Monday, February 6, 2012

Because Many Have Asked...

Well, I was going to avoid this topic completely and just move right on with life however, I feel like I need to address it because MANY people have asked, "What do you think about the Komen thing?" I want to groan, roll my eyes, and say that I don't think about it because it requires a lot of energy that is better spent elsewhere, but seeing as how this directly affects me and many friends who have breast cancer, I will tell you my thoughts on it. This is simply my personal opinion which we all have so if you want to leave a comment, please do. But, if you disagree with me please be respectful when you share your view.

So, when I first heard that Komen had stopped giving grants to Planned Parenthood (PP), my initial thought was, "I had no idea they even gave to that charity to begin with!" I was irritated and appalled that the thousands of dollars I have raised for them was going to an organization that I don't support at all. I wondered if those dollars would not have been better spent funding more research or going towards legislation making it mandatory that women with dense breasts be notified and given an ultrasound. I have a few friends who have had 100% normal mammograms yet their ultrasounds are what found the cancer. Luckily, these women had great doctors who were smart enough to go ahead and order the extra test, but MANY women are not so fortunate. My friend, Kate, who passed away from breast cancer in 2010 had a "normal" mammogram yet two months later found out that she had stage 3 breast cancer at age 33. I wonder if a simple, noninvasive ultrasound would have made a difference for her? Could it have been the difference in life or death?

And then, after some of my own investigation/research, I discovered that Planned Parenthood also provides medical care to underserved women...that only about 10% of their "business" is abortions. Ten percent is still too much but originally I thought that abortions were the only thing PP did. So then I became more okay with the fact that some money was being given to them. I mean really, a life is a life whether it is a baby or a woman who has made some poor choices, or an elderly woman who can't afford a mammogram. I never got all in a fit about Komen's choice though as they can do what they see fit. I do wish that people who don't even give to Komen would have piped down about it because I can guarantee that the majority of the people who were bitching  complaining about it were only doing so because of the abortion aspect of it and NOT that women were not going to be getting mammograms.

And then, Komen reversed their decision which infuriated me. They caved to social pressure. If they really really believed in what they were doing then they should not have given in. I feel like they were bullied and I was mad about it. I mean come on, the local ABC program here depends on grants from the Komen Foundation to fund it and the program was shut down for years because of a lack of funding. Why shouldn't this get the attention that PP did? This program walks through cancer with women and provides lymphedema therapy, teaching,  range of motion exercises for post-surgical patients, nutrition consults, etc... If I hadn't had the ABC program when I did (it was funded the year I was diagnosed) then I would have been in a horrible spot with lymphedema. HORRIBLE!!!

Well, all of that just to say that truly, I don't care anymore. I don't. It is what it is and I have really come to a peace about what I said earlier. A life is a life...unborn or elderly...and they are all to be protected and cared for. Komen, I support you. Planned Parenthood, I am GLAD that you are not just an abortion clinic but a clinic that also helps under-priveleged women with their breast exams and mammograms.
And now, I'm done. Whew!