I need to be asleep. I’m exhausted. I’ve been exhausted for days. Yet, I’m still awake, grappling with the fact that tomorrow is a pink out day. Do I wear the one shirt I have with a pink ribbon that announces my boobs are fake because the real ones tried to kill me? I’m uncomfortable in it. I bought it because I though it would be fun to wear, but it’s not. It announces me as a breast cancer patient. I am more than breast cancer. I don’t want to wear it. I’m just not comfortable with it…with being the 30 something with breast cancer.
I’m pinked out. I’ll give pinkwashing this: it’s made breast cancer socially acceptable instead of a disease talked about in hushed voices. I know it’s helped research and awareness. But..
For me, it’s hard to be a breast cancer person in October. I’m not a joiner. I don’t enjoy the spotlight. I’m a somewhat private person in real life. I have a small group of very close friends who I share openly with, who I don’t keep many secrets from, but outside of them, I slide on my mask. I’ve been told I’m aloof, snobby, stuck up, and I guess I seem that way, but it’s shyness. I don’t want to be disliked, cause drama, or anything else my brain can conjure. I can, and do, pretend to be happy-go-lucky, outgoing, gregarious, but it’s not really me. Neither is pink.
I saw a commercial earlier this evening extolling the virtues of pink, of women who’ve endured breast cancer. Strong. Steady. That’s not me, though. And, that’s why I’m not pink.
I just don’t fit the pink mold. I haven’t fit a lot of molds I should’ve fit. The pink narrative isn’t me. I tried to embrace it at the very beginning of this roller coaster, but it just isn’t me. I haven’t come through treatment a more gracious person. I haven’t mastered suffering with a smile on my face. I don’t feel as though I’m a better person…I don’t know I was that bad of a person to start. I don’t think I’m stronger. I just don’t see myself in the commercializations of pink.
Save the boobies.
Big or small, save them all.
Save second base.
Save the tatas.
I’ve come to hate pink, to dread pinktober. Breast cancer is not cute. Breast cancer is not pretty. Breast cancer is not sexy. Breast cancer is not easy. Breast cancer is not a “good” cancer.
Breast cancer is scars, fears, scans, tears. Breast cancer is surgeries and treatments. Breast cancer is anger, hope, terror, acceptance.
Breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer, is teal and pink and green. Metastatic breast cancer kills approximately 40,000 men and women a year. Pink leaves out Stage 4 lifers.
Pink leaves out the day-to-day realty of breast cancer. I wish pinktober realized that fact.
I want pink to find more treatments for all stages and grades of breast cancer. I want pink to help breast cancer patients and their families. I want pink to spend more money on research than executive salaries and administration fees.
I want breast cancer to mean more than pink. I want to mean more than pink.
I hate pink.