Women Who Have or Have Had Breast Cancer

I’m writing to reach out to women who have or have had breast cancer—to let you know that I’ve recently assumed the role of Information Coordinator for our constituency and to share a few thoughts. I’m eager to connect with you who share this commonality and to discharge with you, think with you, and move with you toward re-emergence and a more rational world.

We experience this disease in different ways, at different ages, and to different degrees and face different challenges along the way. We also have a significant common experience and occupy a uniquely exploited position in society.

Women with breast cancer are impacted significantly by sexism, racism, capitalism, and environmental degradation. For example:

  • The image in the media of the inspirational “breast cancer survivor” trivializes the impact of the disease and its treatment and aftermath.
  • Though the disease is most prevalent among white women, the possibility of dying from it is disproportionately high for African-American women and for women in parts of Latin America and Africa.
  • Many industrial carcinogens contribute to breast cancer, but they receive relatively little critical attention compared to “lifestyle factors,” such as if and when a woman bears children, her dietary and exercise habits, and how much body fat she carries.
  • Fears of breast cancer and concern for those who experience it are exploited for profit. For example, “pinkwashing,” a lucrative marketing strategy, uses misleading breast-cancer-awareness branding to sell products and services.

If you’re a woman who has or has had breast cancer, I’d love to hear from you (see contact information below). And if there’s someone you know in RC who may not have seen this letter, will you draw her attention to it? Here are a few questions to help me get to know you and what might be useful to you:

  • Many women I’ve spoken to have expressed an interest in a workshop for our constituency. Is that something that interests you?
  • Are you interested in setting up discharge groups on the phone or occasional gather-ins in your part of the world?
  • Where do you live?
  • Have you had sessions with others who share the breast cancer experience? Or have you led or participated in topic tables or discharge groups on this subject (at or outside of RC workshops)? If so, how did they go?

Amy Kalisher

Chaplin, Connecticut


(Present Time 184, July 2016)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00