Many fertility challenged people feel stressed or depressed when pregnancy announcements are posted on Facebook. If you find yourself suddenly bombarded by status messages that say something like, "I'm 10 weeks and craving Peanut Butter Cups," you should know: your Facebook friends haven't all suddenly become pregnant.
There's a new Facebook meme going around, apparently for breast cancer awareness (or so the meme instructions say.) A couple years ago, there was the meme where everyone posted the color of their bras. Then last year, women would post things like, "I like it on the kitchen counter," referring to where they like to keep their purse.
This year, the meme is to post "I'm _____ weeks and craving _____." You can get the formula for the meme here, posted on PCMag.com.
Not that you'd want the formula. I really can't imagine any woman who either is currently dealing with infertility or has dealt with infertility participating in this new meme. Nor can I imagine any breast cancer survivor wanting to play along - especially those who have lost their fertility due to cancer or cancer treatments.
I asked my husband what he'd have thought, if I had been crazy enough to participate in this new meme, implying I was expecting and then said "just kidding." He made clear he would have been very hurt. As would all my family and friends, thinking they should be thrilled for me, when in fact, it was just a "joke."
I can see how the bra color meme sort of, kind of, related to breast cancer (not really, but bras = breasts, sort of close.) I didn't understand how the purse one related to breast cancer, but at least the status messages were funny.
But this new meme - where essentially you give the impression that you're pregnant, when you're not - isn't funny. Not at all.
Given that breast cancer survivors often become infertile, I can't imagine that the creator of this meme thought things through.
I'm hoping this meme will die out sooner than the others. I'm hoping that whoever comes up with these things comes up with something else, something less painful to those experiencing infertility, and especially less painful to cancer survivors who lost their fertility.
If you're feeling peer pressure to play along, or just want to respond in some way, may I suggest posting something along the lines of, "I'm NOT 10 weeks and NOT craving Peanut Butter Cups. I wish I was. And I'm sure there are many breast cancer survivors who lost their fertility wishing the same thing." Feel free to link to this blog, if you want others to understand why you're not playing along with the meme as written.
What are your thoughts on this new meme? Will you participate at all? Would your friends and family think it was cute or be deeply hurt? And how have you felt, seeing the posts appear on Facebook, even knowing it's a joke? Please feel free to comment below!
More about infertility and breast cancer:
- Egg Freezing
- Becoming a Parent through Surrogacy
- Surrogacy Definitions
- How Does Chemotherapy Affect Fertility?
- Breast Cancer and Your Fertility
- Male Breast Cancer
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