Not too long ago I wrote a post, Sensory Overload, in which I implied my distrust for all of the pink that we all must swim in for the entire month of October. I made the following statement, Don’t misunderstand, I think it is wonderful that everyone is raising money to hopefully one day put an end to Breast Cancer. But let’s be honest here, would the NFL be repainting lines in bright pink if it was not profitable?
I love capitalism and I love the freedom that allows those who work hard to make lots of money. I do not love vagueness, ambiguity or implication. Sure money is needed to research for the cure. If you would like to donate please research to ensure the money is actually going to where you would like it to go. Even better call the women you love and ensure they are having mammograms and talking to their doctors. There is nothing wrong with pretty pink hoodies supporting your favorite sports teams but like everything else in life make sure you are buying the for the right reasons.
Pumpkins and pink items. Everywhere I go there they are. Pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin coffee, pop tarts, bagels, waffles, oatmeal, marshmallow, beer, potato chips and even vodka. Virtually anything you could imagine now available in pumpkin flavor or scent, most for a limited time of course. People everywhere are gorging themselves all in the name of the season.
When not bombarded with all things orange and pumpkin, my eyes are overwhelmed with all things pink. Walks and rallies, sports events at all levels and all products imaginable marketed in pink for Breast Cancer awareness month. Watching football this week is giving me a bit of a headache with the pink shoes, gloves and towels flying around. Don’t misunderstand, I think it is wonderful that everyone is raising money to hopefully one day put an end to Breast Cancer. But let’s be honest here, would the NFL be repainting lines in bright pink if it was not profitable?
All hype aside, maybe you do not have the extra money to buy that cute pink whatever. Maybe things are too tight to send anything in the envelope this time around. What you could do is something much more impactful, maybe pick up a phone and call a woman who you love and ask if they have had a mammogram recently. This week I shared my own bilateral prophylactic mastectomy story with 3 of the women I work with. Two of those women have breast cancer in their own families. I encouraged them to be proactive talk to their doctors and possibly get tested for the BRCA gene. I wasn’t even wearing anything pink.
In the news this morning I learned that Angelina Jolie and I seem to have a lot in common. Her story is very similar to my own and to all of the women I have met along the way in my time writing this blog. Chosing to have a bilateral prophylactic mastectomy, to remove a part of your body because it will one day quite probably declare war on the rest of your body.
The difference is her celebrity makes news. I am glad that she wrote the article in the NY times. It brings to light the struggle that so many woman have. Having genetic testing and advanced medical abilities which have allowed so many of us to make a preventative decision to take control of our own medical destiny. Maybe her sharing the story that so many of us have lived will cause a few more women to have a mammogram. Maybe a few will open up to their doctors about their family history. Maybe one day we can finally put breast cancer in the past.