Reflections on Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2012
Another October has ended. The crescendo of pink has lessened for the time being anyway.
Some people are happy about Pinktober coming to a close and you could almost hear the collective sigh of relief as the end couldn’t come soon enough for them. Some are probably counting the extra dollars their pink displays did or did not bring in this year. Some are probably wishing the pinkness would never end for whatever reason and some probably don’t a give hoot about any of it.
I thought I’d share a few of my post-October 2012 thoughts with you because, well just because.
First of all the month went by really quickly for me, but then October always does. The calendar “moves” at a fast pace in October. Change happens quickly and quietly as the leaves on the trees go from green to golden, to falling like snowflakes, to covering my yard creating a lush carpet of sort, to becoming piles in need of disposal to suddenly just being gone, not to be seen again around here until late next April or even May.
Gray and much bleaker chillier days of November have replaced sunny crisp picturesque days of fall.
Where I live November is when autumn “gets serious.”
One thing I realized was that I did very little shopping this year during October. I must have subconsciously made the decision to stay out of stores, even grocery stores, as much as possible to avoid pink and pink ribbons as much as possible. I didn’t even realize this until I looked into my cupboards the other day and concluded I was out of everything quite literally from soup to nuts. Generally, I don’t allow my cupboards to get quite so bare.
Last week I finally watched the movie Pink Ribbons, Inc. and wrote a review on it. Please check out my review if you missed it and care to, but more importantly, please see this movie if you get an opportunity. It will make you think and hopefully question perceptions about breast cancer and pink ribbons.
Mid-October I had my first live internet radio interview after which I was pretty dissatisfied with the job I did. Oh well, hopefully I learned a thing or two.
A week later I met with an awesome TV reporter named Colleen and a camera man named Roy from Milwaukee who made the four+ hour drive all the way to my house just to ask my opinions about pink ribbons and such (more on this to come). Oddly enough, this second interview seemed “easier” for me than the other I mentioned above. And the very fact that any reporter would be interested in hearing my opinions felt/feels remarkable for many reasons. Also once again, I was amazed by all the well wishes about this that were sent to me via Facebook. Thank you.
I started blogging for the Huffington Post in October and quickly learned some people who comment there aren’t nearly as kind, polite or open-minded as the ones who comment on my little blog. I appreciate comments left here even more now.
A sad and disturbing development was learning two more fellow bloggers who I follow and admire were diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. Both of these recurrences felt/feel very personal to me, blatant attacks on friends I care about. Every time I hear such news it’s a harsh reminder about the vulnerability those of us who have had a diagnosis live with.
This October it felt like the metastatic breast cancer awareness campaign further inched its way out of the closet as the voices of many more are uniting to get the messages out. I’m very pleased about this, though admittedly, this progress is still slow and long over-due, but it’s progress none-the-less.
In October I took in all three presidential debates and the vice-presidential one as well, watching and wondering through them all what, if anything will change if either is elected. I feel optimistic and hope to keep that feeling after Election Day has come and gone.
And of course, October ended with Hurricane Sandy crashing ashore on the east coast with a vengeance. Sandy dominated the news for days, replacing pre-election headlines with more pressing ones about weather, devastation and loss, perhaps a not so subtle reminder from Mother Nature once again about who is really in charge and what is really important.
If you are living with Sandy’s devastating effects, you don’t need headlines or TV news stories to tell you about them. My thoughts continue to be with all who are literally and figuratively picking up the pieces of their lives.
Through October and now beyond I’ve been reflecting on how my views about pink and all the ribboning have evolved in the two short years since I began blogging and I wonder where this evolution will take me next.
I thought about my mother and Rachel (and others as well). I wondered what they would have had to say about anything this October and I missed not hearing whatever it might have been.
So, as another October full of “breast cancer awareness” ends, there is still much work to be done in adjusting the conversation, but acknowledging the need for such adjustment is an important step, and I believe that step has been taken.
November arrived immediately reminding me how well aware of all things breast cancer I am and always will be from here on out. My next oncology appointment is in fact this week.
All in all, for me October was well, Octoberish. It’s still my favorite month of all.
I don’t intend to ever “give it up.”
Did you sense change during Breast Cancer Awareness Month this year?
Are you relieved Pinktober is over?
Do you have any October highlights (or low lights) to share?