Until I moved to Florida in my early 40s, as a northerner, I had always seen October as a multitude of bright oranges, deep reds, soft yellows and various shades of browns. The air was crisp and smell of apples and smoke in the fireplace lingered in my mind. I suppose for most, as it was for me, those were the sights and smells that signaled the beginning of the holiday season. My memories of those colors have shifted from October to November (except for Halloween). Even living in Florida where everything is green, back then, I still had those images and feelings.
Things changed after I turned 46 and underwent treatment for Stage III breast cancer. I now see October as PINK. I envision rows of white cupcakes with pink butter cream icing. After all, I was diagnosed October 4th. For me, October 4th has become my second birthday and I celebrate that day every year. That's the day, I became like so many of you, "a survivor."
I will be celebrating my seventh survivor birthday. I expect presents, cards, flowers, etc., along with a big beautiful PINK birthday cake.
Thanks to the unending work of organizations like the Susan G. Komen Foundation, The American Cancer Society, the Breast Cancer Foundation, etc., there is a sea of PINK everywhere! And... I love it! Year after year, I get so excited when I see the NFL change their shoes and accessories to bright PINK. I actually get the goose bumps. I love seeing the Pittsburgh Steelers "Terrible Towel" turn PINK. I get excited when I go shopping and see the color PINK lining up and down the aisles. The "Hard Rock" goes crazy with PINKTOBERFEST. I impulse buy as much PINK as I can.
Why? Because. This is all for me; my birthday, my month, my color, my cancer. This is all for you; your month, your color, your cancer. This is also for our friends and family members who are not here with us today because of this disease. This is for them; their month, their color, their cancer.
This year is especially exciting for me as I released my new book Build-A-Boob... After the cure! I have made so many wonderful connections from survivors and families that I cannot begin to describe the gratitude I have for them. I'm looking forward to all of the festivities, races, kick-offs, fundraising events, parties, tears of joy and sorrow as well as marking the progress we have made to date and seeking the hope yet to come.
There are those who say that they have had enough pink and say that there has been enough awareness made. I say not. The millions of people who give tirelessly and generously of their time and money are not just devoted to spreading awareness of the disease. These organizations fund research, supply services and lobby our government for better laws to help detect, treat and hopefully one day actually cure breast cancer. We must not stop the fight or divert our attention away from any of these actions.
Not until there is no need to educate a younger generation. Not until we have every man or woman reconstructed to their satisfaction. Not until we have "the cure!"
Until that time has come... October: Color me PINK!
For more information about Lisa Masters visit www.Build-A-Boob.com and Facebook Buildaboob after the cure.