Each year as August and September rolls around, my anxiety starts to slowly creep up… it’s there in the background, just niggling at me. It took me a few years to realize why. Once I did. I came to the realization that October is triggering me. Makes sense, the whole world goes overdrive in pink ( still my one of my favorite colors), everyone is talking breast cancer, sharing their stories. As a survivor twice, October is my anniversary month.
I’ve reached a point in my cancer journey where I am slowing down, well, not me. But, finally, all the doctors appointments, treatments, meds. My appointments have decreased to twice a year with my oncologist and 3 times a year with the therapist for lymphedema.
Like clockwork, with the approach of October, I start to grapple with my growing anxiety, while at the same time, planning out what my contributions to the awareness of breast cancer will be. It’s frakking hard and wonderful at the same. And, I get to wear a tutu and participation in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk!! IF you are in Tampa, come join me!
Don’t misunderstand, I think of breast cancer every single day. Some days, it just weighs more heavily on me than others. I will be hitting my 4 year anniversary October 21st of being in remission. Yes, I know that day as well.
This first day of October. I am reminding you, that while you may complain about companies that are offering pink bras, pink drills or even a ride in a pink fire truck for a donation. That many don’t love “Pinktober” and even more will complain about the companies that are exploiting the month, the marketers that game the hashtag. Remember, you don’t know their stories. Sure, some are shady as fuck, others though, have probably watched someone battle cancer, or know someone, they see the pictures or hear the stories. They want to help.
Be nice. I shouldn’t even have to say that but I do. See a pinktober post? If it moves you, share it, if it touches your heart, donate your precious pennies. For fucks sake, don’t comment or judge the person posting it. You are seeing a post that takes 2 seconds to scroll past, but it took them minutes or hours to compose and hit that post button. You don’t know their story, their pain or how much breast cancer affects them. They are sharing their truth, their story, their life. RESPECT that.
I assure you, I suffer pink-fatigue as much as anyone. I see those marketers that are just posting the hashtag to sell their stuff, and the temptation to blast them for being shitty and stupid is strong. I have friends that have cancer, I have friends that are survivors like me and we all remember those that didn’t survive. I battle the relief and guilt of surviving cancer.
So, I’ve pulled out my tutus, signed up for the breast cancer walk and I am prepared to donate my pennies to others. CANCER SUCKS. It leaves its mark not only on your body but your mind and soul. BE NICE. It doesn’t take much to just scroll on by, it may take a little more not to make your own snarky post or leave a rude comment. I know you have it in you, tho.
Have some pennies to spare? These are my favorites. They helped. They still help. They are compassionate, understanding and the money goes where they say it goes. Donate, share and even like.
The Carey Foundation – The Tutu Project The Carey Foundation provides financial support in the form of grants to 501(c)3 community-based breast cancer non-profit organizations to conduct outreach, provide financial assistance with incidental expenses not covered by medical insurance. Our grants are awarded at the end of each year, any application submitted before the time frame below will not be considered for review. – Find them on Facebook and Instagram
American Cancer Society– While they help all cancers, they have a specific corner for breast cancer. I have been walking for the last 6 years in whichever city I am. The counselor that helped me, was amazing. She listened.
For 3 Sisters– Another foundation that helps women and men address the financial and emotional challenges faced by breast cancer fighters and survivors during and after a breast cancer diagnosis.