My New “Four Letter” Word

Get ready because this post is going to be offensive. At least, it is to me.

I know many of you are waiting on an update (and I hear you I swear!).  Honestly, I’m waiting on something. As soon as I have it, you’ll know. (wow, that was unnecessarily cryptic).  But there is something that I feel I need to let go of into the universe, for my well-being and the happiness of those around me.

PINK. I know it’s a dirty word, right?! Oh you don’t think so? Well let me tell you, this October I have never found a word more offensive.  For those who don’t know, it is Breast Cancer AWARENESS month. And as a survivor, the pink is overwhelming. What I’m sure started out as an event with the best of intentions has become something of a mockery.  “Hey guys, to help support those with Breast Cancer let’s dress up and attend a fun event, or maybe we could Instagram a shot of the girls, maybe even buy all the pink merchandise we can find?”  This month has become nothing more than a sales pitch, a gimmick to make people feel like they are doing something.

The truth is…. you aren’t.  I’m not saying that the general population doesn’t have great intentions, it’s just that you have bought the hype about awareness. Can we just be honest for a minute, though? Who doesn’t know about Breast Cancer?  It’s not an under represented disease.  I find it almost unbelievable that I’m the only person any of you know that has had it.  We’ve all been touched by it, through a friend or family member.  It’s a deeply personal disease for so many.  So, do you think awareness promotions are helpful?  Do you know what awareness isn’t?  It is not prevention.  It does not mean a cure.  Most of all, awareness does not mean funded research.

The sad truth is that many of the charitable organizations supposed to be helping find a cure are doing far more to promote this “awareness” with fun runs and pink ribbon merchandise than making a difference (Susan G. Komen, I’m looking at you).  And the products you are buying… an imperceivable amount actually goes to these charities.  Who, again, use it to keep the brand going. So before you go buy your pink ribbon gear, think about how your money might be used in a better way.  I’ve linked a few awesome charities if you are looking for bang for that buck.

On a personal note, (and I know I don’t speak for all survivors) this month is horribly hard. The only awareness I have this month is of how every day I have to wake up and see another organization making a joke out of my plight (NFL now I’m looking at you).  I don’t want pink buckets of KFC, or head to toe gym gear.  I don’t need a pink ribbon mylar balloon (stupid, Publix).  I need people to think about how insensitive this parade of pink and over sexualized sayings make a girl who has lost so much feel.  I’m glad for you while you are waving around your proud pink bra. You get ’em, girl. Just remember, I haven’t been able to wear one since they amputated the second base you seem so desperate to “save”. But then again, I’d take “cancer free” over saving the tatas any day.

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Young Survival Coalition (helpful resource for women under 40)

MetaVivor (While 30% of cancer will metastasize (spread) only 2% of funding goes to it’s research)

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6 thoughts on “My New “Four Letter” Word

  1. Very compelling post. I’ll be honest, I had never thought of it that way. I’ve never had cancer so I don’t know that pain, I’ve known several people who have survived (thankfully) cancer, but never breast cancer. Each October I’m reminded about how important it is for women to be on top of their health and getting themselves checked so that if we do become a breast cancer patient, we can detect it early and a have better chance of being a survivor. Admittedly, however, it never occurred to me that this month of awareness may not be a positive thing for all of those who have lived or are living through this battle. Thank you for offering your point of view, it helps us to have a better understanding about how these things really affect a person. It’s also a good eye opener to make sure that if anyone wants to donate money to help, it’s important to make sure your donation will actually go towards research, rather than an awareness event.

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  2. Per usual, . . I appreciate your ability to articulate a perspective on consumerism gone amuck! Poster and TV ads to remind people of the statistics, mamo mobiles at companies for easier screening (as they did at P&G)… all wonderful! I fully agree that PINK hats and clothes and shoes and cups and purses and pillows … & well, … you name it! Its offensive. Its commercialism and people making a buck on the way americans ‘do their part’. They buy shit! that makes a great pink splash of color for a few weeks. I do believe people have good intentions, but they want to be spoon fed the easy answer and I guess they believe that buying a pink hat will help somehow. Check✔️… They did something bc They really do care… and i’m saying that sincerely. What I appreciate is your reccomendation of organizations that do make a difference. No pink crap for me . I don’t need to make that public statement of my support for breast cancer awareness. I will make a donation to an org you mentioned.
    Your voice resonates!!!

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