No pink ribbon, thanks
November 21, 2012 10:10 AM   Subscribe

My friend has breast cancer. She is most of the way through chemo and is getting ready for a double mastectomy. She is 36, identifies as genderqueer, and is not at all on board with the whole gender-normative pink ribbon thing. She is planning on having minimal reconstructive surgery. Can you help her find appropriate information and online community?

Here's what she's looking for:

- Photos of post-mastectomy outcomes without breast reconstruction, ideally over time
- Online community for alternative subculture people with breast cancer (genderqueer, freaks, punks, etc.)

posted by ottereroticist to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I imagine she would enjoy this article by Barbara Ehrenreich called 'Cancerland', and the book it is contained in may contain pointers to the resources you are looking for.

Welcome to Cancerland.

As it happens, I have a signed, unread copy of that book on my shelf. Memail me and I will send it to you to give to your friend.
posted by bq at 10:18 AM on November 21, 2012

I just sent you a memail about someone who might be a good resource.
posted by needs more cowbell at 10:32 AM on November 21, 2012

Seconding cancerland! I saw a video of a related lecture she gave and it was wonderful. If I weren't on my phone I'd attempt to find it.
posted by missriss89 at 12:07 PM on November 21, 2012

I posted this not long ago, and there might be something useful there.
There is something called mybc, which is a social network for breast cancer. I don't know much about it.

None of that really answers your question, but there might be something useful in there. The problem you're going to have is that the average breast cancer patient is much older than your friend, and those affected at such a young age are abnormally isolated. That will make the queer/alternative component even more difficult to accommodate.

If you do find anything, please post it here for other people like your friend.
posted by Stagger Lee at 12:26 PM on November 21, 2012

Nthing Cancerland. I'm a BC survivor and I found that article a refreshing change from the happy-clappy pink glurge. Your friend also might like Ehrenreich's book Bright-Sided, which isn't cancer-specific but might be a nice bracing read if she gets too much "a great attitude will help you beat the cancer!" talk.

Since your friend is younger than many BC patients she might like the Young Survival website and forums where she can talk to other young women with BC.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 12:58 PM on November 21, 2012

She might like to read about Jodi Jaecks. who got the Seattle Parks Department to change their rules about women needing to wear swimsuit tops. The article I linked to has links to the history of the story, which includes some photos of how she looks after surgery.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:10 PM on November 21, 2012

I like Breast Cancer Action for objective, non-corporate information
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 1:19 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

While she's older than your friend, the author of I Blame The Patriarchy had a double mastectomy and no reconstruction in 2006 - only one photo of her post-healing, but it comes with a rather satisfying rant.
posted by Coobeastie at 1:42 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite] has diverse support groups for different stages that are active and good, and generally hostile to pink ribbon bullshit. It's the primary online resource for people with this disease.
posted by spitbull at 4:51 AM on November 22, 2012

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