Guest Post by Darryle Pollack
This week’s #BCSM Twitter chat will focus on metastatic breast cancer and what our community can do to help raise awareness about the reality of the disease and the ways it is swept under the carpet.
It might seem unusual for me to be one of the leaders behind this chat since I don’t have metastatic cancer. I am fortunate to be a 20 year survivor of Stage III breast cancer. The longer I survive, the more I feel the need to see change happen , and to do more personally to make it happen. I think as non-metastatic survivors we must be the leaders in support of our sisters; to take on the responsibilities of creating change they would like to see. The millions of breast cancer survivors alive today can play a key role in shaping how people feel about this disease – we can change perceptions and preconceived notions.
We’re long overdue to recognize the reality of metastatic cancer as a public part of the conversation. The public has become more sophisticated about cancer in general, and #BCSM as a community has proven its muscle; we have the potential to shift awareness in a new direction. Clearly where we can help is specific awareness of MBC. We have promoted MBCN’s #Stage4NeedsMore and METAvivor’s #DontIgnoreStage4. Yet as October approaches, we have not moved beyond chats to set for the steps required to accomplish this as a community; or even reached agreement on the hashtag.
So I hope everyone interested in breast cancer will join this twitter chat Monday August 31, to add your voice, ideas and support, and for us to collaborate on strategy and a plan to move forward together. Awareness and action are needed.
T1: Let’s start by asking those with #MBC – #metastatic #breastcancer – how they feel the message needs to change.
T2: For everyone – what ideas do you have that will allow us to quickly mobilize and change the messaging?
T3: Can we get this done by October? It’s just 30 days away!
T4: How can each of us individually leverage our personal contacts and outlets around this message?
T4: What is the best way to convey this message to the public?
Darryle Pollack is an author, mosaic artist, and a 20 year survivor of stage III breast cancer. “I Never Signed Up for this….” is the title of her blog, TEDx talk and upcoming book. Follow her on Twitter: @DarryleP.