Welcome to the Tales of a Kitchen Witch Blog.

JoniRae.com is also the home of the Gentle Parenting Colouring Book and Goddess Dolls, and original artwork by Joni Rae Latham, so remember to check out the Gallery and Shop while you're here.

I Am Not Pregnant Nor Am I Craving Anything

I am not a fan of those breast cancer FB status games.  I don’t play them because I can’t see how they “raise awareness” of a cause when it is all giggly secrets and “hush-hush don’t tell the menfolk.”   A reader pointed out to me that these statuses “lighten up a serious issue”.  And ok, if that was the reason for this, I could (sort of) see the point.

But that isn’t how it is spun.  The wording specifically says “to raise awareness”.  In my opinion, these games only cheapen and trivialize this serious issue.  Cancer is not a laughing matter.  I’m a little sensitive about this, because my dad died of cancer, but they aren’t really about cancer anyway.  They are a joke, an excuse for women (not men-cuz we have to keep our girlish “secrets”, tee-hee, har har, giggle.) to feel risque by posting sort-of-naughty status messages.

This new one has women pretending to be pregnant by choosing a number representing their birth month and birthdate. The birth month states how many weeks “pregnant” you are, and the birthdate claims what you are craving, with a list of candy to choose from.  This has been bothering me more than the others games.  I didn’t really know what it was about this that rankled until I read this article.  The others were merely annoying, but this one has the potential to actually hurt people.

How many of us have friends or family members that are struggling with infertility and desperately crave to announce their own pregnancies?  How do you think it feels to be recovering from a traumatic miscarriage and log onto facebook to find thirty of your friends are suddenly pregnant- no wait- just kidding?  I find it particularly thoughtless that all these women are joking about fake pregnancies (har-har, hee-hee) for breast cancer when so many women who have gone through treatment have survived to find themselves infertile.

If you really want to help, you could take a few minutes to post articles or links to sites that offer relevant information, donate a few dollars to support an organization you believe in, or join one of those charity runs/ walks that are always popping up.  I think that would do MORE to raise awareness than posting a fake-pregnancy status or a cryptic message involving your shoe size and your purse.

63 Responses to I Am Not Pregnant Nor Am I Craving Anything

  1. I have been following for a while, but this is the first time I have commented- thank you for writing exactly what I have been feeling about this stupidity! I saw a status of a friend who I know has been trying, and congratulated her before I realized the whole thing was a joke. How hurtful this must be to women who are trying to have babies. Why is making others (esp the men in our lives) feel dumb placed under the guise of “awareness”? Ugh- it’s like high school all over again.

  2. For what it’s worth, they drive me insane for all the points you present, and then some. These cutsy games can leave one open to identity theft ( the more personal details that are known about you, the more vulnerable you leave yourself). However, more importantly, breast cancer is NOT limited to women alone. I lost my FATHER to breast cancer in 2004, and many other men lose their lives to this disease every year. Because there is little awareness that this affects members of both sexes, the impact is often fatal for men. While some may race to honor their mothers, sisters, etc and repost silly games, I cry foul whenever something comes across painting breast cancer as a woman only disease in honor of my father, who died a long , agonizing death as a result .

  3. Agreed!!! I wrote about this awhile back, after my mom talked about being irritated by whatever the latest “game” was at the time (both she and my grandmother are survivors). When I’ve spoken up in the past, I tend to get comments like “oh, it’s just a game, it’s not meant to hurt!” but they forget: unless they’ve been the one with cancer themselves, they don’t really get to decide what’s funny.

  4. I feel 100% the same way. My husband and I have two daughters and we desperately want more children, but I can’t have anymore. Its heartbreaking. I haven’t seen this game, but I would definitely be upset to see it…and then see that its just some big joke to someone. I’ve never participated in any of the previous games because I too, thought they were not supporting what they were ‘supposed’ to be supporting. Anyway, thank you for saying what many of us were thinking 😉

  5. I must have missed this particular Facebook game, and I’m glad I haven’t seen any of my friends playing it. It’s stupid. Having struggled with miscarriages, pre-term babies (they’re fine now), and a hysterectomy by age 36, I find this game pretty disgusting.

    My Grandma has had breast cancer twice now, as well as an Angio-sarcoma most likely caused by the radiation that treated the first cancer. She’s also taking preventative med to try and stop any new cancers from developing, which gave her osteoporosis as a side effect. Yeah, cancer isn’t funny, and I don’t think we should try to make light of it.

    Thanks for writing this post.

  6. What really bugs me about “raising awareness” by a “tee hee, isn’t this fun, don’t tell the menz, just between us gurlz” kind of games are three things: 1) as you point out, cancer is not a fun game, 2) men get breast cancer, too. If you want to “raise awareness,” then raise awareness that ALL mammals of ALL genders can get breast cancer, and 3) no one specifies what “raising awareness” is supposed to DO. What is the point of awareness without action?

  7. Thank you!!! You have no idea how many of those things irritate me. I once was forwarded a “secret” to put on my status. This one was about “raising awareness for child abuse”. I was to post my favorite alcoholic beverage. ??? First, I don’t drink, and second, how does alcohol have anything to do with child abuse other than maybe being a cause??? I told that friend off, and she doesn’t send that crap anymore.

  8. Couldn’t put it better myself, I lost my mum to cancer and suffered 3 miscarriages before I had my son, any talk of pregnancies really upset me. I find it annoying. Like you said, raise awareness by reading about it, get yourself checked, learn how to check yourself, have a coffee morning with the girls if you want that girlish stuff and donate money from it.

  9. i can honestly say, that i’ve not participated in it this time. i don’t see the point. it’s just asking for trouble. the other *games* were cute..but this.. no. I’m gonna spread your post around and hopefully wake up the inconsiderate women participating.

    Thanks Joni!

  10. Hrm. It irked me, and I never really paid them much attention. I just chalked it off to people being really silly. Which of course, it is. Just harmless fun, I was thinking.

    Your post has enlightened me on the feelings of mothers and would be mothers, and I think I have blocked out the pain from losing others by, well, ignoring stuff.

    And thank you to all the women who have posted here. Your thoughts are appreciated, and are making me think more. Sometimes silly games can have serious side effects.

  11. I had no idea what those posts were about on FB until reading your blog! A friend had posted about being so far along and craving cupcakes or something and all I could think of was, “You’re how old and pregnant?!” I think that sometimes people forget that what they find amusing or just a game can really be hurtful to others and while they may not have intended anything negative by it, it still happens. Maybe your blog about this issue will raise some awareness about thinking before you speak! Or post…..

  12. I’ve had several miscarriages, one was a later term one. I struggled each time to get pregnant only to loose the baby.

    I have several friends who have had various cancers. These games as you call them evidently are working or you wouldn’t be griping about them. Raising awareness weather you see it as good or bad, its doing its job. Your talking about it.

    Several of my friends who have had cancer have participated in these so called games. If they are survivors and this lightens things up for them so be it! It’s their choice! Remember they are the ones who have suffered the cancer and I am the one who has suffered multiple miscarriages.

    So whatever works to send the message out. To you there might be a better way. To these people who are playing along it’s their way!

    • Okay, but what exactly IS the message?? The thing is, you have to make a fool of yourself and wrongfully congratulate the alleged pregnant woman, to find out why they are even posting such falsehoods. And then…. what?? The message is to be aware of the fact that cancer exists? WE KNOW THAT. It serves no purpose other than amusement, which is primarily based upon the fact that you are part of a secret society that knows an insider joke… How is laughing at others ignorance raising AWARENESS?

    • “Raising awareness weather you see it as good or bad, its doing its job.”

      I’d love to meet someone who doesn’t know breast cancer exists, but they’re probably comatose.

      • I think there’s nothing wrong with it. IT DOES cause (more) awareness. Last year, this very game was all over the news and everyone was talking about it. This causes people to find out more about it, and read more about it. As well as even going out and donating more cause it’s on their minds. I MYSELF have miscarried before, twice and I do not find this offensive. I think it’s wonderful people are trying to find a positive through all this and keep things up beat. Unfortunately we have other people who are always dying to have the “Poor me” attitude. Let’s brightn things up and stay positive because God NEVER gives us more than we can handle, and I had both my miscarriages because I was either not ready at the time for those children or maybe something would have been wrong with them. Ithink it’s super important that we don’t lose sight of what’s going on around us but to also keep a positive attitude in life. We should all reconsider our negative thoughts in all this and re-evaluate.

  13. It is upsetting to see posts like this. I sent a concerned email to a friend because she posted one of those statuses and the very next post was about going out to drink with her boyfriend. I had never considered how it would make someone who suffered infertility or miscarriages feel.
    Posts like that seem specifically designed for people who want to feel better about themselves but don’t want to actually do any work. And it’s not just breast cancer. Posts to raise awareness for every affliction known to man pop up frequently. I have a friend who likes to update her status with autism awareness posts in honor of my son. It doesn’t help anyone but she feels like she is doing her part to help him.

  14. interesting how i landed here..via a twitter friends RT. Hadn’t heard of this game before, though I did post a status thing about my shoe size at a friends’ request. Let me add that I am a 21 year survivor of breast cancer and have never worn/bought/ any sort of pink ribbon ans it makes me crazy to see it on everything from shopping bags to toilet paper this time of year. I was given a “poor prognosis” at the time and obviously survived but chemo left me sterile,my husband and I have no kids. As for adopting, try getting a baby from someone when you have “poor prognosis “in your file. At the time all my friends were having babies I was having a tumor. Because of my business I went through everything surgery, chemo, hiding out and keeping it a deep dark secret except to a select handful of friends. This left me extremely angry. So, I decided to speak out. Since then, I have spoken to breast cancer groups, made a short film w/ my husband discussing sex while having chemo, went public on my radio show in Los Angeles back 17 years ago when people were not really talking about that sort of stuff. Having not seen this particular FB status game, all I can think is that it’s a form of whistling past the graveyard so to speak. Silly games can hide a lot of fear. Maybe it’s just me but I think a lot of these people may be more frightened than inconsiderate. They should be educated. Great site by the way : ) !

    • How interesting. I received one of those private messages on facebook for pregnant craving status. I’d seen them in the past and actually “played” along, though I too failed to see how posting a naughty sounding cryptic status raised awareness. However, after reading a few of these comments, I’ve come to realize that it does raise awareness in that it gets people talking about the issue. Years ago, people kept cancer diagnoses secret because of fear, fear of the disease itself, fear of other people’s reactions, etc. I am a survivor of Hodgkin’s disease, diagnosed in ’85, and a recurrence in ’87. The treatment caused me to go into menopause at the age of 26. I tried infertility treatments with donated eggs on three separate occasions. All failed. I still mourn the loss of all those little embryos and can’t imagine the loss of an actual pregnancy. (I gave up on being a mother until my husband called to tell me a young relative of his wanted us to adopt her soon-to-be newborn son.) I’m thinking that perhaps, though this “game” does raise awareness, the originator probably could have chosen something more playful than pregnancy, especially in light of the fact that treatments for cancer often result in infertility.

  15. I agree with you about the breast cancer issue, although my reasoning may be a little different. I don’t disagree with your reasons, but mine is scripture-based:
    Eph_4:27 Neither give place to the devil.

    I refuse to give Satan “credit” for anything. As I see it, when cancer of any type is exalted to a place that it is “credited” as taking the lives of so many people every year, we are giving credit to the father of lies who has people scared to death of him and his cancer. Satan’s “power” lies in deception. He is the father of lies and has been a liar from the beginning.

    Cancer has no right to exist and I refuse to accept it. I do not deny its existence in this world, but I deny its right to be here and I rebuke its “creator” in the Name of Jesus.

  16. Forgeting the most important of all…never mind the ladies who think its all about them, never mind those who don’t think it through…Lets do that – lets think it through…

    Industry creates cancer

    Industry pushes and promotes cancer

    Industry dumbs us down into not realizing that what we buy from them is CAUSING CANCER

    SAME industry pushes *cure* that for many is a death sentence

    Same industry guilts us into giving money or buying the slightly higher priced item because of its pink ribbon

    They depend on us not realizing this

    But hey, at least all those executives conning us are getting a big fat paycheck every week!

  17. Thank you – so very much – for speaking the obvious. 12 years of trying to have babies… and I’m an OvCa survivor. It’s hard when you’ve spent your whole life preparing to be a mother – and others make a mockery of it…..

  18. I agree. It took us 2 1/2 years to get pregnant and then I had a miscarriage before getting pregnant with my son and had this taken place before then I would have been crushed. This is so rude and I’ve felt that these statuses are just stupid and I haven’t participated in any of them. I have to agree that it’s stupid to keep it a secret as well. Men can also get breast cancer and while this may make me sound like an asshole, there are other kinds of cancer as well (this coming from someone who has had 3 great aunts with breast cancer so it’s not like I don’t think it isn’t a concern or haven’t been affected by it) but my dad also died from cancer. I feel like everyone knows about breast cancer, and I’m not saying research shouldn’t be focused on it but who doesn’t know about breast cancer? Anyway, sorry for the rant but really I just wanted to say I agree and thanks for linking to that other post as well. I’m going to share it all on fb, maybe then people will stop being asses about it.

  19. I am SO glad there are other people that feel the same way about these STUPID FB “awareness” games. What exactly are they doing to create awareness and help the problem they are claiming to support? Grr.

    My mom died from breast cancer. It’s not just some silly joke.

    And this one has me in teeth-grinding mode. So insensitive. So “nothing to do with cancer” at all.

    Thank you for your post.

  20. You make an incredibly good point here. I didn’t participate because I thought it was a waste of time. Breast Cancer and all cancer is a serious issue. I think that’s why I get tired of seeing everything from Spatulas to Fishing Poles advertising something about Breast Cancer.

  21. A friend of mine linked to this article on Facebook, and I just wanted to come by to say that I totally agree with you. Thank you for stating clearly how these silly status games do more harm than good.

    Also, it bugs me that people say “Well at least it gets people talking about breast cancer.” No, it really doesn’t. It gets people talking about silly facebook games. It doesn’t actually increase awareness (no mentions of testing yourself or donating money). It’s just an empty thing that people do.

    Now that I’ve found your blog, I’ll definitely be reading more. Thanks again!

  22. THANK YOU! Seriously, thank you for writing this… My husband and I just passed the two year mark of trying to conceive. At first, before I realized that it was just some status fad, I was really depressed by all of those statuses. I thought, “How is EVERYONE getting pregnant????” After I realized it was just another status fad going around, I was so hurt, pissed and offended. It doesn’t relate to breast cancer at all! I am so glad I’m not the only one who feels this way.

  23. The thing that bugs me about these games, is that the subject of the game is generally widely known (really, if you don’t know of the existence of cancer, you’re probably not on Facebook as you’re not capable of using a computer). What does need awareness raising is things like how to lower your risk of developing cancer, charities & organisations that help, & various other resources. How do these Facebook statuses do that?

  24. Yup I agree, it makes people feel better, makes them feel like they are helping. They don’t think about the people they might hurt with their games. I am trying to get pregnant and having fertility issues it’s hard enough seeing my friends posting their real pregnancy happiness, now I have to see everyone else posting fake ones too? It’s a constant reminder and I really don’t need it.

  25. Thank you a million times over. I very recently had to have a hysterectomy at the age of 31 due to uterine cancer, and to top it off August 30th was the 1 year anniversary of my miscarriage. So to see a good friend and my *sister* post that dirge was hurtful to say the least. If people want to raise awareness, then do it out loud, clearly, and in public. Childish secret games accomplish nothing but hurt feelings and ripping open painful wounds.

  26. Hi,
    you have good points and I agree with one reader it is a fun way to bring up a serious topic. My huband was diagnoised with colon cancer at the tender age of 36 years old. He had surgery and 2 weeks later I suffered my 5th miscarriage and 4th d/c. This year I walked 5 km inin the rain and raised $375 for cancers below the belt. Anything to stimulate discussion on cancer I think is good. As far as infertility is concerned it didn’t matter if 1 of my friends or all of them were pregnant. It was a sad reminder that you were not and may never have your own children. I could not ask the world to stop reproducing because I could not. Down with cancer and infertiity!

  27. I have been quite actively advocating against these horrible games ever since they atarted. They have been shown to not increase awarness in any shape or form, fail to mention that 1 in every 25 breast cancer sufferers are actually men, and are teaching people that men should not be involved with cancer – albeit, even ridiculed and shunned from becoming aware themselves. And now a game about infertility? All these games are an insult to the real issues. Incidently, raising money doesnt help much either – if anyone would see where the money goes when it comes to cancer charities ( esp the breast cancer ones)…you would go green with disgust. Put your money to helping real live people, research that does more than add a notch to the researchers belt, and if you want to spread awareness about breast cancer then hold a party and get a practitioner to show every women how to breast check in a workshop and know the signs, or teach men that they too can get breast cancer, or how to support women who do. Real actual awareness with real actual people.

  28. While some of the points are valid I think you’re making WAY more of it than you need to. My mother is cancer survivor and I’ve lost several other family members and friends to cancer. My friends on FB who have survived cancer are the one’s inviting me to play this game. As for the pregnancy thing..I find the whole idea stupid but hardly ‘devastating” The status update does NOT say anything about being pregnant and the likelihood of your scenario of trauma happening is minute at best.

    If you don’t like these games than don’t participate, I know I don’t and if you’re that ridiculously offended, UNFRIEND THE PEOPLE DOING IT. Get over it people and quit trying to ban crap just because you don’t like it. Some people do like it and do feel that they’re making a difference so leave them alone. Grow up. The world doesn’t revolve around you.

    • So it’s not devastating…to you. To thousands of women dealing with infertility…yes, it is. I guess you missed the point of this post. And did you bother to read the people commenting above you, pointing out that this DOES hurt them? And this this is just a tiny slice of the web.

  29. I completely agree with you. This “game” does absolutely nothing to raise awareness about cancer. And I’m sorry you have to deal with trolls like Delain on your board. If Delain can show me how this raises awareness of breast cancer research, I’ll show them some ocean beach front property in Oklahoma for sale. This “game” can certainly cause pain and is misleading to many people. As as for the minute possibility of her senario happening Delain? It already has in my circle of friends more than a few times. Infertility is a silent pain but it is a widespread pain.

    Pregnancy is not a laughing or joking matter to the millions of people who suffer with infertility every day, desperately wanting a family and having no control over the ability to change how that happens for them. I am one of those people who struggled for years to get pregnant. I also suffered painful and traumatizing miscarriages along the way. Thank you for stating what so many are thinking.

  30. I will admit posting this ‘game’ as my status…but I did not share the thing.

    Why did I post it? Not to raise awareness, but because the outcome of it actually was true…to an extent.

    I’m pregnant, 35 weeks(I am sorry to those unable to conceive…if I could be a surrogate for someone, I would, but disability disqualifies me :-()…am lactose intolerant, and have been craving ice cream, soft cheese and cow’s milk for weeks(thankfully my husband is smart enough to stop me before I indulge, LOL).

    My ‘week’ and ‘craving’ thing came up as “Two weeks and I’m craving dairy milk”

    I thought it was too ironic and too coincidental to not post. I really AM pregnant, and really HAVE BEEN craving dairy milk(and shouldn’t be…lol)

    I didn’t, however, share it, because it really had nothing to do with breast cancer… I’ve lost people to breast cancer, and other cancers…

    The more I think about it, I want to start something new…

  31. For being a silly, annoying FB game, it sure has us talking doesn’t it?

    Now, I’m a bit on the fence about this here. I don’t usually do these silly games, nor do I post all the other goofy stuff that is always debunked by Snopes or Hoax Slayer. But, if we’re all discussing these things, aren’t these silly games kind of working? Food for thought. :)

  32. I actually agree with you. The stupid little games mean nothing to you when you have someone who has died from breast cancer and you have seen them struggle. Then there is the people with their weeks and such. My sister wants a baby so bad and has been trying with her husband. I know it bothers her greatly when others who sometimes don’t even want to be pregnant magically get pregnant when their boyfriend sneezes on them.
    Our grandmothers both died of breast cancer. So the whole deal with the games people create just irritate me.

  33. THANK YOU, and AMEN. AND, @ Desiree, YOU get over it.

    I’d also like to point out that OCTOBER is breast cancer awareness month. SEPTEMBER is childhood cancer awareness month, and I have a friend who’s son is DYING of a terminal brain tumor. So imagine how she feels getting all these stupid emails. In October, I’m all about the pink, but right now, I’m all about my friend’s son. I shaved my head six months ago to help raise money for St. Baldrick’s, and donated what I could to Locks of Love. I’ve asked people not to send me these emails and I STILL get them. it’s VERY frustrating. Thanks for your post.

  34. I am very well aware how serious breast cancer is. Two years ago my daughter was diagnosed with the disease as she finished breast feeding her third baby.
    She has needed a mastectomy…chemotherapy…radiotherapy and a second mastectomy ans reconstruction.
    This has meant that she nearly died twice….has been unable to mother her three children… manage her home….work as a teacher and lead a normal social life for a young woman.
    If a lighthearted game on facebook prompts one woman to check her breasts and fing a lump that needs treating it will have been worthwhile!!
    I have every sympathy with those who have lost precious babies….we have also experienced that situation so kow how it feels.

  35. I completely agree. I have two friends who struggle with this very issue, and the pain they go through is so horrible. I myself had a hell of a time having a successful pregnancy and birth, and in the end, I spent five weeks in the hospital and nearly died afterward. It is the height of ignorance to joke about being pregnant, and there is nothing light about cancer.

Leave a reply