breast cancer, life

Why I didn’t wear pink today

It’s Pinktober.

I hate Pinktober.

Today was Pink Out for Breast Cancer Awareness day at my school.

I didn’t wear pink. Instead, I wore one of my Stand Up to Cancer t-shirts. It’s orange and white and gray. It’s pretty much the antithesis of the bright pink of breast cancer.

I came thisclose to wearing my black and blue wig. If my wigs weren’t still in storage, I would’ve.

Look, I understand that for many, the Pinktober and all the pink gives them hope, fills them with emotion, and unites them. I get it. I really do.

I’m just not one of them. I hate the sight of the pink ribbon. My 12 year old daughter can’t stand the color pink or the pink ribbon.

It’s painful for me, for us.

It’s a reminder that breast cancer puts my life at risk every single day. It’s a trigger for me, and I don’t say that lightly. My oncologist is pushing through a referral to a Baylor Dallas psychologist who deals solely with those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer because for the two weeks leading up to my 3-month checkup, I became so anxious and scared it truly affected my quality of life. Both Dr. O and Dr. H, who I see next week for my six month check up with her, see symptoms of PTSD in me. I can’t put into words how awful that makes me feel about myself -cancer and severe anxiety? Yet, I’m supposed to revere the pink ribbon and celebrate Pinktober…Are you kidding me?

I live with breast cancer and its aftermath every single day. I consistently return to places that are painful -Sammons and Methodist. I have had literal panic attacks stepping out of the elevator to the 4th floor of the Sammons building. I have sobbed stepping into Dr. H’s office. I guess that makes me weak, the fact I can’t get over the fact I had breast cancer. That I became a pre existing condition. That I became a liability. That I became a statistic.

So, in all sincerity, forgive me for my inability to participate in pink outs, to see good in the pink ribbon, or to celebrate Pinktober.

It’s just too hard.

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