Let’s Not Play Games

Yesterday, June 4, 2016, was National Hug Your Cat Day. As it happens, I hug my cat everyday, and, I’m delighted to say, she hugs me back. So, I don’t really need to be reminded to hug my cat, but what the heck? I can get behind the sentiment.

Today, June 5, 2016, is National Cancer Survivors Day. I got invited to a dinner for cancer survivors that was organized by my local hospital/healthcare system, which also happens to be my employer. Every day that I am still, as far as I know, NED, is a day I’m grateful for. But like many of us, I have trouble with the word ‘survivor.’ Maybe it’s me, but on this day, I can’t help remembering all the people I have known who did not survive cancer. I’ve survived my crazy childhood, bad relationships, several hurricanes, a few auto accidents, the infamously snowy winter of 2015 here in New England, the sorrow of burying both of my parents, and a whole lot of other shit. Those events are behind me. Breast cancer, which can recur and metastasize years after initial diagnosis, is not. So, no, I am not attending a dinner that, at best, will leave me feeling uncomfortably patronized and will not begin to acknowledge my daily reality or the reality of my friends and patients who are enduring metastatic cancer every day.

Yesterday, one of my friends, who has also had breast cancer, posted the following on Facebook: “I know nobody will read my status but sometimes when I’m bored, I get wrapped up in my tutu, put a giant horn on my head, lather sparkles all over myself and prance around the kitchen pretending I’m a magical unicorn!” I laughed. I figured she was making fun of those idiotic posts that demand that the reader leave a one-word response and then cut-and-paste the same status to their own timelines. So, I left a Ha-ha emoji and suggested that she post a photo. Later, I got this message from her: “Dear fellow unicorn, I am really sorry I have lost at the unicorn game and now so have you! Anyone who likes or comments on my post has to continue the game for Breast Cancer Awareness (unless you have lost your sense of humor). You now have to post the same thing on your status. Be a good sport and keep it going….you have to send this message to anyone who comments or likes on your post.”

The first thing I thought was, No way in hell. I take that back. The first thing I thought was, What the ever-loving heck?? Then I was surprised that this person, an ordinarily with-it, intelligent person who also objects to all the fake pink BS that is breast cancer awareness, a person of whom I am fond, would even participate in this, and not just ignore the person who started it. She did end her message by saying, “You are going to hate this. Sorry.” Well, she was right about that. I did and do hate it. We had a little cordial back-and-forth about it, and she apologized again. But I still do not understand why she posted it in the first place. Maybe I have, indeed, lost my sense of humor. One of my dearest friends, who died of metastatic breast cancer, was buried last weekend. I’m still trying to come to terms with that.

About five years ago, I wrote another post about these so-called games [The Pink Elephant]. My sentiments about them remain unchanged. I hate blackmail, I hate social media bullying, and I fail to see what is amusing about these games, much less how their originators can suppose for one nanosecond that they advance anything but their embarrassingly prepubescent lack of intelligence. If anyone can explain to me how they contribute to breast cancer awareness, please leave me a comment. Which means I may be condemning myself to getting no comments here, because I doubt very much that anyone can explain this to my satisfaction.

Yesterday, there was also a full moon. Maybe that’s it. All I know is that I’m not in the mood, today or any day, for errant lunacy. I think I’ll go hug my cat.

This entry was written by Kathi, posted on Sunday, June 05, 2016 at 12:06 pm, filed under Attitude, Survivorship and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

12 Responses to “Let’s Not Play Games”

  1. I’m with you. I hate those “games”.

  2. Sue, I can’t get over the fact that they’re still around! Enough already.

  3. That’s a sweet picture of you and your kitty, Kathi. My cat doesn’t hug but she tries to be nice to me sometimes.

    I don’t celebrate the National Cancer Survivors Day. I don’t like being called a “survivor” either. I consider myself a cancer patient, and forever will be.

    I am not fond of such games either and I get annoyed when people who know me well approach me with their requests. I guess I’ve lost some of my sense of humor.

  4. Thanks, Rebecca. Fiona, of course, sets the hugging parameters, but she likes to hug my arm or spoon with me, and then she lets me hug her back. 🙂 Cats are often much more sensible than humans, eh?

  5. I agree 100%. In fact, I am very wary of participating in any frivolous stuff on FB because I’m afraid I’ll be inadvertently pulled into one of these games, which I think suck. Totally spot-on post. I’m so sorry about your friend. Hugs.

  6. Beth, I hate the trickery and stupid slyness of these games in particular. Not a nice way to treat folks. Oy. Hugs back.

  7. I’m with you on this 100%. As a breast cancer survivor myself, I struggle daily with how to define my “survivorship.” One thing I’ve learned from my journey thus far is how to accept empathy, and the great lengths I will go to to seek it out. Hopefully I’ve also learned how to better express it for others, too.

  8. Thanks, Amy. Yes, empathy. Much more useful than games.

  9. Hi Kathi,
    To each her own. I guess. As far as me and those silly Facebook games, count me out as well. And YOU, lose your sense of humor? Never! Keep hugging your sweet Fiona. Love the pic of you two. xo

  10. Thanks, Nancy! Fortunately, my sense of humor is never really gone, just sorely taxed now and then. xoxo

  11. Acting like a unicorn, going without makeup and having “show your tatas” games on Facebook does not help end cancer or help anyone with cancer.

    I’ve gotten through cancer as well but don’t love the phrase “survivor” — totally understand your sentiment.

  12. Thanks, Mary.

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