October is almost over. I’ve heard from some breast cancer survivor friends that they can’t wait until this month is over and life resumes to ‘normal.’ What? I’m thinking as a pink newbie. Isn’t October about showing support for breast cancer with the pink movement? I don’t understand.
Some breast cancer survivors feel like they are unintended VIP’s during a month-long onslaught of Pepto pink displays by the NFL, advertisers, and even high school athletics. Maybe I’ll feel this way in the future, but right now I feel like the October pink movement is caught up in the middle of a marketing malay and I’m not sure what the real message is supposed to be. The original purpose, I’m guessing, was to bring awareness of breast cancer, mammography and self checks. I guess at this point in time, I can’t remember the real first purpose. I just hope the marketing of pink hasn’t forgotten the real reason behind the movement.
Because of the October ‘pink’ focus, I was lucky enough to be a guest on WGN radio’s Dean Richards show last Sunday afternoon. The group assembled were all women – a powerful collection of pink purpose. A radiologist, surgeon and oncologist, a representative from Why Me? and three breast cancer survivors. To tell you the truth, I didn’t feel ‘worthy’ of being there. DCIS as a non-invasive breast carcinoma doesn’t require chemotherapy. I didn’t lose my hair, I wasn’t pregnant when I was diagnosed and I didn’t have another cancer before breast cancer. But, I was the only one still undergoing treatment and represented the 60,000 women and men with ductal carcinoma in situ. Plus, I was the only one to make Dean Richards laugh…twice. If you’d like to listen to the survivor stories, my oldest son, Kyle recorded and edited that portion of the show here: http://kylemck.tumblr.com/post/11832509185/check-out-my-mom-get-interviewed-on-wgn-radio-on
So, as the month winds down and the holidays are just a calendar flip away, I reflect on what this ‘pink tide’ really means. From its’ humble beginning as a simple pink ribbon and a Yoplait lid campaign, October now means to me, “check it out.” If something isn’t quite right, no matter where it is in your body, visit your doctor and make sure it isn’t something serious. If we all are aware of our bodies and what is ‘normal,’ then if something comes up as an outlier, we’ll recognize it as abnormal and seek a second opinion. October is a reminder to know thyself and take the time to be mindful. We may be feeling a bit of ‘pink fatigue’ by this point in October, but let’s remember the why behind the color. Let the pink tide wash over all of us as a reminder that we are human, our bodies fail, and when that happens we need to support one another.