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Make It Real For Everyone – The Thunderclap Is Back!

Today I walked into a bakery & café to pick up birthday cupcakes for a client. While I waited for the barista retrieve my order, I perused their selection of confections. Of course I was confronted with this.


Uh-oh, someone needs a #BreastCancerRealityCheck!

To be fair, these are not the worst Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) cupcakes I’ve ever seen. I’m sure we’ve all seen the ones that imitate nipples, or the infamous mamm-o-grahams. These cupcakes are a bit more subtle, but it still seems a bit nipple-like to me. And as a former breast cancer patient whose cancer originated in the nipple, who had said nipple removed and not replaced, I’m just not pleased when I see the nipple stuff.

And, in still being fair, the owner of the shop (who gave me a couple of free cupcakes to go with my pick up order), is just filling a demand, making some money. But what would I tell her if I’d had time today, if I’d had the patience?

I Might Say

“You know, boobie stuff isn’t funny to those of us who’ve had to have them removed in life saving measures”


“You know, that ribbon hasn’t saved the lives of my friends, Karen, Carolyn—I’ll stop listing them—it’s just meaningless to many of us”


“You know, I was diagnosed at age 38, my risk was 1 in 233, not 1 in 8—my life is not slogan-conforming”


“Are you donating any proceeds to the local Breast Cancer Coalition—or to the cancer center around the corner—I was treated there, they need wigs!”


“Did you know about 1430 people die every day around the world because of breast cancer but that never seems to get mentioned”


I was in a hurry, I had more errands to run, and sometimes I get a little timid about making a scene (although I assure you, sometimes I’m not so timid about it).

What Would You Say?

What would YOU say to anyone who gives you a cupcake like this? Who tells you how lucky you are, and maybe you got a “free boob job” out of this terrible situation?

Most folks like to believe in fairy tales – I guess we never outgrow them. They like to buy into what we see in feel-good news stories. People like to think you got a diagnosis, you fought hard and bravely, maybe you ran a race or ate some boobies cupcakes, and then you were all better! No PTSD, no fear of recurrence, no more treatments or scans ever again. Trips to the oncologist are over.

Here is my reality – I still tremble with dread when I go get my annual mammogram, when I have to see the oncologist, hell, anytime I go to a medical facility. I developed an aversion to all medical buildings – imagine that! I hate having gone through early menopause – even though I had no intention of having children. I still wonder if I will manage to outlive my parents, who are in their 70s. I just don’t live in that fairy tale world – I reside in reality.

What Is YOUR Reality?

Tell the world on social media on October 7. Sign Up NOW for our Thunderclap, taking place at 10am PDT, 1:00pm EDT, 6:00pm BST.  And in the hour right after the Thunderclap happens, let’s get #BreastCancerRealityCheck trending by creating a giant Twitter Storm!

Note:  Only use this hashtag during that hour #BreastCancerRealityCheck

You can find Wendi blogging and making a difference at Another One With The Cancer.


  • I want more concrete cancer prevention methods than the “eat right, exercise, don’t drink or smoke” mantra that also helps prevent practically every damn human disease. The only way to make progress is if patients stand up and demand better. The women who began the breast cancer awareness movement—before it got all commercial and pink—were activists who demanded better cancer care, and they were sometimes militant or angry or cranky. Honor their bravery by continuing to demand “more and better” rather than just “accepting” what has happened!

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