I forgot what chemotherapy does to the body other than killing cancer cells.The memories, along with the side effects, have returned. The changes to my digestive system and my thinning hair have spoken loudly that "the cancer's back."
The "cancer club" that I so passionately tried to turn down my membership to is now my place for safety, strength, and encouragement. So how does Pinktober make me feel? It makes me feel honored and loved.
Every October I find myself wondering what's next. I find myself wondering what outlandish new breast cancer awareness campaign will surface. I wonder what new product will emerge transformed into its new temporary, tacky, pink version.
Pinktober is like a long-running TV show. It began with a bang and was loved by millions. But it jumped the shark years ago and its ratings have slipped. There are better options. It's time to pull the plug on pink.
When it comes to breast cancer, screw saving the ta-tas, boobies or second base. The primary concern should be removing the cancer from the woman's body, and oftentimes that means a single or double mastectomy. You know -- not saving the breasts.
People go around showing off their new pink swag like they're the bee's knees, but ask them what the symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer are, or if they've heard of triple negative breast cancer, or lymphedema, and you'll get a blank stare and a change of subject.
I don't care if they make a profit. I don't care if they make a huge profit. I don't care if they make a tiny profit. I don't care if some of them make no profit at all as long as October remains pink.
With Pinktober full steam ahead, I want to come right out and say this: Pink Stinks. I am sick and tired of the pink ribbon, Pinktober and massive amounts of pink-washing products that line the shelves year after year.
How the hell is a "Save the Tatas" mug supposed to save a life? In truth, it should say, "Save your money, go home, get naked, and check yourself not just for lumps, but for ALL the signs and symptoms that could possibly indicate breast cancer."
You should think before you pink, as you might before giving to any solicitor of charitable funds. But let's not argue about the color and the ribbon which was, 20 years ago, an emblem of openness about a disease that women were afraid to mention out loud.
It's not time to walk away from Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Instead, we need a reboot. Let's chuck "awareness" in favor of another element of the disease. Here's my radical idea: Let's make pink about poverty.
It's fitting that my first blog post, after much agonizing over how to introduce myself to you, comes at the beginning of Breast Cancer Month--or as I like to call it Breast Health Month (thank you for that brilliant rewording, Dr. Christiane Northrup!).