Awareness 2019

May is the beginning of the 2019 Bladder Cancer Canada awareness Campaigns.
This is the 10th anniversary of Bladder Cancer Canada.
How do you define awareness?

Many points to cover in this blog – so lets get started.
Usually in May – I have a procedure. No muffins this time.
Today (May 15th) was csyto number 15, of my overall 47th “invasive” procedure since this journey started.

If you aren’t sure what a Cystoscopy is, well – its like a colonoscopy, but the using the other exit routing. How else do they get a video camera into the inside of your bladder?
Here is a comedians take on it – and why I comment about the muffins.
Mike Birbiglia – There’s something in my bladder
Mine went fine today – everything is normal.

Bladder Cancer Awareness month is upon us again. This is my first May in my new home on the east coast since my 2014 diagnosis.
As this is the 10th year of Bladder Cancer Canada , BCC is talking about Awareness events all year. Feel free to sign up for their newsletter – my smiling face has been in it more than once.
My Bladder Cancer Awareness Walk fundraising page is up. The walk is in September, and goes around Point Pleasant Park (Halifax, NS). If you are in Halifax and want to join me – lets start a team – any takers?
All donations via the website get a tax reciept right away.

One of the big things about awareness is how many countries are on board with organizations to advocate and promote it. Its still a huge unknown – even among my circle of friends – I have run into FB friends that didn’t know I had Cancer, and I have had people tell me that they didn’t know Bladder Cancer was a real Cancer – because they hadn’t heard of it before.
But now there is a world organization that is working on building the patient community. Check it out.

OK, but lets talk about the realities of “awareness” activities.
My unfiltered opinion:
There are 2 main components – knowledge and education.
Knowledge is knowing that Bladder Cancer is a thing – it can happen, it does happen – quite a lot. One thing I have discovered when talking to people is that they find out that someone else in their circles – also has Bladder Cancer. Patients don’t talk about it much. So – knowing that Bladder Cancer is out there – in the TOP 5 of Cancers in Canada, should get peoples attention.
Education is the other big point. Knowing the signs, symptoms, and the stories of how people were diagnosed will teach others.

To me, those are the awareness points.
So – what does that mean for Bladder Cancer Awareness walk?
I am glad we have gone back to shirts – nothing screams at the general public that see the group that “something is going on over there” like a large group of yellow shirts. Then they would read the sign that says – Bladder Cancer Awareness walk -and now they know – Bladder Cancer is a thing. That is knowledge.
Things like the support groups, info sheets at clinics – those are the education pieces.

Together, those pieces make the BCC awareness world.
Other things that help awareness –
social media:
– Facebook has a BCC national page, and community pages near you – give a search.
– Twitter has a few places on board
– There is even instagram.
blogs /websites:
– like mine
– many others in the states

So, what can you do to help-

tell everyone, volunteer, support, donate, and spread the message.

thanks for reading this far.
talk again soon.