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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pinktober

"Once again, and I've said this hundreds of times, we do not see tags sewn into boxers reminding men to check for testicular or penile cancer. I suppose that it's because we imagine they are grown ups and will notice if anything is wrong, without having to be told what to do by their clothing.


This is just another example of a terrible disease that women suffer and die from being treated like a Junior High masturbation game, with themoney going towards nothing that will help a single woman."
~Ann Silberman, But Docter I hate Pink

To know me is to know I really don't like pink. I grew up a tomboy with my mom trying desperately to girl me up from time to time and force pink on me. It didn't work. I'm not as adamantly against it as I used to be, but it still drives me particularly crazy to have gotten the pink cancer. Every october the pink of "awareness" comes to the world, (never mind that it's also ovarian cancer month and they have a purple ribbon...but I guess breasts are hotter than internal eggy organs...) and it drives me nuts. So much wasted work and money for "awareness". So much corporate greed to make money off of cancer. So much sexualization and tackiness. "Save the tatas" and "I like boobies" are two slogans that pop into my head and make me cringe.

Me? I did not want to save my tatas. I wanted to save my life. I am missing a tata now, and they can take the other one too if it means I can have a long and happy life. Many women do not get the mastectomy they need and try for a lumpectomy, or on the other extreme have both of their breasts removed preventatively, only for their cancer to come back...all this pink tata saving reduces women, breast cancer and every horrible emotion, treatment and struggle patients have to endure to try and survive to an insulting pink washing that deludes people into thinking they're helping.

We don't show pictures of men's junk everywhere and remind them to check themselves for testicular cancer, or talk about saving weiners or some other ridiculously inane slogan - I can only imagine: "Dude! Flick your Dick! It saves lives!"... yeah. Sure. Yes my cancer was in my breast...but thankfully only there. What about the metastatic patients? What if, god forbid, it's spread further or comes back? What if there's no cure? Only 5% of cancer research goes into areas of study that will help metastatic patients. They're just trying to live as long as they can...and this whole month of pink is a slap in the face for them. Yes, in the US we need more funding for testing and mammograms (in Canada cancer tests and treatments are covered by health care thank goodness) but we really need more research. The treatments that have been created in the last 10 years saved my life. We need more of that.

Some awareness things that have come up this year are absolutely inane...like the pink coated drill bits an american fracking company is doing to "raise awareness". Things like that make me throw up a little in my mouth. The sad fact is, after over a decade of pinktobers, we as a whole are by and large aware of breast cancer. We've deluded many people to think that early detection means you'll survive. It's a bit of a crap shoot really...you cross your fingers and dive into treatment and hope it works. I have all fingers, toes and related appendages crossed in the hopes that I am healthy again. It doesn't mean I was any braver or stronger than any of the other ladies...so far I'm just lucky. Thank god.

Where am I going with this? I dunno. I could rant for hours, but I ask of you - if you want to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer, donate to charities that help breast cancer patients and directly fund research. I have supported the Run for the Cure here in Canada for many years because they support quality research and patient initiatives. I know that my money and the money I raise is going to help people and fund research...maybe even me. This year I ran the race and through the generous donations of friends and coworkers I raised almost $1600. This will do more than buying a kleenex box with a pink ribbon on it.
My cancer is not for sale.

2 comments:

solarity said...

(When I find myself disliking pink, I remind myself it's the color of sunrise and sunset.) I find the pinkening of cancer cringeworthy, too. When I see the pink truck owned by my former propane company I have to stop my instinctive "gack" reaction and remember that they donate 5% of the revenue from that truck (you can request it, but it also runs a regular route) to the cancer research center at the University of Kentucky. Company owned by the same family for about seventy years; family contains several breast cancer survivors.

Mary Anne in Kentucky

Geosomin said...

That's a great charitable project.