1st day of pink month
Here we are again…October 1st. The beginning of pink month, the month where we are bombarded with the color pink. These days there is so much pink that I feel overwhelmed by it. I personally have never liked pink. When I was a kid all it represented to me was the “girl” color, and I tended to be a kid that did not like to conform…just ask my mom. Then I gave birth to four girls…that means at least one of them was destined to love the color. It forced me to reexamine my feelings about pink and realize that having the freedom to like pink was one of the elements of feminism. It’s not just about being able to pick blue; it’s the freedom to choose your color. Then the hammer of cancer was dropped. I was truly bombarded with the color and all my pink ill will returned.
This year the onset of pink month makes me pensive. I frequently hear and see ads for breast cancer awareness. “Self exams every month!” “Get your mammogram!” “Catch it early!” People sometimes get irritated that the professional sports players are wearing that ugly color and could they just move on from this.
But what does the inundation of pink mean to me? It means that I am reminded that despite my ability to train with my kids for a 5K, despite my ability to carry my almost 10-year-old around the house, despite my ability to strength train, despite my ability to exercise up to 3 times a day, despite my ability to drive solo to Colorado and back, despite my ability to lift many heavy boxes at Ikea and pack them neatly in the car…I have metastatic breast cancer.
I am sure everyone is now thinking aren’t there more physical reminders than the color pink?…And yes, the massive neck surgery, the monthly shots in the butt, the daily meds, and the hair falling out are reminders as well. However, I live in denial. The reason for that is that I need to keep some normalcy for my kiddos who have grown up too fast with this disease. Part of the answer is that I refuse to let the pink keep me down. A lot of it is that life does not stop; it keeps plugging along, and as a mom I have kiddos that rely on me no matter what. Not just kiddos; but girls, girls who have me as their model. That is a boatload of responsibility, and I do not take it lightly.
So what do I do now in this pink month? I will let myself be enveloped in pink. I will let others dislike the color and still more be empowered by the color. I will tell my story so that friends think to do checks even though they are under 40. I will remind my friends to get mammograms if they are over forty. I will tell women to take time to take care of themselves. I have and will continue to force myself to open up, and let people see what metastatic disease can look like. I will let my raw wounds be revealed to the world. Don’t worry I won’t show you all my scars, unless you ask.