I decided to take a year off from my annual Pinktober “pink is a color not a cure” rant and talk politics. However, my givashit is broken again. I was going to complain about the overabundance of political signage marring the beautiful landscape of a New England autumn, but apparently my givashit is not the only one broken. I have counted three signs on my country road just weeks before a Presidential election. Three. All for Trump. Not one Clinton sign. Now, before Trump fans start crowing, let me repeat. THREE signs for Trump on miles and miles of country road that is usually loaded with signs. I started taking note of the lack of commitment in other parts of my community as well and I’m struck by how few people are proclaiming loyalty to either candidate this year. Now, if you go by Facebook and Twitter, people have very strong opinions. Either that or we’ve all been hacked. In person, you get a wary shrug and a haunted “we’re all fucked anyway, what does it matter?” look. On one hand we have a rich, white, misogynistic, anti immigrant pig. On the other hand we have a rich, white, establishment politician married to a misogynistic pig. Whoever wins is bringing so much baggage I’m not sure there is enough room at the White House for all of it. I want to be With Her, because I am a life long Democrat. I will probably vote for her because the alternative scares the bejeesuz out of me but I can’t say I’m ready to post signs and bumper stickers all over my property proclaiming my commitment to a Clinton/Kaine ticket. Of course, I blame the GOP for this. Seventeen candidates and this is the choice you give us? Pull yourselves together. It used to be fun to beat you at the polls. Now it’s just embarrassing. We are about to make history by electing the first woman for President and it already feels pretty anti-climatic. Disappointing really. Hardly a fair fight at all. Wait. You did that on purpose, didn’t you? Well played, GOP, well played…
Oh. I promised you a sign, didn’t I?
Sorry.. couldn’t resist. Here’s a mini rant. No cancer is fun, pretty, whimsical or easy. Simply put, it sucks. It’s hard, painful and scary as hell. Bedecking yourself in pink ribbons is not going to make a bit of difference in the outcome of your treatment. It will, however, make many corporations very rich. Ask yourself how much of those dollars are going into cancer research. Think before you pink. That is all.
Okay, maybe I am a little. I don’t suffer from the kind of PTSD that has me diving under tables, self-medicating with drugs bought off of sleazy characters in back alleys or laying awake staring at the ceiling every night. Instead I have these little flashbacks of the past year that leave me feeling a little sick to my stomach or with a lump in my throat. The next several months (ie. the entire holiday line up from now until July 4th) is one long anniversary of cancer. I found the lump October 30. Happy Halloween. I had surgery the week after Thanksgiving and started a 6+ month course of chemo two days after Christmas. New Years was spent sick and in pain from the first infusion. I started radiation the week before July 4 and that lasted the entire summer. In every family photo celebrating holidays and birthdays I am either wearing a wig or a scarf. Every celebration was wonderful, but I was exhausted or not feeling well through all of them. Concerts, movies, even simple dinners out had to be planned so I could rest up a bit ahead of time and I always came this  close to canceling, but never did. I decided no matter how I was feeling to take the words “fake it til you make it” to heart. 99% of the time my attitude is positive, but then I have a precancerous polyp removed and a wonky pap smear and what would have previously elicited only a mild concern gives me pause.
Now I should just be putting this behind me and moving on (and I will!) but wouldn’t you know the anniversary of my cancer diagnosis begins during the month of Pinktober, where everywhere I look there are constant reminders of breast cancer. I have an appointment at the Cancer Center tomorrow and I suspect it will be especially obnoxious. You literally cannot leave the house, pick up a newspaper or magazine, turn on the computer or television without being engulfed in a Pepto Bismol colored haze. It’s all good. Just in case, ya know, you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard of breast cancer. Now you know.
I’m not suggesting you don’t wear pink. You might look really good in pink! I’m not suggesting you don’t purchase pink items. I use a royal blue spatula myself and I’m not going to judge you if you want a pink one. My favorite present after my diagnosis is still the pink afghan my aunt crocheted for me that I wrapped myself in during chemo. But that blanket was made, given and received out of love. It wasn’t part of a marketing ploy to tug on heartstrings and loosen purse strings. Be mindful of which companies actually support breast cancer charities when you purchase their pink items and which are only using breast cancer to fatten their bottom line. Or, instead of licking pink yogurt tops (Really Yoplait? You can’t just donate based on sales?) make a donation to the carefully researched charity of your choice. I support the American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org and recently have joined http://www.armyofwomen.org/ and signed up for a 20 year research study that anyone can take part in, men or women, any age, with or without a history of breast cancer https://www.healthofwomenstudy.org Check them out.
One more anniversary to mention. Today I am
Look what I can do!
So much angst over Kate Middleton exposing her breasts in public. And by public I mean any place a high powered lens can invade your privacy. Last week it was Harry’s ass. This week Kate’s breasts. Why does it seem like this is so much worse?
The magazine who printed these should simply photoshop pink ribbons over Kate’s nipples and call it a PSA, just in time for the pink washing of the world that was formerly known as October. God knows, we need more fun pictures depicting breast cancer. Kate will be redeemed and the magazine can cash in on breast cancer. Win/win.
Here. They can use my ribbon. It even comes with a pretty little chain of daisies. Fun and feminine!
This makes me think of how breast cancer awareness ads always show perky young, blemish free (heavily photoshopped?) breasts and when someone dares show what a real breast with cancer looks like in an effort to educate women it’s deemed “shocking” and comes with an accompanying warning. Really? A warning?