Pink Washing Breast Cancer Awareness

Welcome to another Pinktober.

I have expressed my dislike of the pink washing of breast cancer awareness here in the past.  As a woman living with metastatic breast cancer (thankfully in remission) but who continues to receive treatment, I find the “pink washing” mildly to moderately offensive in that companies are capitalizing on a disease that is a daily battle for me.

What I find most frustrating about the pink washing is the complacency many now feel towards breast cancer.  I actually had a woman apologize to me because she thought my breast cancer was just a little thing that could easily be fixed. Not quite, three and a half years later, I am still in treatment:

  • Arimidex pill once per day
  • Herceptin infusion every 3 weeks
  • Lupron shot every 4 weeks

This is the protocol to keep me in remission!

The truth is, the 5 year survival rate for women diagnosed with cancer just in the breast is 99% and that is fantastic.  However, according to Cancer.net, 39% of women are diagnosed with breast cancer beyond the breast, so we have a long way to go before we can call breast cancer just a little thing easily fixed.

My Breast Cancer Story

If you have never heard my breast cancer story, I share how I found my lump and my initial treatment choices in the first 6 minutes of the following video:

It is my sincere wish that you are never touched by breast cancer. However, since 1 in 8 women in the USA are diagnosed with it in their lifetime, chances are, you already have been.

Random Musings on Halloween | #BlogBoost

This is going to be a post filled with musings on random topics. Remember the TV show Seinfeld? It was a show about nothing. Yeah. That’s what this post is about… a bunch of nothing… but a little something.

Halloween

Today is Halloween. I went in for my daily radiation therapy appointment and Gru and his minion were waiting to irradiate me with their ray guns:

Would YOU trust these two with a ray gun?

Would YOU trust these two with a ray gun?

A couple times per week, the above jokers like to take images of the area where they shoot their giant ray gun.  They tell me it is to ensure I am aligned properly.  I think they just like having photos of my boob:

X-Ray of My Boob.  Scandalous!

X-Ray of My Boob. Scandalous!

To celebrate Halloween, I had my toes painted orange. The cancer clinic offers free spa services to patients. I like to take advantage of my free pedicures. The massage chair is groovy, too:

Orange Toes For Halloween

Orange Toes For Halloween

My friend, Anise, sent me a Halloween card. She uses the law of attraction beautifully. I have great veins. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

I have GREAT VEINS!

I have GREAT VEINS!

 

Happy Birthday Mom

Today also would have been my mom’s 74th birthday. Mom passed away a few months after she turned 70.  It’s hard to believe we are coming up on four years without her. She was a big kid at heart. People loved being around her. When she smiled, it lit up the room. This photo was taken the day my father returned from Viet Nam.  I was 10 months old, so it was October of 1970:

My Mom & Dad in 1970

My Mom & Dad in 1970

Farewell Pinktober

And finally, today is the last day of Pinktober. While I have a new appreciation for the sentiment behind the pink, I did find a few things just too wacky to be pink. For example:

Top on the List of Things NOT Okay to PInk:  Rag Mops

Top on the List of Things NOT Okay to PInk: Rag Mops

On the other end of the spectrum… everyone loves cupcakes, so heck ya, pink it up:

pink-cupcake

But what about boobie cake? Seriously? What’s your honest opinion on this cake? I can’t wait to read your comments, so chime in!

boob-cake

So ends the 31 day Ultimate Blog Challenge. I didn’t quite make it, but I think I finished with a bang.

All is well!
Kandas

Spoiling my Breast Cancer Caregivers | Battling Bertha #23 | #BlogBoost

It’s been a tough week. Recovering from my recent hospital stay has not been easy. As much as I wanted to complete all 31 days of the October Ultimate Blog Challenge, I know my health is more important. I have several posts simmering on the back burner, including a video of my adventure at Gayla Wigs and a possible three part series on sex after breast cancer.

The Breast Cancer Awareness Debate

Many of the amazing women in my online support group strongly dislike the October pink washing called Breast Cancer Awareness Month. They take exception to all the pink products that are capitalizing on the issue rather than helping it.

I recently read a Huffington Post article by Anita Moorjani entitled Why I don’t support ‘Breast Cancer’ Awareness.

My Chemo Nurses as sketched by my talented husband, Shane.

My Chemo Nurses as sketched by my talented husband, Shane.

Moorjani is the author of the book Dying to Be Me about her own cancer journey.  The book was gifted to me by a treasure in my life, Renu Agrawal, shortly after I was diagnosed.  It was also highly recommended by several other people.  I have been hesitant to read it because I don’t like the title.  Is that not silly?

In the HuffPost article, Moojani used a Mother Theresa quote to question the effectiveness of Breast Cancer Awareness:

Mother Teresa once said, “I was asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”

Wouldn’t it be better to support and promote health awareness?

When my elder sister was diagnosed with her breast cancer 3 years ago, just 6 months after losing our mother to leukemia, she urged me to get a mammogram.  I did not because I did not want to focus on the illness.  I believe that energy flows where attention goes and I did not want any of my energy flowing in the direction of cancer.

You may be thinking to yourself, well that back fired.  I do not agree.  I discovered my lump early.  Stage 1.  My body let me know it was time to pay attention.

Since my diagnosis, I have chosen to focus on the positive. I have a story to tell. This is just a small part of my story. I envision myself standing on a great stage inspiring people to pursue their passions profitably through my story.

Spoiling my breast cancer caregivers.

Spoiling my breast cancer caregivers.

I admit that I am not always as positive as I’d like to be. My husband is great at pointing out when I am stinking into negativity.

Okay, let me back up to Monday, October 13th and share how I spoiled my breast cancer caregivers.

Spoiling my Breast Cancer Care Givers

Last Monday, I gave each of my breast cancer medical care givers (all 20 of them!) a small gift of appreciation, tied up in a pink bow.  It was my intention to focus on how they are helping me return to health, and for that I am eternally grateful.  I call them my “Boob Team.”

What was remarkable to me was that each person I handed the gift to reacted exactly the same way:  Surprised!  From the receptionists to the physicians, each was almost shocked that I would choose to celebrate them.  Shocked and appreciative.

An interesting side effect of passing out these gifts is that I now receive a lot more hugs from the Boob Team, including the doctors.

My Radiology Team

My Radiation Therapy Team

Not to toot my own horn, but I was already a favorite patient at both the oncology and radiology offices. Now I feel like a rock star.

A new tech joined the radiation therapy team on Monday, as well. I was a little leery about having a man on the team, because of the high level of touching that is involved in the prep process before therapy begins.

I decided the best way to handle the situation was with humor. So, when he reached across my body and uncovered my breast, I said: “Oooh! Thank you! You are the first man to undress me in months.” His response was to thank me for making his job easier.

So here is your challenge from me: During Pinktober choose to focus on breast health, wellness and appreciate the teams of people who care for breast cancer patients.

Energy flows where attention goes.

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