I had to give myself a time out today.

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I was in the office with my two coworkers.  One of them had the misfortune of recounting this “really cute” skit she saw from a hospital regarding breast cancer awareness where the docs were wearing pink gloves and dancing around.  I said “You do know that pink is a color not a fucking cure for cancer, right?”   I immediately felt bad but that didn’t stop me from going on about “fun” facebook games and Image  I could feel myself getting wound up and seized on a cartful of charts that had to be put away in a distant room.  While I was down there in my self-imposed exile I was mentally lecturing myself.  I told myself that just because I had breast cancer that didn’t give me the right to behave badly.  Then I wondered what did give me that right?  Image Surely I’ve earned a pass, haven’t I?   Losing my sister while undergoing my battle with cancer.  Losing my husband just when life was getting good again after cancer and the loss of my only sibling.  Having my whole life upended. Being alone in a house where there was once a family. I could go on and on, but why bother? It is what it is.  I feel like I’ve been pretty much numb emotionally since November of 2011 and I’m starting to thaw out a bit.  And I’m more than just a little pissed off.  Pissed off that the 30% of breast cancer patients who are stage 4 (if you don’t know about cancer staging or metastasis and don’t want to leave the pink haze to google I’ll just say there is no stage 5 and leave it at that) get one day ONE during this whole pepto bismol drenched month of “awareness”.  Why?  Because it’s kind of hard to sexualize a dying woman.  They’ve passed the stage of saving the ta-ta’s. They just want to fucking live.

I’m pissed off about a lot of other shit, too but this will do. For now.

Cancer Is Not Cute, or Why Pinktober Makes Me Queasy

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Telling Knots

Pink-to-ber A portmanteau coinage used by many people who live with breast cancer to refer to October, the Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is heavily dominated by marketing in the color pink and cute tags like “Save the tatas”. (See Komen, etc.)

(The following post appeared in a slightly different form on April 6, 2013.)

 Cancer isn’t cute. It is a mortal illness. It disfigures. It kills. The treatment involves cutting off pieces of your body, killing living tissue with radiation, poisoning your system with chemotherapy. The treatment can have life-long effects on your health and well-being   And that is still no guarantee. Thirty percent (almost one third!) of women diagnosed with breast cancer AT ANY STAGE will end up with distal metastasis.

To be clear, distal metastasis means Stage IV breast cancer. Stage IV breast cancer is terminal cancer.

Cancer isn’t cute, and breast cancer isn’t “the good…

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