Muzzily Muddled

The life and times of a 30-something recent law school graduate trying to understand the past, figure out the future and scrape through the present in one piece.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Day late, dollar short, what's done is done, blah blah blah

Even though I haven't seen any of these posts for a few days, a friend's recent post coupled with some lively discussion on a discussion board I follow has prompted me to write this.  My apologies for the lack of timeliness.  Deal with it.  :)

So the most recent "breast cancer awareness" game on facebook has been to post a random week and a craving, pretending that you are pregnant and are having a craving for some junk food.  Now, I realize that this seems like it is all fun and games.  And I won't be nearly so eloquent or vehement as some of the very well-written blogs I have read on the subject.  But, here are my two cents.

Ten to 15 percent of couples in the United States are infertile.

12.2 percent of women born in the United States today will develop breast cancer at some time in their lives.

When you are dealing with infertility, and someone jokes about being pregnant, it hurts.  You may not understand if you've never had trouble getting pregnant, but trust me, it hurts.

So, on facebook, we are encouraged to show support for one tenth of the female population while humiliating/embarrassing/angering one tenth of the "couple" population.  How is that helpful?  How does that promote breast cancer awareness?  What about the women and men of reproductive age that have cancer, and as a direct result of their life-saving treatments, become infertile?  Fertility preservation and fertility rescue is pretty new and not available to most cancer patients.  I would think that, if someone lost their ability to have a child because of breast cancer, they may not feel supported by a facebook status where someone pretends to be pregnant.

Infertility is one of those issues that almost no one ever talks about.  And it's a real shame.  And yes, as a society we do tend to be hypersensitive to too many things.  But please, for the love of all things lovable, please think before you post.  Does posting "I'm 25 weeks and craving chocolate" or something similar really help spread awareness about breast cancer?  Or does it maybe confuse your friends and family, and hurt the hearts of your friends who cannot have a child or another child?  You may not know that they are dealing with infertility, because more likely than not they haven't advertised the fact.  But, 10-15% of couples is a large enough part of the population that I can almost guarantee that several of your facebook friends are infertile.

Breast cancer is a terrible thing.  But please, don't try to support one part of the population while being insensitive to another part.