Brinker Stinker: A Reminder of What Susan G. Komen is Not About . . .

Wow, there is a person at SGK in charge of being “in the know” of what is being said about SGK? It seems to me there is much anger out there for them, so this person is not doing a good job of being aware, or no one there feels the need to make changes. It will be interesting to see if they cease being obtuse when all the fit hits the shan about this pay increase.

cancerfree2b

This blogging thing can sometimes feel like a burden. It seems that I never know how to begin or finish a post anymore. I want to write, probably need to write, and most definitely I feel a responsibility to write. Especially when it has been the kind of week this past week has been in the breast cancer community.

In the past week, two of my friends have had cancer return and a third friend, who has been living with metastatic breast cancer for some time, is now dealing with very severe health problems due to her treatment (to put it mildly, she is in a great deal of pain). This is part of the world of breast cancer. It is not the pink bowed version of things that the Susan G. Komen Foundation sells (mammograms and early detection equal a cure, etc.). Well, clearly mammograms and early detection do…

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“Metastatic work is a waste of time.”

Make sure you read the Salon article. This is why I wrote my post The D Word. Everything has become so cheery with the (any color) ribbons and the positive attitude and battle talk that everyone forgot that cancer kills; so I insist we use the d-word. AND STOP THROWING STAGE 4 (ALL) CANCER PATIENTS UNDER THE BUS!

Telling Knots

bullying1With thanks to Nancy Stordahl of Nancy’s Point for posting it on Facebook, I’d like to draw everyone’s attention to a spot-on article on Salon: The ultimate cancer taboo: Sometimes it kills you by Mary Elizabeth Williams.

If anyone wonders why people with metastatic cancer sometimes (often) feel like the red-headed stepchildren of the cancer world (no offense intended to redheads or stepchildren), this article will make it clear.

Contemporary cancer gets couched in the language of cheerleaders. Even a generation ago, the mere word “cancer” seemed a certain death sentence; today, in contrast, it’s an opportunity to talk about battles and fights and hope. It’s something to be bravely dealt with – having cancer automatically designates a person a “warrior.” The disease is then referred to only at occasional “awareness” opportunities, preferably with a tasteful ribbon.

But people with metastatic cancer don’t follow the tidy, cheerful narrative. They don’t necessarily…

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The Komen Organization in Numbers and Words

What she said

Telling Knots

I love the Internet! With thanks to my friend GG, a stellar webcomber, I have been spending the last couple of days studying the most recent independent audit of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. The audit is available to all as a PDF at that link.

First, the numbers

The Komen financial year runs from the first of April through March thirty-first. The most recent independently audited annual financial statement dates from March 31, 2012, and this post is based on those numbers.(*)

The good news first. Komen spends a relatively small portion of income on support services–about 19% of total expenses(the blue slice of the pie at the left). These support services expenses consist of fund-raising costs ($52,118,804 or 69%) and general/administrative costs ($23,064,504 or 31%).

The largest portion of Komen income, about 81%, is very appropriately spent on program expenses (the green slice). I am…

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No gloss or glamour just grit and determination

What she said!!!!

FEC-THis

One of the (many) challenges of breast cancer treatment is the extraordinary change that happens to our bodies.  Not just the obvious changes – missing breasts, scars, hair-loss if chemotherapy is part of the treatment regime – but the unexpected changes too. Weight changes, skin changes, fluctuating energy levels, tinnitus, dry nails, altered metabolism, neuropathy. The list goes on.   The physical transformations are accompanied by psychological changes too; stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD.  Even the most relaxed people can find it difficult to stay permanently upbeat when the whole world seems to be caving in around them.

In spite of the sea of pink, in spite of all the hoopla about survival rates*  and in spite of the endless fighting-talk about cancer warriors, battles and survivorship there is no gloss or glamour about breast cancer.  This isn’t a Disney blockbuster complete with pink princesses, an assortment of vertically challenged helpers and…

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