Thursday, February 2, 2012

Offense and Defense

This week the blogosphere and the media in general broke two stories (Birth Control Recall and Susan G. Komen/Planned Parenthood) that have been weighing on my mind and heart.  Everyone seems to have his or her opinion on the matters, and I am not any different in that.  I have my opinion regarding what is true and what is right when it comes to women and their bodies.

But this post is not about my personal opinion, even though it very well could be as this is my blog, and my blog is an appropriate forum for me to rant and rave about whatever I choose. However, I find many of the comments I am reading on Facebook and around the blogosphere to be divisive and disparaging. When I read the comments and posts, my initial reaction is to blast back and defend my own position which may stand in stark contrast to yours.  Which makes it no less valid, FYI.  But my opinion is not important today.  If you want to know where I stand, ask me.  I'm just not going to throw my opinion around right now because I think all the petitions and comments are causing us to lose focus and miss the main point.   

Although I know a few gentlemen do regularly read my blog, I know the bulk of you are women.  Women at my church, women in my neighborhood, women with children who go to school with my children, women in my derby league, women in Australia who play derby, women who were my dear friends in high school and college.  Women I have never met.  Women I hope to meet someday.  Women, women, women.

Ladies, let's not lose our heads.  Let's not be distracted by our own opinions as to what is right and wrong.  You are free to hop on whatever bandwagon you choose.  In America, the Declaration of Independence asserts the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; I would not be one who would challenge those particular freedoms.   

PlannedParenthood is not the only provider of free breast exams for low income women.  Underinsured and low-income women needing breast screenings can still receive these crucial screenings in other locations.  The money from Susan G. Komen is still being used to provide breast screenings; the grants are just being given to different people.  It's still being used to check boobies with no monies. This giant crusade against Susan G.Komen is over $600,000 that is still being used to help women.  Just not at PlannedParenthood.  Is this really worth a war between women on different sides of the reproductive/birth control argument? 

Isn't that the money is still being used to help underserved women what is really important?  Or  is your own political agenda and political expediency more important?  You choose.

Look, how I feel or how you feel about birth control or Planned Parenthood, even the procedure of abortion, is largely irrelevant when we are talking about breast screening for uninsured, underinsured,and low-income women.   

And that's what we are really talking about, right?

It shouldn't really matter what your political or spiritual convictions are when we are talking about saving women's lives or catching breast cancer in its earliest and most curable stages.

So, before you get all up in arms and pledge to never wear a pink ribbon again or wear more pink ribbons than before, think about the real issue.

If you are a woman, you need to check your breasts.  Every month.  You never know what you might find.  And if you don't check, you won't know what "normal" is for your breasts.  And guys, although less talked about, you can actually develop breast cancer, so give your chest a rub from time to time, too.  

You need to get your boobs, tatas, fun bags,"lungs", golden winnebagos, mammary glands--whatever you like to call them--checked by a doctor. Early detection is crucial.

If you fall into the 40+ category, you need to have a mammogram.  And if finances are an obstacle, don't let one organization's change in grant funding prevent you from availing yourself of needed care and follow-up elsewhere.  Don't let the fear of a "bad" mammogram prevent you from scheduling one.  Ask me.  I've had a slew of "bad" mammograms since 2008.  I got "bad" results last week.  I even had a biopsy last Saturday (yes, I bouted on the night I had a biopsy... my doctor allowed it).  I still go for these appointments because if I wind up developing breast cancer, I want to catch it early--for myself, my family, and all the people who love me.  And, p.s. the biopsy showed the lump I found in my own regular self-breast exam was a benign tumor. 

Derby girls love to show off their bruises.  This is 4 days post-biopsy.  You should have seen it on Monday. 


That's the underlying issue.

Don't get sidelined.  Get checked.        


  1. I really like this post. The point that you made is really being missed--I've heard kind of an opposite error instead, which is: "The real issue is women's health, so boycott Komen, who is putting agendas ahead of the greater good." Your point--that the money is STILL going to fund women's health, simply at other places than PP--is not one I have seen in the past few days. At all. And how much more poignant from your perspective, having just had a "bad" visit and a biopsy?? (SO glad it's benign, btw. Whew!) I really appreciate you making this post. It made me think and was a great, non-politicized perspective. :)

    1. Thanks, Kiki. I was relieved it was benign, too! And now, I feel like I need to go back and address the latest developments...

  2. Amen my friend. I couldn't have said it better myself. That is one massive bruise. You're reminding me that I need to get thyself off to the doctor as well for a checkup; it's been longer than it should be. So glad to hear your biopsy was benign, I'm sure that wasn't a fun experience. :(

    1. As always, nice to see you, Julie! Too bad it's not in person! Yes, get to the doctor. Your rainbow friend needs you to take care of yourself. :)