Friday, December 28, 2012

Cancer: Sometimes it's a Shell Game

I have been chasing the ellusive pea in a shell game, and I am growing cross-eyed!

Those who share my shoes blanche at the usual cancer tropes. My newest personal visualization is not original, but it sums up my fall season.  Monitoring my health has not been a game of medical skill, but of chance and opportunity. With all such slight-of-hands, if you stay focused you can get lucky and track the path of the disease. Take your eyes off the trajectory for a second and the forces will push the "pea" to unexpected destinations. The gamer, as always, is unscrupulous.

June 2011 - "Evolving lymphatic metastasis" / "hypermetabolic focus also seen in the anterior abdominal wall near the base of the umbilicus...soft tissue metastasis cannot be excluded"

...I then started on an aggressive regimen of supplements; bi-weekly high dose IV vitamin C; and weekly ozone infusion treatments...

November 2011 - "July 2011, core biopsy sampling of left axillary lymph node demonstrated metastatic invasive lobular cancer [but at this time] no suspicious abnormalities are identified...may represent positive response to treatment."

...I then tapper off aggressive regimen and opted to do a modified maintenance program of supplements only...veins can only take so much sticking.

August 2012 - Concurrent pneumonia and shingles. Both controlled with broad-based antibiotics.

September 2012 - Sharp intermittent chest pains and shortness of breath unresolved. PCP orders EKG and Chest CT, and refers to pulmonologist and cardiologist.

October  2012 - "Subpleural nodule in the left lower lobe" / "metabolic activity in left axillary"

November 2012 - "Shadow present on right lung...recheck in 2 months with follow up chest CT with contrast"

...Weight loss of 6 lbs over the course of a two plus weeks...Chest pains are now accompanied with nausea and heart burn. Falling asleep curled up in weeble position, propped up because laying on back increases pain. Laying on side makes rib cage feel like its splintering. Not much recuperative sleep happening. Sucks!

November 2012 - "Chronic pericarditis secondary to invasive lobular carcinoma...recheck in 2 months with follow up echocardiagram"

...Restart ozone infusion treatments. Start pounding "Meriva (aka Curcumin") like "skittles" (to challenge the inflammation).  Scheduling IV vitamin C treatments. The game plays on.


Friday, December 7, 2012

I am part of the 8%. Lucky me.

To reduce mortality, screening must detect life-threatening disease at an earlier, more curable stage. Effective cancer-screening programs therefore both increase the incidence of cancer detected at an early stage and decrease the incidence of cancer presenting at a late stage.


We used Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results data to examine trends from 1976 through 2008 in the incidence of early-stage breast cancer (ductal carcinoma in situ and localized disease) and late-stage breast cancer (regional and distant disease) among women 40 years of age or older.


The introduction of screening mammography in the United States has been associated with a doubling in the number of cases of early-stage breast cancer that are detected each year, from 112 to 234 cases per 100,000 women — an absolute increase of 122 cases per 100,000 women. Concomitantly, the rate at which women present with late-stage cancer has decreased by 8%, from 102 to 94 cases per 100,000 women — an absolute decrease of 8 cases per 100,000 women. With the assumption of a constant underlying disease burden, only 8 of the 122 additional early-stage cancers diagnosed were expected to progress to advanced disease. After excluding the transient excess incidence associated with hormone-replacement therapy and adjusting for trends in the incidence of breast cancer among women younger than 40 years of age, we estimated that breast cancer was overdiagnosed (i.e., tumors were detected on screening that would never have led to clinical symptoms) in 1.3 million U.S. women in the past 30 years. We estimated that in 2008, breast cancer was overdiagnosed in more than 70,000 women; this accounted for 31% of all breast cancers diagnosed.


Despite substantial increases in the number of cases of early-stage breast cancer detected, screening mammography has only marginally reduced the rate at which women present with advanced cancer. Although it is not certain which women have been affected, the imbalance suggests that there is substantial overdiagnosis, accounting for nearly a third of all newly diagnosed breast cancers, and that screening is having, at best, only a small effect on the rate of death from breast cancer.
Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the full text of this article at
We thank Lynn Ries, M.S., of the Surveillance Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, for her help in analyzing Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results data.

Source Information

From the Quality Department, St. Charles Health System, Central Oregon, and the Department of Radiation Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland (A.B.); the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston (A.B.); and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, NH (H.G.W.).
Address reprint requests to Dr. Bleyer at 2500 NE Neff Rd., Bend, OR 97701, or at .


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Things Doctors Say ...


Cardiologist:     So, I have looked at your paperwork. You list "MBC / ILC" as a chronic condition. That's inhalation....

TC:     No, sorry for the shorthand. Its stands for Metastatic Breast Cancer / Invasive Lobular Carcinoma.

Cardiologist:     Oh, I am sorry. How long do you have to live? Have they given you a time frame?

TC:     Not sure who the "they" are, but I am certainly frustrating the time frames that were given to me each time I declined chemo and radiation from the "they."

Cardiologist:   Very good. Have they ever done a CT of your brain?

TC:    WTH???? (because I am here having this conversation with you?)


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Il s'agit d'une épidémie mondiale. . . Stupide; यह एक वैश्विक महामारी है.. बेवकूफ.; Это глобальная эпидемия. . . Глупые; ; این یک اپیدمی جهانی است.است. . احمقזה מגיפה עולמית. . . טיפש

סרטן השד מבאס, לא משנה באיזו שפת האבחנה מועברת. בשנת 2012 כמעט 500.000 נשים תמותנה מסרטן השד - סרטן השד גרורתי (MBC) עכשיו שהסחת הדעת של "סרטים ורודים" הסתיימה ... האם לא הגיע זמן לקהילה העולמית לנקוט צעדים ממשיים כדי לטפל בגורמים הסביבתיים וטיפולים משמעותיים למגיפה העולמית.

Cancer du sein suce, peu importe dans quelle langue le diagnostic est prononcé. En 2012, près de 500.000 femmes meurent du cancer du sein - Cancer du sein métastatique (MBC) Maintenant que la distraction de "Pink Ribbons" est terminé ... n'est-il pas temps que la communauté internationale prendra des mesures concrètes pour s'attaquer aux causes environnementales et les traitements pertinents pour cette épidémie mondiale.

سرطان الثدي المصات، بغض النظر عن اللغة في تسليم التشخيص. في عام 2012 فإن ما يقرب من 500،000 امرأة تموت من سرطان الثدي - سرطان الثدي النقيلي (MBC) والآن بعد أن الهاء من "شرائط الوردي" قد انتهت ... ألم يحن الوقت للمجتمع الدولي اتخاذ خطوات حقيقية لمعالجة الأسباب البيئية والعلاجات ذات مغزى لهذا الوباء العالمي.

ძუძუს კიბოს sucks, არ აქვს მნიშვნელობა რა ენაზე დიაგნოზი გადაეცემა. 2012 წელს თითქმის 500,000 ქალთა მოკვდება ძუძუს კიბოს - მეტასტაზური ძუძუს კიბოს (MBC) არის, რომ განადგურების შესახებ "ვარდისფერი რგოლები" დასრულდა ... არ არის ის დრო, გლობალური საზოგადოების მიიღოს რეალური ნაბიჯები მივმართო გარემოს მიზეზები და შინაარსიანი მკურნალობის ამ გლობალური ეპიდემიის.

Breast Cancer saugt, egal in welcher Sprache die Diagnose geliefert. Metastasiertem Brustkrebs (MBC) Nun, da die Ablenkung von "Pink Ribbons" beendet ... - Im Jahr 2012 fast 500.000 Frauen an Brustkrebs sterben ist es nicht Zeit die Weltgemeinschaft zu nehmen konkrete Schritte, um die umweltbedingten Ursachen und sinnvolle Behandlungen für diese globale Epidemie anzugehen.

स्तन कैंसर बेकार है, कोई फर्क नहीं पड़ता कि किस भाषा निदान वितरित किया जाता है. Metastatic स्तन कैंसर (MBC) अब कि गुलाबी रिबन "की व्याकुलता के समाप्त हो गया है ... 2012 में स्तन कैंसर के लगभग 500.000 महिलाओं मर जाएगा यह समय है वैश्विक समुदाय वास्तविक कदम उठाने के लिए पर्यावरण का कारण बनता है और इस वैश्विक महामारी के लिए सार्थक उपचार का पता नहीं है.

Krūts vēža sūkā, vienalga, kādā valodā diagnoze tiek piegādāts. 2012.gadā gandrīz 500,000 sieviešu mirst no krūts vēža - Metastātisks krūts vēža (MBC) Tagad par "Pink Lentes" izklaidēšanās ir beigusies ... vai nav pienācis laiks pasaules sabiedrība veikt reālus pasākumus, lai risinātu vides cēloņus un jēgpilnu ārstēšanas šo globālo epidēmiju.

Krūties vėžys sucks, nesvarbu, kokia kalba diagnozė pateikta. 2012 metais beveik 500.000 moterų miršta nuo krūties vėžiu, metastazavusiu krūties vėžiu (MKV) Dabar, kad "Pink Juostelės" išsiblaškymas baigėsi ... ne laikas pasaulio bendruomenė imtis realių veiksmų siekiant spręsti aplinkos apsaugos priežasčių ir tinkamų gydymo šios globalios epidemijos.

سرطان پستان بمکد، بدون توجه به در چه زبانی تشخیص تحویل داده شده است. در سال 2012 نزدیک به 500،000 نفر از سرطان پستان می میرند - متاستاز سرطان پستان (MBC) که انحراف از «روبان صورتی» به پایان رسیده است ... وقت آن است که جامعه جهانی را گام های واقعی برای رسیدگی به علل زیست محیطی و درمان های معنی دار برای این بیماری همه گیر جهانی نیست.

Рак молочной железы сосет, независимо от того, на каком языке диагноз поставлен. В 2012 году около 500000 женщин умирают от рака молочной железы - метастатическим раком молочной железы (MBC) Теперь, когда отвлечение "розовыми лентами" закончилась ... не пора ли мировому сообществу предпринять реальные шаги для решения экологических причин и значимые методы лечения этой глобальной эпидемии.

Рак молочної залози смокче, незалежно від того, якою мовою діагноз поставлений. У 2012 році близько 500000 жінок помирають від раку молочної залози - метастатичним раком молочної залози (MBC) Тепер, коли відволікання "рожевими стрічками" закінчилася ... чи не час світовій спільноті зробити реальні кроки для вирішення екологічних причин і значущі методи лікування цієї глобальної епідемії.
Рак дојке је срање, без обзира у ком језику дијагноза испоручена. У 2012 скоро 500.000 жена ће умрети од рака дојке - метастаза рака дојке (МБЦ) Сада да ометање "Пинк" тракица је завршена ... зар није време глобална заједница предузме праве кораке на решавању еколошких узроке и смислене третмане за ове глобалне епидемије.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Looking Forward

One of my other full time jobs is parenting a Tween. A male Tween at that. My prior tweening experience has been limited to girls. Not the same by any means. At this stage of my life I continue to have to push my limits of parenting knowledge. All good. All welcome. Although, truth be told, some days are better than others.

On this week's parental lesson plan has been the nuances that distinguish between "looking forward" and "being fully in the moment." For the seasoned existentialists, the subtle yet significant differences are elemental. If you are a cancer journeyer (me) and the Tween (aka, the Goober) the differences can be a little more blurred.

A Tween, whether male or female of this subspecies, appears to be constantly looking forward: to the next play-date (although they are now called "hanging out(s)"); to the next sleep-over; to the next field trip; to the next video game; to the next iPad app; to the next birthday party. . . .you get the point. I find myself having to constantly remind him to push the pause button, look at where he is in the moment, and take time to appreciate the experience he is in the midst of at a given time.

For a cancer journeyer, I must do likewise. At the same time, however, I must also push myself to remember to look forward. Call it hope, optimism, the power of positive thinking...but I have to look forward. I have to imagine myself planning my daughters' future weddings; attending my Tween's college graduation; holding my daughters' hands while they are in labor; holding my grandchildren.

Unfortunately, there are days that these forward-looking thoughts feel more like pipe-dreams. Those are the days when I can't catch my breath; or when taking a deep breath creates the sensation that my ribs and sternum are splintering. Those are the days that the fatigue wins over my typical kinetic energy. Those are the days when inexplicable small hematomas pop up on my arms and hands leaving me sore and bewildered.

Those are the days that it is more important than ever for me to embrace and cherish the moment, while at the same time strongly reminding myself that there is the sweet potential for a tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Things Doctors Say . . .

. . . I will preface, I am skeptically enthusiastic about my new GYN. I had to find her because my other new GYN, whom I was skeptically enthusiastic about last year, has ditched conventional GYN care.  My newest newbie, who is no-nonsense and a look-you-in-the-eye kinda gal, won brownie points with me today when she performed my ultrasound in-office, had read my med hx, and essentially confirmed that the radiologist who reads my PetScans is a moron: (1) contrary to his findings (which he confirmed after a second look) I do NOT have a prominent uterus displaying heterogeneous metabolic activity; and (2) contrary to his findings (which he confirmed after two second looks) I have NOT spontaneously re-grown my right ovary - a little item that was surgically removed in 1981 during a right-salpingo ooverectomy. She did, however, find dime-sized cysts...but that is another appointment and not of any remarkable concern.

Then, my newbie said the darnedest thing.

I was thinking about you yesterday.

Really, because it was birthday?, but Happy Birthday!  A patient who came in yesterday was visibly upset. I asked her what was wrong. She told me that her BFF had just died. Apparently her friend had been diagnosed with breast cancer three years prior. A few weeks ago this friend started having shortness of breath. She was diagnosed with Valley Fever and her PCP started treating her as such. Then she started having headaches. When she collapsed and taken to hospital, they found she had masses in both her lungs and brain. She died 5 days later.

I immediately thought of you.


What is your doctor doing about your breathing issues?

The antibiotics didn't work. The breathing treatment worked only for a day. The steroid shot too only gave relief for a day. They want to now assess me for Valley Fever.

Get a second opinion if that is the conclusion.



Friday, October 19, 2012

Six-Word Memoir: PINKTOBER




                    THIRTY PERCENT....


Six-Word Memoir® challenge


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Things People Say . . .

. . . to those with cancer and their loved ones.

My husband's elder cousin, who is 82, was inquiring (while he was on a speaker phone at our office),

How are things going with TC, is there anything we should know?

Well, her last PetScan has some oddities that she is following up on, and they found another small tumor in her lymph nodes.

Sorry to hear that. Well radiation will knock that out, right?

TC has never opted for radiation or chemotherapy.

Well, if it is any consolation, our friend Mr. J., they found a tumor. They checked him into the hospital and gave him an intense doses of radiation and kicked that tumor right out of him!

Glad to hear that.

Yeah, well, he caught MRSA in the hospital and died 3 days later - nasty case. But that radiation sure worked on the tumor!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

MBC Awareness Day - The Darkside of the Pink Ribbon-Fest


Today, October 13th, is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. YES, this select subset of Journeyers get one day out of the entire Pinktober-fest. One day out out of 31, to bring attention to that form of breast cancer that claims the lives of women & men at an average rate of 40,000 per year. That significant statistic is only for the U.S. Approximately 470,000 die each year world-wide. Such little attention has, historically, been given to MBC - either in "awareness" or in research. MBC is the dark underside of the Pink Ribbon. I do not often paraphrase Stalin, actually, this is my first time, but it seems fitting. Sadly, in the world of MBC, one death is a tragedy but thousands seem to be merely a statistic.

I wrote the following in February 2010 - just over 6 months after my initial diagnosis; while I was still in the throws of multiple surgeries; and while I was still in the midst of embracing my own cancer journey. This was in response to the dearth of information and mis-information that I was having to contend with as I groped my way along a well-chartered, but equally mystifying path. It seemed apropos to reprint again, as I continue to stumble along the routeway of MBC.

Please to Meet You...Can You Guess My Game?

You pay homage to me
With candlelight's,
With relays, and
Pale pink parades.
You go through these motions, notions
and emotions half-veiled and dazed.
Caring, yet not comprehending the dark nature of my true game.

I have marched on,
I have latched on,
I live due to the choices you have made.
You're dumb-founded and scared, and
Emboldened and brazen.
And I enjoy this pink badge of honor,
Celebrating the carnage left in my wake.
Yet you don't seem to understand when you meet me,
Thou you flippantly market my game.

You clamor to the life I've taken -
Fear gripping you like a vise,
Yet celebrating with ribbons and vigils
And solemn events to light up the night.
Yet I still seize, clutch, and penetrate,
Creating breastless creatures with the disease I rake.
And in response you raise your banners and tie your pink laces,
Feigning a civilized calm, within the din of despair,
Yielding and railing at the call of my name.

I enjoy an enviable market niche,
A public relations dream with a broad reach.
I bring many persons together
To walk,
To share,
To cry, and
To prescribe.
Together you'll meet me, step-to defeat me and fight,
While still shunning from the meaning of the game that I play,
For the "greater purpose" you cling to me me, giving life to my name.

I'm embraced,
I'm battled,
I'm run for, and against.
I raise warriors in pink,
I raze survivors inside and out.
You speak awareness of who I am,
Yet I'm still the ever uninvited guest.
You know me, but you choose not to see,
Past the Madison Avenue glitz; and
In the whispers of your fears, my name is endorsed on your lips.

You make me t-shirts and teddy bears,
Coffee cups and pins
You celebrate my name,
In the hopes that YOU will win?
I'm on bracelets and billboards,
T.V. ads and magazines.
You use me to bond women together,
Through hats, key chains and I.V. scenes.
You want to be rid of me, wrench me from your breast,
While still elevating my name like some personal test.

You breathe and drink me, in
The chemicals you create.
The ones that both heal and do harm.
You willingly open your body to my sin.
Your lust for luxuries simply invites me in.
Through cosmetics,
Beauty creams,
Hair color,
Deodorants, and
You gulp me down in plastic bottles.
Swallow me hungrily in pills.
You ingest me in the foods you eat,
And still,
You come gripped with shock and dismay,
And curse when you greet me,
Still stoically refusing to take personal ownership of my game!

I bring sorrow,
You bring hope -
And wrap yourself in courage desperately borrowed.
I bring profit -
Greedily spawned from your daughters,
Yet you say you know me, with no knowledge.
And you keep coming to me in droves,
Throwing away your intuition,
Innate sense and well being, no longer trusting your own.
You claw at and cling to the coattails of Big Pharma,
Opening your veins up to the corporate dogma.
Good patients burn flesh and sear mind under the guise of a pink banner,
And savor Red Devil cocktails, while
Quality of life becomes nothing but face-book banter, of
Buzz words, fly-bys, statistics, wigs, and trials,
As you uncomfortably nestle blindly in my surreal guile.

Am I nature,
Am I man-made, or
A product of freakish DNA?
You don't know,
You don't ask,
You lock-step on.
You want only to walk on the pink runway,
Fear as your drum.
All the while feeling empowered,
Rallying with the pink-media monster, who
Romanticizes the call,
To join the growing roster forged in my name,
And trust that I am very pleased to shroud you in the nature of my game!

- TCShanker (aka "TC")
February, 2010

# # #

To gain greater insight into the MBC Community; the grass roots movements to educate the general as well the Pink-Public as to MBC; and to make this deadly aspect of breast cancer a priority in funding & research, please explore the following resources. Thank you for taking the time this October 13th, and beyond.


From support groups to funding vital research, our programs sustain the power of hope. Passionately committed patients ourselves, we rally public attention to the urgent needs of the metastatic breast cancer (MBC) community, help patients find strength through support and purpose, and make EVER dollar count as we work with researchers to regain longevity with quality of life.

Metastatic Breast Cancer Network

MBCN is a national, independent, nonprofit, patient advocacy group dedicated to the unique concerns of the women and men living with metastatic breast cancer . We strive to help those living with stage IV breast cancer be their own best advocate through providing education and information on treatments and coping with the disease.
National Foundation for Cancer Research
Even after successful removal of a primary tumor, cancer patients still live under the constant fear that a few cancer cells have escaped the surgery, and that these cells may eventually become secondary tumors in other locations of the body. Presently, there has been insufficient research on the root cause of metastasis, which means that there are no effective medical strategies to prevent or stop cancer once it has spread. Although chemotherapy drugs are used to inhibit the cancer metastasis, this form of treatment often leads to debilitating side effects which diminish the quality of life for patients and their families.

There is an urgent need f or better methods to prevent and treat metastasis. Due to the complex nature of this aspect of cancer, extensive research collaboration among scientists is essential to tackle this problem. Critical as it is, research funding in this field is severely limited. Of the $6.2 billion dollars allocated to the National Cancer Institute for cancer research, less than 1% of that budget focuses on research trying to understand the fundamental mechanisms of cancer metastasis.

The metastasis of cancer cells is the greatest cause of lethality from tumors. Despite this fact, metastasis remains a relatively understudied area with a corresponding lack of understanding of the metastatic process. The research presented above has already provided new insights into the causes and mechanisms of cancer cell metastasis.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"31 Truths" the Pink Ribbon Does Not Tell

****** (check out this URL for the complete history behind each of these Truths)

Over 2 ½ million women in the United States have a history of breast cancer.

About 40,000 women and 450 men die from breast cancer each year in the United States.

Breast cancer accounts for nearly a quarter of all cancers in women worldwide.

Men do get breast cancer.

The biggest risk factors for breast cancer are being a woman and growing older.The average age of diagnosis is 61.

Most women who are diagnosed with breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease.

Most people think they have a higher risk of breast cancer than they actually do.

While breast cancer mortality has gone down in recent years, too many women still die of the disease each year.

The mortality rate from breast cancer is higher for African American women than for white women and women of other races.

All breast cancers are not the same; there are different types of breast cancer.

We do not know how to prevent the spread of breast cancer to other parts of the body (metastasis).

For the majority of people with breast cancer, treatment options have changed very little in the last 20 years.

The treatments for DCIS and invasive breast cancer can themselves lead to severe side effects, including death.

Early detection is not the answer. Finding and treating all Stage 0 breast cancer, or DCIS , will not prevent all deaths from breast cancer.

In many cases, more treatment is not necessarily better treatment.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) may increase your risk of breast cancer.

There are many unproven and uncertain risk factors for breast cancer cited in the media and among the public.

Most women who find their own breast cancer do so as part of normal routines (showering, getting dressed, etc.) not during systematic monthly breast self-exams.

Mammography is not prevention. Getting regular mammograms does not prevent you from getting breast cancer.

Five year breast cancer survival rates do not give an accurate picture of progress against breast cancer.

Breast cancer awareness campaigns have helped move the disease from behind closed doors but have not had a significant impact on the incidence of Stage 4 disease or on mortality.

To end breast cancer, research must focus on understanding how to prevent the disease from developing and on how to stop the disease from spreading to other parts of the body.

We will not see a significant decrease in breast cancer mortality without a better understanding of breast cancer metastasis.

Women with breast cancer deserve evidence-based treatments that have been proven effective.

Once there is a cure, breast cancer will still not end until everyone everywhere has access to health care.

The media do not always get it right when reporting on breast cancer.

Your tax dollars fund a significant amount of breast cancer research.

Breast cancer survivors can learn and understand science, and can help influence the direction of breast cancer research.

Great scientific achievements have been accomplished in less than 10 years.

Breast cancer advocates can—and will—lead an effort to end breast cancer by 2020.

It will take collaboration among many groups and stakeholders to meet Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®.


Monday, October 8, 2012

A "WOW...REALLY?!!" Moment


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pinktober Pictorial Perspective - Unfurling the Pink Ribbon

Test your Pinktober I.Q. - Which picture raises your AWARENESS of the disease that has been killing women (and yes, men too) at a rate of 40,000 per year since our grandmothers were being diagnosed? 
(Caution: Contains graphic content. Only scroll down if you really want to know what breast cancer looks like unwrapped from the pink trappings.) 
Barbie does Breast Cancer, for 6+ years of age.
Indoctrinating a younger audience that breast cancer is Pretty & Pink.
Soon every 6 year old will want to be a member of our
ever-expanding "club"!
Prepping for the Sentinel Node Biopsy.
First step is  to be injected with nuclear matter. Yes it does hurt.

Hard Rock's 2012 edition is a double-necked
blinged out guitar. Last year was single-necked.
Maybe this is for the double-mastectomy crowd?

To the left is one of the potential side-effects of radiation treatment.
Yes, the skin can get that damaged.
To the right is a potential side-effect of the Sentinel Node Biopsy - lymphedema.
Lymphedema can be debilitating, and a life-long issue.  Granted, "life-long" for a breast cancer journeyer carries a different meaning than for the non-journeying population.

There is actually a contest for the
most inspirational quote. You too can
have your words pressed against the
scarred bosom of a breast cancer journeyer.
The surgical search for those pesky lymph nodes that
can indiscriminately carry cancer cells throughout a person's body.

While I appreciate the efforts of the NFL. And, admittedly, a buff athlete in
tight stretch pants, flexing his "guns", may give me pause to rethink my abhorrence of pink. On the other-hand, I think the NFL should stick to trying to ameliorate the traumatic brain injuries their own players are incurring. BTW, the full add said a whole 10 cents on the dollar went to breast cancer research. Guess the NFL learned nothing after the recent referee strike.

Pinkwashing Retail Awareness. Enough said.
Yes, this is what a mastectomy scar looks like 2-3 weeks after the surgery. The drainage tubes have been removed. Thank goodness, otherwise this reality would really be scary looking!
Yes, ladies and gentlemen - THIS IS BREAST CANCER!
Not pretty, but maybe a little pinkish.

Awareness for breast cancer?  or an ad to save
the local strip joint, "Tatas," from closing down?

Smith & Wesson...and your thought was what?
If breast cancer and its progeny doesn't kill you,
try this????
Chemo. It sucks.
No matter what your opinion as to this poison-filled, conventional treatment.

Damn...I like penguins.
Not sure I want one squishing my "boobs", however. Oh, forgot I don't have real "boobs" anymore. How about we just squish the Boob who thought this was clever??

Double mastectomy, approximately
two months after surgery. I don't think Pinkwashing
Retail Awareness is going to help.

Chicken should not be pretty or pink. Even fake chicken.
Petrol containers for Breast Cancer!
How apropos. After all, we slather ourselves in petrol each and every day. Its in our soaps, shampoos, cosmetics...and we pay top dollar for these carcinogens. Read your labels: paraffin; sodium lauryl sulphate, ammonium lauryl sulphate, dibutyl, phthalate, butyl benzl phthalate, parabens (butyl, ethyl, propyl isobutyl), benzoates, tolune, methlybenzene, dimethicone, propylene glycol .... to name a few.

Chicken should not be pretty or pink, or canned, or sodium filled...

Cardiac Pre-Tamponade in Metastatic Breast. In other words, the breast cancer has spread to the cardiac structure.

I reiterate, in the event the point is still not apparent. Breast Cancer is NOT pretty and pink!
Actually, this IS a t-shirt I might wear to Trader Joe's
during the weekly shopping trip!
Related PINKTOBER Posts:

Kindly...STOP Waving the Pink Ribbon in My Face -