Sunday, September 18, 2011


Just over a year ago on September 18th 2010 I was crashed out sleeping from my first round of Chemo two days before. Yesterday on Sept. 18th I was decked out in pink and freaking running the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure here in CoMo. Now how awesome was that. Being at the Komen event was amazing, overwhelming, and all around fabulous.

Ok so it took me 39.40 minutes and I came in 250th out of 263 but by golly I ran it! Seeing that sea of pink was so moving knowing all those people were united for the same cause. Knowing that each person had somehow been touched by breast cancer and motivated to help find a cure for people like me was awesome. I had 14 people on my team, the Udder Believers, some walked, some ran and some were pink in the pew or sleep in for the cure team members but I'm great-full to each of them for helping me support the cure.

It was fun seeing other survivors that I have met along the way either at other events or during treatments.  Breast cancer survivors are a unique group of people. They are so full of support, and love, and laughter and most of all unity. We don’t have to explain what its like having BC because we already know. You don’t have to say what your struggles are or explain the fear that it might come back because they fear the same thing. Standing there amongst so many other strong brave women laughing and cheering was a great experience and its one that I have been waiting for for multiple reasons. Yes partly because I enjoy being with other women who have walked in my wig. Ok not really since I never wore a wig but you get my point. There is this “hot topic” among some women with breast cancer over the whole “pink thing”. I wondered how I would really feel being at an event where nearly every single person was in pink. Not only that but we were being handed pink bags, pink buttons, pink scarves, pink toilet paper (ok not really but they might as well have) and I wondered how I would really feel surrounded by so much pink. Would I be upset by it? Would I think it was just some stupid ploy or waste of money? Would I feel like it was down playing the seriousness of having breast cancer? There are so many women who dread the month of October because of all the pink and frankly I wondered if I would be one of those women. 

*Stepping up on my soap box* As it turns out I loved the Komen event. And not only that but I’m counting down the days till Pinktober. I realize that some people have their issues with it but I don’t see how it’s a bad thing. If my carrying around a pink coffee travel mug with me that has a ribbon on it makes even one person stop and think to do a self breast exam, or schedule a mammogram or appointment wither their doctor then its well worth it. If even a few cents of a T-shirt I buy goes to help fund awareness, screenings, treatment or research then how can that be such a bad thing? If my pink bible with words of hope highlighted in pink brings me encouragement during hard days then I don’t see how this can be hurting our cause. Its also not only about awareness, research, screening or treatments for me. You see if my cleaver pink t-shirt brings a laugh or even the slightest encouragement to someone else, especially another survivor than I don’t see how this is such a terrible thing. There is healing in laughter and there is laughter in breast cancer if you just look around. 

Some survivors don’t like seeing a sea of pink because they don't believe it shows the true nature of cancer. I guess sometimes life is what you make of it. No its not all sunshine and roses. Back when I was first diagnosed we kind of got tired of answering the question “how are you” to people. No offense to anyone that asked I realize that you just never know what to say or to ask at a time like that but we got sick of trying to answer that because there is no good answer. Shawn and I being the unique people that we are just started telling people “well we aren’t farting rainbows”. That usually ended the questions and gave people a good laugh. I think that response helped remind people that while yes times were tough, and scary and we didn't know what the outcome would be, that we would get through and we would do it the only way we knew how...together with laughter and love. Now don't get me wrong cancer isn’t this super happy fun time but I don’t see why people think that trying to add a little happy color or a sense of humor downplays what we went through. So you struggled that’s ok! You had a hard dark time and that’s fine. As one of the shirts at the Komen race said “your race your pace”. Everyone deals with things different but I just don’t see why that makes people feel that have to hate on the pink. There are even anti pink campaigns like "think before you pink". I don’t know maybe it doesn’t bother me because I love the color pink. Maybe its because I owned so many pink things already. Maybe its because my roller derby name was PinkE BreakHer. Yes for those who were not aware I was part of the CoMo Derby Dames and I still love my CoMo girls and the sport in general (big shout out to my CoMo girls I hear I missed an amazing bout this weekend).

I love the fact that I get to wear my PinkE gear anytime I want with the best excuse possible. Frankly I think that as survivors of this terrible disease we deserve some joy and happiness and pink makes me happy. I think that after all the treatments we go through leaving us boobless and bald that we deserve to wear a color that’s so pretty and feminine. Because even boobless and bald we can still be feminine and beautiful! So go out there and wear a funny t-shirt that makes someone laugh. Buy some yogurt and send the pink lid in, dye a strip of your hair pink this month, get a pink tattoo. Heck even go out to hooters who happen to be huge supporters (pun intended) of breast cancer and eat some chicken wings just do something that helps raise awareness! If you want a great excuse to buy pink feel free to say that your doing it in support of me I promise you I won’t be offended. If it raises money for research that’s fantastic but even if it doesn’t but it makes one person, even if its you, do a self breast exam or schedule a mammogram then go for it. Yes a cure would be fantastic and of course it is something I hope to see in my lifetime but prevention and awareness are so important especially for those of us with BRCA 1. I know people say that everyone is aware but that’s simply not true. I had no idea that women in their twenties and sometimes even younger can have breast cancer. I thought you had to have a history of it in your family.  I thought that very few people die from breast cancer now days and that too was wrong.There are still so many misconceptions about breast cancer out there. Yes we need a cure but we also need this awareness.

As for the pink haters out there…I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you have so much trouble finding hope and happiness in the color pink. I’m sorry if my plethora of pink offends and upsets you. I’m sorry if my happy carefree attitude about cancer makes you angry and I’m sorry if  I find Pinktober inspiring but stop trying to end the awareness campaigns. Don't try and keep people from attending large events like the race for the cure. If you don't want to participate in those things or wear pink to support your sisters then don't but quit trying to put a global halt on it finding a cure because that is what it appears you are trying to do. As for me, I will gladly support Komen and all the other cancer foundations out there working diligently to promote awareness and prevention, to aid in treatment and researching to find a cure. *stepping down off my soap box now*
Spend this next month sporting your pink and helping raise awareness, find ways to help raise money to fight for the cure and most importantly don't forget to do a self breast exam and schedule an appointment with your doctor and one for a mamo if your of "that age". "Big or small lets save them all"

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