TV Invaded My Escape Plan

My secret to getting away from Pinktober madness is music, of course. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominations come out each October and I’m usually able to use those as a nice distraction. This year, there is the added bonus of the “Foo Fighters Sonic Highways” documentary series on HBO. I thank my lucky stars for Dave Grohl.

The series (and creator) was featured on Sunday’s “60 Minutes”, a show I generally do not watch. While waiting for the Grohl-interviewed-by-Cooper segment, I endured a piece about genetically manipulating embryos, in order to have a baby that does not have any faulty, disease-causing genes.

I’m not going to go into the “playing god” aspect, I’ll leave that to internet comments: “if your mother had done that, you would not have been born” arguments that rage around this topic. Not having ever desired kids, I’m a bit dim on this subject. But the woman featured in the segment decided to take this path after getting breast cancer at age 29, and yes she has the BRCA mutation. Of course that gene is one she sought to eradicate. The interviewer asked her if her goal was, “breast cancer ends with me” and the woman said “yes”.

Look, I understand that BRCA is a big issue in breast cancer discussions. But it is possible to get breast cancer without being BRCA positive—I’m one such patient. In fact, from my rather weak grasp of breast cancer science, it is my understanding that BRCA is not present in most breast cancer patients. So how can this woman be so certain that she has eliminated the chances of her progeny ever getting breast cancer? Not sure breast cancer has ended with her for her descendants.

Perhaps I am wrong to be annoyed, to think that this is irresponsible journalism? Generally, I do not watch these types of magazine TV shows. While I gather that something like “60 Minutes” is a bit more reputable than the morning entertainment & lies shows, I still do not think they are a reliable source of medical info. Sadly, most of the public think things like “60 Minutes” are perfectly reliable. Did the show spread more misinformation (I am vaguely aware there was a false reporting or something scandal with them earlier this year)?

I am so tired of these sort of “winning the fight against breast cancer, kicked cancer’s ass” type of statements: breast cancer ends with me. Do we really have as much control as we’d like to think?

Argh—I just wanted to watch something about one of my favorite bands, about a cool project that has kept me entertained, educated, and distracted this Pink season. Can I not get one moment’s respite from breast cancer bullshit?

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Author: Cancer Curmudgeon

Oct 2010 diagnosed with Stage 3, HER2+ Breast Cancer. Completed treatment Jan 2012. Waaaaaay over pink. Applying punk rock sensibility to how I do cancer.

4 thoughts on “TV Invaded My Escape Plan”

  1. This. This This This!!! I didn’t see this show but totally get & agree with all of this. And thankfully Pinktober is almost over…yet the pinkness seems to hang around more and more….

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    1. Ha ha, Pink crap does seem to have permanent slots on shelves–but to my horror yesterday in a few stores…the Halloween candy was being pushed out for Christmas. I was like, wait, let me just have Halloween my favorite day–and what about Thanksgiving? In some ways, tho’, this just proves that Pinktober is nothing more that a selling ploy, no more important than any other retail “holiday”. I hope people start to realize that.

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  2. dear CC,

    having to endure the 60 minutes BRCA folderol must have felt like adding insult to injury! and I completely agree with every bone you picked about it. hopefully, you were able to be lulled back into the anticipation of watching the music documentary, and get into your happy place. sheesh – pink is
    a beastly tide that never seems to recede.

    much love,

    Karen OOXXOO

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    1. I know–I just wanted to see Foo Fighters, I was really caught off guard! To their credit, they did not tie it in with Pinktober, but given that the person they selected to interview was motivated by breast cancer…well it just felt like another time media used BC to sell their news item. Sigh.
      Thanks as always K! Love, CC

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