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Another Breast Cancer Awareness Month & Why Silence Is Not An Option

Another BCAM and why silence is not an option. #breastcancerawarenessmonth #breastcancer #advocacy

Here we go again. Another October. Another Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Another 31 days to muddle through all the pink and pink ribbon shenanigans. And no, silence is not an option. (Don’t you just love the above quote? Never fails to help motivate me.)

Are you up for it?

If not, it’s completely understandable. I get it. Believe me, I get it. I understand the weariness, the frustration and even the anger.

I mean, how many ways and how many times can we keep saying some of this stuff, right?

As many ways and as many times as it takes. (Reminds of my teaching days).

Silence is not an option. Not for me anyway.

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Why not?

Because you never know who or when someone might be reading, listening or watching. You never know when you might be a beacon for that person wanting desperately to escape Pink Ribbon Fantasy Land. (I remember being there and trying to find my way out). You never know when someone might need to hear something you say or read something you write. You never know what small or not so small impact you might have on any given day during October or any other month, for that matter.

You just never know.

So we must keep at it, or at least I must.


I will keep trying to answer when someone asks, what’s wrong with pink and pink ribbons anyway? I will keep explaining why trivializing and normalizing breast cancer is so upsetting and why it’s not an effective way to educate people about this wretched disease. I will keep suggesting we cannot shop our way out of breast cancer and asking, why is breast cancer the shopping disease anyway? I will keep pushing for those with platforms much larger than mine to provide accurate and complete information about the entire spectrum of this disease. I will keep promoting research, not merely awareness.

I will keep refusing to sugarcoat the havoc this disease brings to families like mine. And yours. Or anyone’s.

When someone asks me, why can’t you lighten up about the use of sassy slogans and trite-sounding awareness campaigns (you know the ones), I will answer:

Because nothing about breast cancer is amusing.

Most importantly, and above all else, I will keep circling back to include and advocate for those I know, and those I do not, who are struggling with metastatic disease.

That’s the whole point of all this, is it not?

Or it should be.

I will not forget my mother and all the other dear ones. So many dear ones. Too many. Just too many.

No, silence is not an option. Not for me. 

If you’d like to help me not be silent, please share this post. Thank you!


How are you feeling about Pinktober this year?

Do you plan to get louder this month or go into hiding ’til November?

Has how you feel about Pinktober evolved over time?

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 Another #BreastCancerAwareness Month & Why Silence Is Not an Option #breastcancer #pinkisnotacure

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Tuesday 1st of October 2019

Walked into my grocery store Sunday & they had all pink plastic bags! Early I guess. They use purple for Easter but this is the first time I've seen pink. I wonder what other horrible diseases should be represented everywhere? My guess is that anal cancer or testicular cancer won't have a theme. Cuz breast cancer is fun! Makes me sick even though I ignore it as much as possible.


Tuesday 1st of October 2019

Janine, I haven't been shopping lately, so I haven't seen much pink shenanigans - yet. Then again, it's only Oct 1. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Rainbow Zomby

Sunday 22nd of October 2017

Let's hope for a cure so we can be done with all this. In the mean time we should also not forget the basics. We need to put breast cancer on a diet. Diet and exercise almost always play a role in any human illness. Green tea and broccoli are helping some people and drinking more water helps just about everybody.

Beth Gainer

Monday 9th of October 2017

Hi Nancy,

No, silence is never an option. Thank you for all your advocacy over the years. I've been having an awful October, and I've wanted to speak out, but it's been too difficult. I'm still grieving the loss of my aunt and am not feeling emotionally well enough to do anything but take care of myself and Arielle. My PTSD has flared up, thanks to October Pinky crap, and trust me, it's not pretty. Sixteen years after diagnosis and almost 11 years after a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy, and I'm still not doing well. I blame Pinktober for my PTSD flareup; I can't go into a freaking store without being reminded of the hell I've suffered physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I want to write a post this month, if I can only gather the strength. Luckily, I'm seeing a new shrink (fired my previous one -- now THAT's a blog post too). Anyway, rambling....

Kelly D.

Tuesday 10th of October 2017

Oh {{Beth}}! I thought I was "being silly". I too have felt as though I was completely traumatized! I used to tell myself I was being ridicules, millions of women have been through this! But I felt assaulted, especially by my surgeon, who lied about almost everything she was going to do.

I hope and pray you feel better soon! Just being able to share here on Nancy's blog has helped me somewhat already...I don't feel so alone anymore.

Susan Rosen

Sunday 8th of October 2017

Great post Nancy. Pink is a color, not a cure.


Monday 9th of October 2017

Susan, Thank you so much. And yes, pink is just a color, one I still love. Maybe not so much in October though. :)

Kelly D.

Saturday 7th of October 2017

I understand and agree with your frustration and message! I can't tell you how many times I've been standing in line at the grocery store, etc..., and seeing one of "those" T-shirts, I thought, "gee, when are we going to see cutesy shirts with "Fight Like a Boy!" emblazoned above a picture of the area where the prostate is located! (Not that anyone would WANT to see that--eeeeww!).

I also wonder how many of these shirt-wearers, purse-carriers, jacket-toters, and bumper-sticker-attachers have been through what we have. I'm sure many of them have, but I can't understand why they seem to want to talk it up everywhere they go. Frankly my main focus when I got through the initial phase was trying to get my life back to as close to normal as possible. For me, that didn't include advertising.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with people wearing whatever they want, pink or otherwise. It does feel a little like they are trivializing the struggle though, and I wonder where all that money goes,...?


Sunday 8th of October 2017

Kelly, I hear you, on all of it. Thank you for sharing.

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