© January 2010 by Fabienne Lopez
When I get home, G. is excitedly awaiting for me at the door. “Look, look!” He points his fingers to me. Since the entryway is dark, I don’t get the excitement. But apparently there is a reason for this fluttering of hands.
As I look at him, puzzled.
He tells me,”It’s Wednesday.”
Yah and so? I ask. I know it’s trash day. However that’s not it.
“It’s Boobie Wednesday on Twitter!”
As in boobs? I ask.
Yes, there is this movement on Twitter every Wednesday where women publish pictures of their breast to raise awareness of cancer. I decided to participate.
Ok! I say. Again his fluttering of hands.
This time, I take one hand – big, strong, masculine weathered by life and burn scars with long tapered fingers – and have a close look at it. There. Three fingers are neatly manicured and painted half yellow/half pink. Yellow for male cancers (prostate, testicular, etc.), and pink for breast cancer.
We banter about the whole scene of G. walking into a nail salon, full of women – a man having a manicure is still an odd sight – and calmly discussing nail polish with the attendant and what best shades of yellow and pink would go together. He takes some pictures and posts them on Twitter. Huge success – with the women!
Now for those who know G. know he is more of a hippie, a Grateful Dead child more than anything else. A sensitive guy who has been through a lot in his life. Several of the women in his life have been through breast cancer or cancer scares, including myself. I thought his idea of painting his nails as a way to start a conversation and help about cancer was a brilliant. A simple, fun way to help BoobieWed.
Coincidently, I just came back from my annual check-up with my gynecologist. I joke that in my family we die of cancer. From my great-grandmother to me, all the women in my family have had reproductive cancers and cancer scares at least once if not twice. In 2004, I had a hysterectomy following one of those scares. I know I have a higher chance than the average woman of getting cancer. Therefore I take good care of myself – mammograms, monthly self-examination, annual visits to my doctor – insurance permitting.
Considering my family history, my doctor wants me to take a genetic test to determine whether or not I am positive for specific types of genes, BRCA 1 and BRCA2 ,linked to breast and ovarian cancer. But I am scared and reluctant. As my doctor explained to me, if I test positive, a preventive measure would be to have a mastectomy. Wooo hoo, just what I was waiting for.
My hysterectomy did not shake me as much as the perspective of a mastectomy does. I did not want children and the scars do not show, so I am ok with it.
Now a mastectomy hits me at the core of my femininity and I do not want to go there. For right now, I am researching and reading about those two genes and putting off any decision until I feel comfortable with any decision I make.
As I relate this to G., we come up with this idea to continue to raise awareness about cancer. I would write a post on my blog about Twitter’s BoobieWed, share it on Facebook and from there on, every Wednesday, raise awareness with a post. G. would do the same on Twitter with his nails.
Now I am asking you to do the same, ladies. Ask your brother, husband, father, boyfriend, uncle, cousin, friend, colleague to paint their nails and wear it for a week – from one Boobie Wednesday to the other – and on Wednesday follow BoobieWed on Twitter.
And if you care to send me a picture of your man wearing nail polish, I will publish the photos on my blog.
For more information on Boobie Wednesday, check the blog http://www.boobiewednesday.blogspot.com/
For more information on cancer issues, go to cancer society