Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Stinky Pinky

October is here. As everyone jumps on the Pink bandwagon, I just need to get something off my killer-boob chest...

Cancer is not a "normal" thing. While some types of cancer are more common in certain genders or at certain ages, cancer is still not a "normal" condition.  Breast cancer is not "normal."

I have Stage 4 Breast Cancer. I was diagnosed when I was 28 years old.  At that time, I was a wife and the mother of two young daughters. I am so fortunate to have my husband, my mom and my sister by my side, so fortunate to have wonderful friends and family.  To learn at 28 that breast cancer will most likely be my cause of death feels surreal and sad.  Sometimes, it feels so hopeless.

I cannot help but feel, by PINKing everything, we are being fed a message that cancer is normal.  Cancer is common. Cancer is OK.   I have learned NO PINK MONEY goes to Stage 4 Breast Cancer.  It seems, I am not worth trying to save.  Remember, there is no Stage 5.
I am here to tell you cancer is NOT normal.  Cancer turns lives upside down. When cancer strikes a young adult, that person is just starting to build a life.  There is little money in savings accounts or retirement accounts, little money in home equity. 

When cancer knocked me to my knees, I was about to go back to college full time and my husband had started a business just a year and a half before. We both worked and we had money to pay our bills.  We had two young daughters.  We had our own home and a new puppy. The first year with cancer was very hard.  We felt like we gave up a lot in terms of our future dreams.  We were forced to live in the moment, which is all any of us ever really have.  Yes, cancer is a brutally hard teacher.  Yet, in my darkest days there was a twinkle of light.  Even when I couldn't see it- it was there.  I cannot think of cancer today without feeling grateful, too.  Cancer has blessed me in many, many ways.  Cancer blessed me with OLIVIA JOY and she blesses me over and over and over again.

When I think of PINK, I think of sweet newborn babies wrapped in soft, pink, fluffy blankets.  I think of a popular singer- Pink. I think of a Victoria's Secret clothing line- Pink.  I think of pink bubble gum and pink cotton candy and glittery, pink nail polish and pink lipstick kisses... but I don't think of cancer.

I see all the PINK things out there and I can't help but feel cynical.  From my heart, I want to save ALL women from breast cancer!  All women with no exceptions.  At Stage 4, I am banished to a place outside the PINK-hoopla-party-zone.  From outside looking in, I wonder... What is the message?  All the pink- ribbon-wearing people, all these pink products and walks and social events may generate a lot of money.  Money to pay scientists and drug companies, but what about those of us in the trenches... holding on by a thread. What does it mean to support the "awareness" of something?  It means nothing, unless that awareness moves a person to act on it. 

I have Stage 4 Breast Cancer.  All the PINK in the world is not for me, not for the people fighting the fight of their lives, not for the people not expected to survive breast cancer. 

There is some serious stinky in the pinky!  So there!
Stinky Pinky
Stinky Pinky Breath

Stinky Pinky Gas Station Restroom

Stinky Pinky Walking Path
 Stinky Pinky Pens
Stinky Pinky Jumbo Lint Roller

1 comment:

  1. Hey Sarah! I wondered what you would think of this blog post (from a woman who also has breast cancer): http://cancerinmythirties.wordpress.com/2012/10/13/national-no-bra-day-and-breast-cancer-awareness-month-or-please-put-that-pink-can-of-soup-down-put-your-bra-back-on/