Zebra Stripes, The New Pink

This post is about those of us who are called ZEBRAS, those of us having been diagnosed with Carcinoid Cancer/Neuroendocrine Tumors (NETs).

One young woman, Lindsey Miller, whom I followed in her blog, “i am a liver” (http://iamaliver.wordpress.com), passed away on Wednesday, May 21st, 2014.  She called herself a “liver” and has been living with neuroendocrine cancer after diagnosis 3 1/2 years ago.  I ask you to please read her blog, and leave a message of love and support to her family and friends.

And then, I am asking you to do something else.

Something powerful.  Something important.

We need to get the word out about this carcinoid cancer/neuroendocrine cancer. I ask you to please learn more about it, tell others about it. I do not think it is as rare as some say, but rather RARELY diagnosed, because many medical professionals will not delve far enough into the symptoms, just as happened to me for years, until two years ago when I was diagnosed with stage IV carcinoid/NETs.

PLEASE folks, start spreading the word. Go to the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation (CCF) website (http://carcinoid.org)  and Carcinoid Awareness.org  (http://carcinoidawareness.org) and learn more.

Start also wearing a zebra ribbon, zebra wrist bands, etc., along with your pink ribbons or any other color ribbons you are wearing.

I’m not asking anyone to make breast cancer or any other cause take a back seat.

I am simply asking you, my friends and  family, and those who follow me and stumbled upon me, to build awareness for the Lindseys and the rest of us who are the zebras … fighting something that so many in our medical system do not choose to acknowledge until it’s in stage IV level.

We zebras are fighting something that others tell us, because we don’t often look sick, isn’t as “real.”   Yet, when I tell or others like me tell our friends and family what we go through nearly daily, many do not want to hear, because it’s not cute, or fuzzy, or even appropriate in polite conversation.

We cannot talk about or show the scars, as those who have finally been accepted for no longer having breasts or nipples, or having only one, as I do.  (Yes, I have also been through a mastectomy.)  We zebras do have our scars, though.  And we have symptoms of that go with this disease that we live with for years, sometimes with no relief.  But  you can find those out for yourself if you visit the carcinoid websites.

Remember, that before Susan Komen passed away, most wouldn’t even talk about breasts and breast cancer, before her sister Nancy Brinker made it happen. Look at how far we have come. Look at the recognition.  I’m proud of being part of the breast cancer cause and helping to raise awareness and money. We can now talk about it, breasts and all.

But now, I am asking YOU to do something else.  Do this one for me, and others like me.  The Zebras.

PLEASE ALSO TELL THE ZEBRA RIBBON STORIES, just as you do the pink ribbon stories.

I want zebra stripes to be the new pink.

We, too, need the awareness. We, too, need the support. We, too, need a cure.

Cancer really sucks. All of it. 😦


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