Today’s WEGO HAWMC task was to compare your condition to an animal. Oddly enough, I was going to go with the zebra mussel. I spent all but 4 years of the first 41 in either Michigan or Chicago and grew up playing on the amazing lakes and waterways of the upper Midwest. The zebra mussel invaded the Great Lakes in the late 1980s and hasn’t turned back. It is an invasive creature, impossible to detect in the planktonic larval stage and is at its most harmful stage as an adult when it attaches itself to boats, docks, water-intake systems. My breast cancer was invasive, was hard to detect and as it grew, it was more harmful and caused more damage.
I’m more excited about the Breast Cancer Social Media (#BCSM) Tweetchat that I spent an hour participating in tonight and want to share the chat’s transcript. Tonight’s topic was advocacy and all of the different forms this can take. I really appreciate Dr. Deanna J. Attai’s introduction:
Tonight’s BCSM Community tweetchat was on advocacy – what does it mean, how do you go about it, and what about the fact that there are not simply enough hours in a day??
Advocacy takes many shapes and forms. While many think of advocacy as working at large research or support organization, being an advocate can simply mean picking up groceries on your way home for a neighbor who just had surgery and can’t leave the house yet. Or offering to cook a meal, pick up her kids from school, drive her to treatment. Anything that you do to make things easier for another makes you an advocate. You can be as loud or private about it as you want.
Involvement in social media including Facebook, Twitter, blog posts, discussion boards and other forums is one way to share your knowledge and offer support. You can also let your physician know that you’d be willing to take a current patient’s phone call if they need someone to talk to. Or you can look up any number of local and national organizations that are always in need of volunteers.
If you feel the need to give back and to help, do it! There are many that can benefit from your experience and your kindness. There are many ways to get involved – find out what works best for you.
Here is a copy of the transcript. It’s worth the read.