October 31, 2012
Everyone loves boobies. Other than me -- I want a reduction, but that's another topic for another day. One of Seattle's breast cancer walks this year was on Sept. 22nd. That was the SAME Day that Life Long AIDS Alliance had its annual AIDS Walk. The breast cancer walk was advertised everywhere, from radio to TV, and even flyers hanging around town.
Had I not got an email or an invite on my Facebook page from Life Long, or BABES, I would have had NO idea there even was an AIDS walk.
It is cool to support boobies -- hell, even football players are draped in pink this month. And that's great! Cancer needs more money for research. BUT people with cancer CAN be cured. You can CUT off a boob and if you're lucky your cancer does not come back. I do have friends who have died of cancer and they were only in their 20s. I'm not saying they all get cured, and that it's NOT a big deal. It totally is.
I work with three men who were diagnosed with three different types of cancer in the last three years, all of them are in remission. They had surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy; some of them lost weight and hair, and now they are all back at work Monday through Friday and they look great.
I have not missed work due to my HIV/AIDS, other than for routine doctor appointments. I have never been SICK because of this diagnosis.
But where is our coverage? Where is our month of nationwide support and help from the uninfected community? Everyone knows at least one person with cancer alive or dead. Everyone DOES NOT know someone with HIV/AIDS. Well maybe they should. We are people too. We want to live just as much as they do. And we fight our own battles to live and pay our medical bills, and copays for our medications. We go in for blood work and get told we are more prone to other diseases like cancer. We shouldn't have to wait to get cancer for people to give a shit.
I just got an email from my new OB/GYN: woohoo, an abnormal Pap smear result. Great. So now I have to go back in for a crotch biopsy (in Brookey terms, since I don't understand medical jargon nor do I pretend to). So I googled all the medical words in her email with my test results, and most of the words in searches come to HPV, which it says can cause cancer. I have to re-schedule that appointment since I was supposed to go on 10/18 but I'm in a three-week cross-training class for my work. AND I didn't have my copay anyway until I got paid on the 22nd.