It’s October. For months now I’ve been receiving emails alerting me to another “exciting, important event for breast cancer awareness,” which are so often just self-serving promotions, insensitive, or insulting. I’ve ignored them all. I have my own plan for October.
Every day of this month, along with Daily Tips, I will be posting names to my social media accounts. They will be names of women and men I have known personally who have died or are still living with breast cancer. The first half of the month, I will post names of people who died. The second half will be people who are living with metastatic cancer – people who’s breast cancer has spread. Today: Rosalyn #notapinkribbon.
Some people may find this kind of dark. Some may think I should be encouraging hope. Most of you know that I’m all about feeling as good as possible, and making the most of our bodies, no matter any limitations. But I also feel the need to reel in the hoopla surrounding breast cancer and October. In my own tiny way, I want to remind people that breast cancer is not just a pink ribbon, or a race, or a funny video. Breast cancer is thousands of lives.
Breast cancer is not “the good kind of cancer,” it is not a cold that you get and get over. It’s a disease that still kills far too many of us, and stays with those of us who haven’t died – in a thousand ways, every single day.
So, please, keep the people, the lives, in mind this month. Don’t just mindlessly repost funny/sad/touching pictures of pink ribbons/balloons/shirts/whatever. Don’t just mindlessly buy some product because it’s sporting a pink ribbon. Look at what they’re actually supporting (or are they truly supporting anything?). Pay attention to where the money goes if you donate – and that holds true for any cause!
And if you really want to do something useful for someone with breast cancer, cook a meal, drive her/him to doc appointments, take them out for a walk!