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The Whole Pink Thing

Posted on October 13, 2009

Pink Cancer Ribbon
October is breast cancer awareness month. Unless you have been living under a rock, I’m sure you seen all the pink stuff promoting breast cancer. Everywhere you look you find pink stuff. Pink NFL apparel, pink Halloween pumpkins, pink grocery bags, pink hats, pink jewelry, pink signs, pink websites, pink purses, pink key chains, pink coffee mugs, pink umbrellas, pink packaging, pink pink pink pink everywhere. I think you get my drift.

Some survivors feel companies are exploiting breast cancer and just slapping a pink ribbon on everything in an effort to sell their products. I’ve read that the pink ribbon, as a symbol, tends to pretty up what is a pretty ugly disease. Some say the pink ribbon is easier to look at than the disease itself.

Cancer is a nasty, cruel, and deadly beast. It attacks our healthy cells, assaults our bones and blood, destroys our vital organs, and invades our brains. Cancer takes our hair, our loved ones, our body parts and our lives. It causes pain, despair, misery, sorrow, and death. Cancer is not a pretty picture by any means, pink ribbon or not.

Many people feel overwhelmed by the constant pink reminder of cancer. I know I’ve never really been a big fan of the whole pink thing. I remember when I first was diagnosed with breast cancer, I didn’t want anyone to know and I sure didn’t want to wear pink cancer stuff. I remember being given a free pink baseball cap at my cancer treatment center. I did not want to wear it. Maybe I was in denial but I didn’t want to publicize my cancer by wearing pink. Later as I came to grips with my cancer and accepted it, I did wear my pink baseball hat. I don’t know if I am making any sense but these are the many thoughts I have about the whole pink thing. Oh don’t misunderstand my feelings about cancer awareness. If all the pink ribbons will help some women to get their mammogram or do self-exams, I’m all for it. I only hope that companies aren’t looking to profit off all this pink stuff as that just isn’t what this is all suppose to be about.

So please during this month of breast cancer awareness, do focus on the important message in all this. We all want to kick cancer out of our lives and the lives of others permanently. I pray for all those fighting this terrible foe, may you have healing and peace as you move along your journey. But ultimately I hope and pray a cure can be found once and for all!

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13 Responses to “The Whole Pink Thing”

  1. Snowcatcher
    Oct 13, 2009

    Interesting viewpoint, and I’m thankful you shared it. It truly is good to hear what someone outside my circle of friends and family who has been through the battle thinks. It’s helpful to know there are other opinions and attitudes out there besides what we know and watch our loved ones go through.

    I do agree wholeheartedly there is commercialism, just like with all the holidays. But I hope anyone connected in any way knows that most of us who are drawn into the pink wave have sincere intent.

    I wear pink ribbons to show my support for someone (or somebody) I love. I buy pink stuff because a portion of my purchase goes to support breast cancer prevention and research. I have sold pink stuff because I know many people who want to give something one-of-a-kind to someone suffering or supporting someone who’s suffering, and the money I make often goes back into other charitable efforts.

    Not everyone is that altruistic, I know. But I think the majority of us who are caught up in the pink of this time of year are there because someone we love is enduring the battle, and we want to brace them up in every way we can.

    I’m caught in the teal ribbon craze, too. But I will attempt to be more sensitive from now on to what my loved ones are feeling, and I hope like heck I’ve never offended them by trying to show my support.

    .-= Snowcatcher´s last blog ..Takes from the Trek =-.


  2. Cindy
    Oct 13, 2009

    Hello Snowcatcher:

    Thank you so much for your comment and I do so appreciate you sharing your ideas on this whole pink thing. I completely understand and support people who wear pink and support the fight against breast cancer through the pink awareness campaign. What I wanted to communicate in my post was my feelings and concerns from a survivor’s point of view. Sometimes we just get overwhelmed by the whole pink sea of stuff. A dear blog friend crocheted a beautiful pink winter scarf for me and sent it to me to wear. I cherish it and wear it proudly because I know the love and kindness in which the gift was given. Thanks for being sensitive and hearing my side of the pink issue.


  3. Lynne
    Oct 13, 2009

    Well said; overcommercialised perhaps but if it helps fight cancer than maybe it’s worth it!
    .-= Lynne´s last blog ..why tension [gauge] is important =-.


  4. Shirley
    Oct 27, 2009

    Being an activist blogger I appreciate commercialism in certain things. When I was in high school nothing was “pink.” A teacher that was so great at getting me interested in Spanish passed away. Breast cancer took her. Her mammogram came too late.

    A few years later, my next door neighbor began to fight it and she lost her battle. Because she was in poverty that mammogram again, came too late.

    I hope the commercialization leads to greater funding and care of not just those with insurance, but those without as well.
    .-= Shirley´s last blog ..My Habitat Home: Living In A Green House =-.


  5. Midwest Mom
    Oct 27, 2009

    Cindy, Thanks for sharing this view. I’m so glad I’m not alone in this. When I see pink vacuums and water bottles and sneakers and, and, and… I wonder whether the symbol is now completely devoid of meaning.

    Our family has been touched by breast cancer and we have lost two courageous women while two others are survivors. So, I want it to mean something — desperately.

    – Julia
    .-= Midwest Mom´s last blog ..Love and Marriage =-.


  6. Cindy
    Oct 27, 2009

    Shirley,

    Thank you so much for your opinion on this pink breast cancer topic. If commercialization leads to greater funding then I am all for it. We must remember though to be sensitive about the pink overload as many people are struggling with this cancer beast .


  7. Cindy
    Oct 27, 2009

    Julia:
    Thank you for listening to my side of this whole pink issue. I am sorry to hear how cancer has touched your family and taken loved ones from you. It truly is a terrible beast. We can only hope and prayer that one day a cure can be found.


  8. timethief
    Oct 27, 2009

    This is a very important post with valid observations. It’s not the first time I have heard of these commercial “arrangements”. Thanks for shining a light into the pinkness for us, your readers.


  9. Cindy
    Oct 28, 2009

    @TT:
    Yes we do need to be choosy and support bona fide charities that are helping fight the disease and helping its victims. It’s important to watch out for those pink washers and not lose sight of the real cause – fighting breast cancer. Thanks TT for stopping by and taking the time to comment on this very important issue.


  10. Jenn Thorson
    Oct 28, 2009

    Glad you shared your perspective, Cindy. There’s been so much pink out there, I actually wasn’t even thinking of the NFL clothes, etc., as being in support of cancer– it never even occurred to me. Which makes me wonder if the messaging isn’t getting diffused by its popularity.

    That said, cancer survivors may feel some unity in having a recognizable symbol of their challenges. It’s hard to know what’s exploitation and what’s awareness these days, isn’t it?
    .-= Jenn Thorson´s last blog ..Treasure Box Wednesday: Heavenly Finds =-.


  11. Mardi Hamilton
    Oct 28, 2009

    Hello, I have Ovarian Cancer Stage 4. The chemo I get is for breast cancer so I am thankful for the money put into research it helped me too. I am in remission I also pray for all of us that have cancer. thank you all for any Donations and help you give to cancer patients. PS my husband has Leukemia
    Mardi


  12. Charlotte Prescott
    Feb 07, 2010

    I’m glad to see this topic (ok, I’m a bit late this year). I was always not enthralled with the whole October Pink marketing blitz.

    Now that I have breast cancer, my attitude has changed to:

    “How dare you exploit my personal tragedy for corporate profit?”

    Not that I’m opinionated or anything….;)


  13. Kathy
    Feb 14, 2010

    Yes, some have to make a profit off of anything. I do just hope that if they say they are going to donate some of it to the cause then it is happening…naive…perhaps…

    I am a 5 year survivor..when I was diagnosed…I was the first in my family to hear the “C” word.

    Pink has always been my favorite color and when I do see something pink it does help me to feel better. I have crocheted lots of things with the pink ribbon. I can also understand those that didn’t like pink in the first place.

    I hope overall the pink ribbon has profited for the cause.

    My brother in-law has esophogeal (sp) cancer and has had since last March…he is on his last round of Chemo and then he is on his own…there is nothing else they can do for him and they say it is inoperable…Neil…do think of him.

    Thanks,
    Kathy



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