What’s a Meme to do?

I am taking a running leap here, and I hope to land on the breast cancer awareness game train. However, I will probably get kicked right back off once people read that I am not complaining about it like many people are.  No, I am trying to appreciate the thought behind the game.

The secretive invite to an all girls snicker fest where each lady posts her bra color never hit my inbox. I’ll admit it, I am usually the last picked for dodge ball too. But, all of my friends were doing it, so I looked in to what it was all about. Oh, breast cancer awareness. Hmmm. What does that really have to do with breast cancer awareness? Nothing really. But, people were talking about breast cancer more after the joke was featured on the news. Publicity for a cause is a good thing, right?

I understand that some cancer sufferers or survivors, and their families may be offended by the constant reminder of the illness that is trying to claim their lives. I understand that those people left in the wake of a tragic loss of a loved one due to breast cancer may find this and other memes in poor taste. However, there was a time when breasts were not openly discussed. Women were encouraged to keep quiet about their private areas. Self breast exams? Oh my how embarrassing must it have been to talk about touching your own breasts! So, if these games do nothing else at least they get people talking about boobs, or boob coverings, which can lead to talking about boobs.

My aunt learned that she had breast cancer two years ago. She underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. She lived in fear for a long time through out this process. None of us knew if she would live or die. It was a hard time for all. After her recovery my aunt was a new woman. Rather than take offence,  she sports her pink ribbon, her “I love boobs” bracelet, and “Did you get your mammogram today?” Items with pride. Furthermore, she has participated in each meme that has crossed her page on the internet.  Her mission is to get people talking by any means necessary. Even if it doesn’t really do anything in some people’s opinions.  I don’t think everyone should react the way my aunt has. She finds comfort spreading the word about her illness, and she believes she can help in some small way. Other may want to avoid the constant reminders, which is their right.

I am also aware that many people that told their bra color had no idea why they were doing it at the time. I can only hope that some one enlightened them. 

These little games are silly and maybe do no good, but I get that people want to help and perhaps they don’t know where to start or what to say.  I doubt someone writing the color of their bra wants to cause any grief for anyone.  I myself don’t participate in any of the things. Sometimes I don’t get the invite, and other times I just don’t do it.

I guess, in short I don’t think anyone means any harm.

Okay, I am tucking my arms and legs, and bracing for the hit.

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Here We Go Again!

First, is everyone in the entire world pregnant right now?  No, I know not EVERYONE is pregnant; however, it seems like many people I know are expecting a baby in the very near future.  While I wish I could be excited for them all, I am filled with worry, fear, and even guilt for all of these women.

Why do I worry for them?  I worry because in this important time of their lives I see many medical interventions being performed on them.  Many of these interventions are probably unnecessary.  I have read countless status updates, posted by my pregnant acquaintances, that tell of non-stress tests, predictions of antibiotics during birth, and inductions.  For the majority of these women they were not given any reason for many of the procedures.  My guess is because the woman’s insurance covers the procedure, the doctor will happily perform it, whether it is indicated necessary or not.

Why am I afraid for these women?  I fear that a lack the lack of knowledge about the medical community, particularly during pregnancy, makes these women very likely to simply “trust their doctor” rather than questioning the reasons for certain procedures.   Thereby, increasing the chances that these women will “need” a cesarean section.  Yes, cesareans save lives, but as we know they are routinely performed to ease busy doctor’s load, and as a result of interventions that should not have been.  Furthermore, after these women go through a cesarean the likelihood of them being allowed to vbac (vaginal birth after a cesarean) is low in the United States.

Why do I feel guilty?  I am guilty because my own fear of confrontation prevents me from saying anything that may save them from terrible birth experiences or unnecessary procedures.  Okay, maybe I am having delusions of grandeur here. I just wish I knew what to say and when to say it.  I can spout out facts like water from a fire hose, but I will likely leave a pregnant woman drenching with fear and doubt.  I don’t want to scare anyone.  I am also thinking about my own hatred of unsolicited advice.  I do not want anyone telling me how to raise my children, or how to give birth to them either. 

So here I sit with all of this information and no way of sharing it.  Another person I know has her induction scheduled.  By the way she had an induction with her first child, wich she thinks she needed because she wasn’t going in to labor on her own.  I doubt she wants to hear anything I have to say on the matter. 

I am seriously feeling like a breakfast cereal right now.  I long to be crunchy, alas I am but a soggy flake.