Cancer

I am posting this a bit late, yesterday the 4th was Cancer day. Let’s take a look at Cancer and how it affects people. Cancer isn’t just what one person goes through, their entire family and support system are affected. People come and go and it is amazing when you say you have cancer how some people can distance themselves. Is it the possibility or facing their own mortality? Is it fear? I have had people around me telling me that they can’t cope with it. Well how the hell do you think I feel? If you can’t cope! Some distance themselves because they don’t want you to become dependant on them, they don’t want the burden of having to help you.

The support systems out there are not always catered for your needs. No insult to Cancer Council or CanTeen, but they are very White Australian centric. The minute you talk about ngangkari’s (Traditional Healers) well they don’t know what to do.  They don’t understand our need to go back to Country. They don’t understand that having to be a million miles from home can hinder your recovery. The need to be with the Land of your people or the connections you have made with other Countries. They don’t understand the need of many of us to keep our head covered until all our hair has returned, we do this to stop the evil spirits getting in.

But what is the focus of the day? Well so many people talk of breast Cancer or skin Cancer. But what about the others? More women die of ovarian Cancer each year than Breast Cancer. More men die of Prostate Cancer than women with Breast Cancer. It’s good to highlight a Cancer. But the fact that Breast Cancer is the pop star of the Cancer world I wonder if its sexism. What is a woman without her breasts? It’s something that men like and often look at. So this means other Cancers get over looked. Who cares about ovarian cancer, it’s not tangible, prostate cancer is a bit of a shame factor.

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Brain Cancer is on the increase, but does it get a pop star status? No because who needs a brain? The number of young children with Brain Cancer is rising, as is the number of people in their middle age. Why are we not looking more into this? Why is it overshadowed by the big name Cancers. The brain is more important and we have to start putting our bucks into research for it.

Thank you

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About proudblacksista

An Aboriginal woman. mother of 4 diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour 7 years ago.I want to share my story to help others. I am working to help other Aboriginal people face the battles of Cancer. Email me with your stories or concerns at aboriginalcancer.com View all posts by proudblacksista

One response to “Cancer

  • Kate Bowles

    You’re so right about breast cancer (which is what I have) — it’s the popstar. Which is often really maddening. Last year there was a big billboard campaign in the UK on behalf of pancreatic cancer, which gets very little funding and is really hard to cure. The billboard showed a woman with chemo hair loss saying “I wish I had breast cancer.” I was right in the middle of chemo myself thinking: WTF?

    But the thing about all this is that it’s driven by PR companies and professional fundraisers, not by anyone who actually has cancer. I don’t think we compete with each other at all–if you’ve had any kind of cancer you know how it means to let that word into your life, and all it brings with it.

    I remember reading your earlier post about head covering and hair loss — that was really interesting, something I didn’t know. I think there may be other cultural things that standardising treatment overlooks. It would be good to get more patient voices into Australian cancer care.

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