Thursday, February 2, 2012

Breast Cancer is Personal

Today marks what would have been my mother's 94th birthday.  After fifteen years of battling breast cancer, she died in 2001.  Usually I note this day and let it pass with a private moment.

  Me 'n (in) mom, 1952

My mother was a strong and active advocate of women's rights - in particular those involving our bodies, so after yesterday and todays news, I just feel I must stand tall and object to the  discontinuation of Planned Parenthood's funding by the Susan G. Komen Foundation.   As they ONLY discontinued PP's funding and no other organisation, I believe their decision is due to a clear political statement, and I am here to say that my mother and I do NOT agree with that decision. 

My mother died from this disease, and had she not had access to the medical care available through Planned Parenthood, she wouldn't have lived those fifteen years. 

Breast cancer frightens women more than heart disease, because we have been taught that our breasts are a major part of what makes us viable females.  If men had the same kind of breasts as women, and required mammograms, no discussion would be required, as they would be given top notch tests and care.  But women, who are consistently devalued by our society, have to fight for the most basic of healthcare.  By the way, men get breast cancer, too.  I can only imagine how difficult that situation would be for a man.

I have long-believed that making health matters - especially those with personal values involved - political issues is just wrong. 

In my twenties, I had two brushes with cancer, first with cervical cancer - caught by a doctor during my regular pap at Planned Parenthood - and then with breast cancer.  A nurse at Planned Parenthood held my hand as I cried about the lump found in one breast, and took the time to calm my fears and explain the situation. When I got pregnant and was in a blind panic, another nurse at Planned Parenthood sat with me and listened to my fears.   

As someone who has been in a situation that required me to make the extremely difficult decision to have an abortion, the fact that it was legal and safe was simply cream; I would have found a way to abort, and easily had ended up like my father's sister, who was buried in her wedding dress after a botched home abortion.

Making healthcare a political hot potato doesn't benefit anyone.  If those who would force their morality on me have their way, women will be shoved back into second-class citizenship.  No one benefits from an entire gender falling ill from lack of care.  No one.  And as my mother's advocate, I can't let that happen without a fight.


Vivian said...
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Office software skills said...
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