By Brandie Sellers
Brandie Sellers teaches yoga, meditation, nutrition and cooking. She paints, writes, runs and plays with her children. She is a two-time breast cancer survivor and a divorcee.
Brandie is crazy about her three children, and is blessed with a slew of sister friends who pick her up when she's down, keep her honest with herself when she's full of it, and make her laugh until she cries. Follow her at http://simplelifeyoga.com/.
Cancer survivors laugh a bit at this cancer awareness stuff. Nobody is more aware of cancer than we are. It's either in us or has been in us, and it's all around us in the form of friends and all those ribbons of various colors.
There is a difference between awareness and marketing. Using cancer to sell products is shameful. If I see one more carcinogenic product made in China in the color of breast cancer pink I might throw up.
I don't think there is a cancer donation police checking to make sure those companies really donate a percentage to cancer. And even if they do, they're probably causing more harm with those awful products than good with whatever meager money they donate.
Those products are increasing awareness of their brand, not cancer, and trying to link themselves to cancer and capitalize on that. That burns me up.
What does a helpful way of increasing awareness look like?
Increasing awareness is getting the word out to get screenings for breast and prostate cancers and to heed the body's warning signs and see a doctor when things feel "off."
Increasing awareness is telling women that they need to be intimately aware of what their breasts feel like at all phases of their cycle so that when they're in the shower and feel a lump they know if it's the normal, fibrous tissue they normally have or if it needs to be checked out.
I found both of my tumors through self-exams.
Awareness is waking people up who are feeding themselves and their children atrocious diets. We don't need food marketed to kids. We need kids to eat real food, like broccoli and strawberries. And, we need to throw out the excuse that kids don't like vegetables.
I have three children. They all eat vegetables.
Awareness is accepting the truth that many seeds of cancer are planted when we are children. Keeping cigarette smoke away from children, nourishing their bodies with plant-based foods and keeping them out of the strong sun are simple ways we can make a huge impact.
Taking care of children is literally building people. We have a responsibility to give them the best building blocks, the best cells possible.
Awareness is committing to moving your body. We don't have to be marathoners. We can just get off the couch and walk. We can play kickball in the yard with our kids. It doesn't require a membership or expensive equipment.
Awareness means acceptance that, for a large part, we are steering this ship we call a body and we can set it to sail in open sea or we can set it to crash into an iceberg. We need to drop whatever excuses we're using to harm ourselves with food and habits and take responsibility for our health, and for the health of our children.
Marketing products isn't increasing cancer awareness. Instead of making ourselves feel better by buying something in breast cancer pink that may or not be contributing an infinitesimal amount to charity, we need to make ourselves feel better by increasing our vitality and wellness, and by getting those screenings.
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