY Susan Goodman Komen died, don't you think?  Anyway...... this comment almost sounds like it came straight from someone in Komen's camp except that I'm not deluded enough to thing that Komen is paying any attention to what I have to say.  But damn if it doesn't sound like a promo piece.....

Rather than answering this nasty little man in my own room, I did reply to him at the place where his review was published.  The reply I posted appears below his mean and hurtful words.  Karma is a bitch and this guy will get his.  Not wishing anything on anyone, just remembering some of the wisdom of my dad.  In this moment, it's nothing profound like some of the other dad-ism's I've shared.  This is from the guy who grew up on the streets, went to school, became an attorney, raised a family and was EXTREMELY protective of all of us.  Right now, dad's saying, "Walk away, He'll Get His." And you know what, my dad was always right.  And I know he's right this time, too.

Without further adieu, yesterday's delete-worthy comment, riddled with stupidity, inaccuracies and the words only a puppet or someone who is drinking the pink kool-aid could possibly summon:

The fact is I did not, in any way, belittle or say anything disparaging about cancer victims in my review. My jabs were pointed exclusively at those whose hysteria about the pink ribbon campaign I found so bizarre. The movie was a dishonest hit-piece on Komen, something I called the filmmakers out on. It’s they who are injecting their bias into their film, more editorial than documentary. Where does it say film reviewers can’t inject their bias in a review? The filmmakers sure did! Barbara Brenner posts over at the ‘De-fund Komen’ FB page. No bias there, I guess! I suspect many involved in the film have been involved in attacks in Komen and will be working oon exposing that. The guilt-by-association card in the film was obvious. Juxtaposing shady charities with Komen, the most trusted, big-hearted, and successful nonprofit organization in America is deceitful and mean-spirited. I included the link because it’s Komen that is the victim of mean-spirited film made by women who care more about abortion than they do breast cancer. Komen was founded in 1982 by Nancy Brinker in honor of her sister Susan Goodman Komen who died of the disease in 1980. Ms Brinker has travelled the world, raised Billions for the cause and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. Meanwhile a bunch of miserable little trolls feel the need to post hateful comments on any less-than-fawning review of the film (mine’s not the only one – it’s not a particularly good movie). Whenever I see one of these agenda-driven docs, I think about what I’m not being told. I know dishonest filmmakers like Michael Moore and Ms Pool expect critics to simply regurgitate the political points the film makes in their reviews but a little bit of research is always in order and in this case counters the film’s claims. Komen’s annual report is public and shows what a truly altruistic and honorable group they are. Komen is associated with conservative religious and pro-life groups and I suspect that’s real problem women like you have with Komen. They’re a privately-funded organization (unlike Planned Parenthood, which received $400 Million in annual Federal tax money) which raises their funds through hard work and good will. They’re entitled to do what they want with their money and associations and 88% of the billions raised goes straight to the cause. If you cared about breast cancer victims a fraction as much as the Komen people do, you might realize that you’re actually on the same team but you’re too blinded by your ideology and hatred of those who don’t see things the way you do.

My response:

I think it was highly inappropriate for you to leave the remarks you wrote here addressing several women as a comment on my blog where it reads as an attack on me personally.

You may not have said anything disparaging about cancer patients in your review but to refer to me as a meaningless troll blinded by ideology and hatred is mean spirited.  I'm a cancer patient.  I advocate for others who are newly diagnosed.  I try to make sure that people simply ask the right questions before they pick up a piece of merchandise donning a ribbon.  I object to Komen for NOT researching OR helping the underserved to the degree that they could.  They are still raising awareness.  My ONLY gripe with Komen is that they have not moved with the times.  They have long since achieved their goal of making sure we are all aware of the importance of mammography.  The lion's share of the money is still being poured into awareness.  Why is it not going to research?  After all, the foundation was started because a woman died.  Metastatic disease killed Susan Komen.  Shouldn't the organization that bears her name direct SOME money toward helping others with metastatic disease?

I'm sorry you have chosen to take what could have been a meaningful discussion and instead passed judgement on my politics, my religion and what you see as my lack of intelligence.  I don't discuss politics or religion on my blog... I stick to following the money... and it's not going to the right places.  If it were, we wouldn't be inches off the starting line after billions of dollars and decades of research.  I'm dissatisfied and disillusioned.  Where are the advancements?  Where are ANY meaningful results?

Like it or not, as the largest breast cancer charitable organization in the world BAR NONE, Komen IS at very least partially responsible for the lack of progress .  They are holding most of the cards in the breast cancer gig.... They aren't acting in the best interests of any of us who've been diagnosed with this disease.  That's my gripe in a nutshell.  It's got nothing to do with being shrill or Debbie Downer or for that matter spewing hate.  It's got even less to do with politics, religion or the planned parenthood mess.  It's simple.  Komen has the name, Komen has the money and Komen COULD have advanced the research if they weren't so busy raising awareness.

And for the record, I think I was extremely respectful in the comments I left here despite our oppositional points.  I think I deserved the same courtesy when you posted your remarks in "my" space. 

FYI-I get the last word on MY blog.  Don't even try to leave a comment, Tom (and friends).  OUR conversation is over.  Bash me in your own space.  I'm not moderating anything so you will get a cheap thrill for the brief time the comment may be on the screen, but I promise, any further remarks by you will be deleted the second I get a comment notification.

Extra hugs and thanks to my pals on twitter and Facebook for sending me cute pictures (which I will share when I'm not weary and exhausted) and wonderful words of encouragement.  My motives are pure and my actions come from a place of genuine concern for friends and loved ones.  I'm certain Tom can't say the same.


  1. AnnMarie, I am so happy you and I are on the same team. I am proud of how you handled this. Good job, such good writing. You made some excellent points and I'm glad you have the control of who spews what crap across this sacred space. Until next time, thanks for giving your heart to the cause. xx

    1. Shelby,

      Thank you for such a wonderful vote of confidence and for always having my back. It means more to me than I can possibly share in a comment box. It was nice to wake up to words of comfort after being so upset by the words I saw just as I was going to bed last night.


  2. Very well said, AnneMarie. Perhaps if Tom had been reading your blog, he would have known that you are as well-meaning and honest as they come.

    1. Thanks, Idelle...
      I found out from the people on the Facebook page to which he refers, he began harassing them by posting "sexy videos" and after a number of such episodes, he was blocked. I suppose he already trolled on his own and found another venue in which to lash out.

      In and of itself, that told me all I needed to know!

      And, as usual... Thank you for ALWAYS supporting me...


  3. It is really hard when all you are trying to do is put over your point of view and some folks can't even be bothered to understand that we all have the right to our opinion. I live in the UK so I don't have any direct experience of the Komen foundation but I have become disenchanted with charities that seem to have forgotten why they were set up.

    Breast cancer at any stage is not about pink ribbons it is about lives. The pink ribbon used to symbolised this but has come to symbolise a marketing gimick to get people to give money and for companies to make a profit. They give money to make a difference by funding change in attitudes and treatments, and to inform those who have cancer and those who may have it one day. In the 32 years since Ms Komen's death little has changed with regard to instances of breast cancer and deaths from the disease, and it actually seems to be getting worse despite all the awareness campaigns. So I honestly think it is only right that we should ask where all the money raised has gone? What has it achieved? We both live in societies where these questions can, and should, be asked.

    As someone with metastatic breast cancer it is wonderful to have such support from someone who has had early stage bc, rather than just ignoring us and hoping that we will go away. It will be by finding a way to treat metastatic disease effectively that the fear and stigma of being stage IV can be removed. After all a lot of the money raised is done so because so many people die of this disease, and yet so little of that money is spent to help us.

    Vicki xxx

    1. Vicki,
      I can't thank you enough for leaving this comment here for me to see. I knew (very late last night) when I began to furiously type the names of those for whom I was hoping to speak that I would invariably leave someone out.... (Many someones....)

      Yes, you have support from a whole group of early stage BC patients who will not be silenced by anyone. EVER. Awareness campaigns are a giant waste. We ARE aware. Awareness isn't saving lives. Research will. I stand beside you..... with love and determination..


  4. It's amazing that this man doesn't understand that what he says about the political affiliation of Komen was covert until earlier this year. Everyone thought the organization was about cancer, not politics. If people had known about the politics, as I am sure he is aware, the charity would not have been able to raise nearly as much money. It is hard for the dishonest to recognize the problem with dishonesty. The film has shown us that it's time to support organizations devoted to researching the causes of and real cures for cancer. Perhaps charities not concentrating solely on breast cancer will come up with more innovative and productive approaches.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to leave this comment. You make an excellent point about the politics of SGK. Many people far wiser than me were questioning their tactics for years. I'm new in this mess as I only began volunteering/blogging one year ago. However, when the PP debacle hit, people began emerging from the woodwork expressing their discontent with their dealings with Komen over the years. My preferred charity for breast cancer research is Dr Susan Love Research Foundation (which is a shameless plug on my part as I DO volunteer for the organization but I believe in the work being done by Dr. Love and her foundation). I also back National Breast Cancer Coalition and the work of Breast Cancer Action. Stand Up 2 Cancer is another example of "high risk, high reward" "dream team" research across all cancers. I think we do need to understand WHY before we can find a way to fix anything.

      Thanks again for sharing and for the show of support.



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