I just realized that all of this pink has caused me to be emotionally nauseated. Not actually physically needing to throw up . . . but, just sick somehow . . . like I wanted to throw up in my head . . . (now you’re probably thinking I am really looney). I have decided that I kind of despise October. October used to be candy corn and orange and black and pumpkins and bags of individually wrapped candies . . . it used to simply be Autumn.
Now, it is just pink.
It has taken me a while to realize what has been making me feel so down these past few weeks. The sea of pink. The “would you like to donate to breast cancer research” every time I am at the check out stand of the grocery store. The displays of pinkified products practically blocking the entrance to my local grocery store. (By the way, this is all junk food mind you . . . not a single food item with pink on it that doesn’t contain something nasty for you in it – but, that deserves its own blog post).
This putrid, every-where-pinkification just doesn’t work for me at all. I get it, I know it is important that we all are aware of breast cancer. But, trust me . . . I AM aware of it and there is no doubt that everyone I know is also painfully aware of it too.
I have had my own awareness, thank you. My family and friends have all had this awareness too. I have not written in a little while. Mostly because I had nothing to say, well . . . nothing I wanted to share. I have been angry, I have been sad, I have cried a lot in the past couple of weeks . . . something I thought I was done doing. Apparently not.
Today I suddenly realized what I think is at the root of my recent emotional rollercoaster . . . it is all of this awful pink. It is just everywhere . . . I cannot escape. I am forced to think about it . . . about breast cancer . . . constantly.
I shop almost everyday . . . I do this because I try to eat fresh food and so most days I am running up to the grocery store (it is just a few blocks from my home). I think the grocery store is the worst place to go during October. An online friend, and fellow HER2+ breast cancer patient, has been posting photos of pink products on her facebook page and has encouraged others to do so too (you can see her blog here: http://www.chemobabe.com).
It runs the gamut from breast-cancer-awareness duraflame logs and household cleaning products to pinkified hamburger helper. Duraflame logs are not healthy to burn in your home . . . really. And, don’t even get me started with the chemicals in a box of hamburger helper.
At first these pinkified products were funny, entertaining. It became a game to find the most bizarre pinkification. I even started taking pictures of pink products when I was at the grocery store. But, that was then . . .
Now? Well, all of this “awareness” has given me a month long head and stomach ache. I don’t want to live and breathe breast cancer. I am still recovering from my most recent surgery. I am still battling this disease, and the reality of an uncertain future, in my head. I am still facing frequent doctor appointments, tests, blood work . . . I am booked with medical stuff well into December already. And, there seems to be no end in sight. But, it is what it is. I deal with it and I hope and believe that one day I will go for months without doctor visits, needles, pokes, prods and scans . . . I dream of having years at a time free from all of these constant physical reminders of what I have been through.
And I know that I will never really be truly free of it . . . not unless and until I forget what I used to look and feel like – that scar free, pre-cancer self . . . not unless or until I regain enough of the old Lisa that I don’t miss her anymore. You see, I simply do not need all of this pink. I AM aware.
Fortunately, Pinktober is almost over. I look forward to saying goodbye to this pernicious pinkification . . . at least for another year.
Love and peace,
- Marrakech Hotel goes pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month (gadling.com)
- Eating Chips to Cure Cancer? That’s What Pepsi Wants You to Think (food.change.org)
- “Like A Pink Punch To The Gut” and related posts (theburghbaby.com)
- Taxi Cabs Across the U.S. Turn Pink for Breast Cancer (eon.businesswire.com)
- Fight Breast Cancer? I’ll Drink to That (mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Pink Politics (overcomingbias.com)