A quick nod at my friend Maria over at My Life Works Today! She and I have been talking a lot lately about how great minds think alike and I am inclined to agree, yet again, based on her post today on lupus walks and illness advocacy.
Now, I’ll be the first one to tell you that this whole chronic illness community is about shared experience and not competition, but I can tell you that I was incredibly put-off to see that Oprah had devoted nearly all of her October issue to breast cancer.
While I am certainly sympathetic to the cause, as I think we all are, breast cancer advocacy is everywhere, even on cereal boxes. But where’s the advocacy for all of the other horrible diseases that plague women in this country?
You know, Oprah used to be the “poster girl” for going against the grain, but lately, all I see her doing is contributing to mainstream, middle of the road conceptions of life. And I’m sorry to say that I’ve had enough!
Now, I opted not to take part this year in walks for lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. The reason being that this is all still too new for me. So before you go calling me a hypocrite, think of this:
Imagine the scene in “Miss Congeniality” where Sandra Bullock is “gliding” across the street and a cab almost hits her. She yells at the cabbie, “I’m gliding here!” Well imagine that scene with me in it and I’m yelling at the cabbie, “I’m coping here!”
We all have different ways of dealing with our illnesses. For me, acknowledging my illnesses in such a “public” way is honestly something I’m just not ready to do yet. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not thinking of ways to get involved or educate those around me. And clearly since I blog about it almost everyday, I’m not going to be “silent” forever.
I think that it is important that all of us do what we can to be a part of the effort. While breast cancer survival rates are increasing, there hasn’t been a new medication introduced to treat lupus in over 40 years! What does that tell you?
And in her post, Maria makes an excellent, excellent point about the fact that it is pretty absurd to expect people who can barely make it through most days to be the ones solely responsible for the advocacy that happens. Obviously, if we don’t stand up for ourselves, no one will. But from the way I see it, there are very few healthy people really fighting for the cause.
So let’s be the change we want to see!