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Buckle up ladies, Puketober is upon us

finallyoverit
finallyoverit Member Posts: 131

Fall is my favorite season.. but I absolutely hate the pink washing that happens every October. And the anniversary of my 1st diagnosis is never a “fun” day. Ugh...31 days.. we can do this!

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Comments

  • tina2
    tina2 Member Posts: 753

    Bracing for the onslaught, hoping I can contain my fury.

    Tina

  • holmes13
    holmes13 Member Posts: 192

    It’s funny I was thinking the same thing. When I get behind a car or when someone is wearing a shirt it takes everything i have not to say something. Another word I’ve grown to hate and I kind of let it all pour out at my last appointment is the word survivor. When i first battled this beast i thought i was a survivor but now maybe a thrivor at most.

    i guess we should be thanking everyone for all that they do to earn money for research but do you only think of us once a year and then pat yourself on the back for a job well done? Sorry for the negativity but like i say i’m a thrivor not survivor

  • finallyoverit
    finallyoverit Member Posts: 131

    @holmes13~. I totally agree. I won’t use the term survivor or anything similar. I didn’t have a choice in this matter and refuse to let it be part of my identity. I consider it something really crappy that happened to me that I have to live with. I’ll be damned if it is going to define me.

    Sorry for the anger/rage so early in the morning... I truly hate Puketober.

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 5,891

    I’m watching CBS This Morning because Gayle King is the only morning show female host not wearing bright pink clothes.


  • Well, I couldn't help myself... I just turned on GMA to see the BCO folks in the audience. Yup, there they were, the breast cancer cheering section, all decked out in pink t-shirts and pink boas. It's a great opportunity for women from this site to meet each other, but personally I would not feel comfortable playing into the stereotypes. I will not continue to watch but I hope that at least some good information is presented and that it's not just a rah-rah session.

    image

  • edj3
    edj3 Member Posts: 1,579

    Gag. This is my first pukefest since my dx. Yuck.

  • HopesFiercely
    HopesFiercely Member Posts: 8

    First Pink-washing October for me, too. I thought I was all bucked-up and ready to endure the onslaught. The Today Show came on with the set awash in Pink. Deep breath, ok. Then Hoda spoke of survivors and that it is not an end to life but a new beginning and I burst into tears. Followed by a burst of rage that I have sometimes felt as I have learned about MBC and all that means. I wish the 'Pink Awareness, Positive Celebration' would acknowledge MBC and those of us who do live and will live with it every-single-DAY for the rest of our lives. To hear the words that the cancer is no longer curable but is treatable was a struggle to face and accept. Survivor? Probably not! End of life? Probably sooner than I expected. New beginning? Yes, definately! Surgery, stereotactic radiation, drugs and their side effects. Determination to LIVE, really live. To squeeze in all the love and joy I can, to tell people how much I love them and appreciate them. Savor the beauty of clouds, sunrises, sunsets, trees, fur creatures, birds, kindness, poems, cider, laughter, smiles......

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 5,891

    I posted on GMA’s FB page that they act like they’re doing a segment on “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun With Breast Cancer!”

  • Newfromny
    Newfromny Member Posts: 108

    I was at GMA this morning and while I might not be a fan of pinktober it was such a great opportunity to meet other wonderful members of this community. If it raises awareness and money than I’ll support it. It was so great to meet all of you and talk about our experiences

  • catsme
    catsme Member Posts: 17

    Hi ladies, sorry for the somewhat silly question, but why is Pinktober so frowned upon? I sincerely am asking out of ignorance.

    I've seen the pink for years, and didn't hear this side of it until joining BCO a few years ago.

    Thanks!

    Debbie

  • Newfromny
    Newfromny Member Posts: 108

    Tomorrow is one year from my diagnosis and I was proud I’ve gone through this awful year and was able to represent this wonderful, supportive community at GMA this morning

  • SchnauzerMom
    SchnauzerMom Member Posts: 75

    I hate Pinktober--hate it! Many reasons:

    So much emphasis on awareness. Nearly everyone is aware already.

    Puts a pretty face on breast cancer. It's not pretty, and it should be represented by a puke color.

    Emphasizes early detection, as if that will take care of everything. (My initial tumor was 4 mm. That is tiny and early, and many others have recurred after early detection.)

    Survivorship--too often a temporary condition.

    Next part of your journey. Journey to where?? It's not an "adventure"--it's a disease!

    Marketing!!!!!!!!! Buy because it's pink--everything.

    .

  • lexica
    lexica Member Posts: 138

    I went to the GMA thing for the experience, and while I'm glad I did so, it was a bit irritating. The staff kept telling us to smile (which I get, it's a TV show where they want ppl to feel good), and at one point on of the studio staff said 'we just need more pink.' I purposefully didnt wear pink, but I also didn't check my email from the night before where the BCO organizer told us that GMA was asking us to wear pink. They kept asking 'how long have you been thriving after BC?' and it just made me want to shake them. Once they actually started the BC segment, it got a little better, especially when Robin actually talked about a few 'real' things that we face (having to advocate for ourselves and post treatment and depression). I know it is a good thing BC gets all this attention, but it would be nice if we could shift the tone of the conversation so it actually resonates with the people going through it instead of looking good for everyone on the outside. Plus, pink is a trigger... at least i know it is for me.

  • finallyoverit
    finallyoverit Member Posts: 131

    Pink is a HUGE trigger for me.. I won’t wear pink clothing (at all, even if it is mixed with other colors), no pink pens/journals and I won’t even plant pink flowers in my yard. No, I am not kidding. I abhor the color.

    For anyone who wants to dress themselves head to toe in it, have at it.. but you will not catch me in it... ever.

    Call me bitter, but there is nothing fun about this disease and I see absolutely nothing to celebrate

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 5,891

    Catsme, this is a stage iv forum and we deal with breast cancer and breast cancer treatment forever once we are stage iv. The pink party atmosphere once a year does nothing for many of us living with metastatic breast cancer day after day, year after year, and that's year after year if we're lucky.

    There's another thread, similar topic, not dedicated to stage iv. Perhaps you could ask your question there:


    Feelings about breast cancer awareness month

    https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/133/topics/835442?page=4#idx_120

  • husband11
    husband11 Member Posts: 1,287

    Since my wife was diagnosed with stage IV, we were done with the annual walks, runs, etc. Too upbeat to swallow. We put in our time, we ran fundraisers, my wife was second highest fundraiser in our province a couple of years in a row. Passing the torch...

  • HopesFiercely
    HopesFiercely Member Posts: 8

    Catsme, So much of the October Breast Cancer Awareness , 31 days, focuses on stages 0 to 3 and the high cure rate success. It is a month long celebration and there is much to celebrate. That Breast Cancer has received awareness and research has provided treatments that cure many BC cases is great. It is wonderful that so many lives have been saved.

    However when BC spreads to another part of the body it is called stage 4, Metastatic Breast Cancer. There is NO cure for MBC. I can only speak from my experience. I take medicine that I hope will control the cancer. Sometimes it has unpleasant or serious side effects. Treatments and testing will go on for the for the rest of my life. I live with MBC every single day. It is a precarious balancing act between keeping the cancer under control and having a good quality of life. It is likely that I will die of MBC, maybe in months or maybe I will joyfully(!) cheat death for many years, depending on whether treatments keep working and how well, or whether the cancer can outsmart the treatments, or how well my body holds up.

    It is not so much that I frown upon pinktober, it is that the work of finding a cure is not complete. It is hard to celebrate something that does not seem to notice us as we cope with vast sea of suffering that is MBC and does not seem to acknowledge that Breast Cancer is still killing some of us.

  • ShetlandPony
    ShetlandPony Member Posts: 3,063

    Thank you for asking, Catsme. The pink celebrations and marketing are inappropriate. We are talking about a disease. Pink parties and merchandise usually raise very little money that actually goes to research or to help cancer patients deal with the disruption of their lives and the financial devastation. Often most of the money just goes back into the awareness machine or to company profits.

    The pink celebration perpetuates the trivialization and often sexualization of breast cancer. It marginalizes the people who will die from this disease (through no fault of their own), because they do not fit the narrative of the victorious survivor, the image that brings in the dollars.

    What does “awareness” mean when people are not aware that 25-30% of early stagers (I-III) will have a metastatic recurrence, the incurable, lethal form of the disease? What does awareness mean when people are not aware that only around 7% of money raised goes toward research for a cure or normal lifespan? What does awareness mean when men are not aware they can get breast cancer and so will be diagnosed later and have poorer survival? What does awareness mean when women are not aware that mammograms are not a cure, and do not always “catch it early”? What does awareness mean when people think reconstruction is a great free boob job and do not understand the pain and complications reconstruction can entail, and when some surgeons still refuse to give a woman a smooth flat chest if she asks for that? What does awareness mean when our friends, coworkers and even family do not realize we are forever changed and often forever suffering side-effects of treatment even though we "look good"?

  • catsme
    catsme Member Posts: 17

    Thanks for answering my question everyone. I do agree that all of the marketing around BC awareness includes happy smiling people and does present a sterilized picture of this disease. It doesn't show the fear and impact of this disease and treatment. Until just recently did MBC start to be mentioned in these "campaigns".

    I am ashamed to say that until I was diagnosed I had no real idea of the real impact. I can't begin to imagine what stage IV must like emotionally or physically.



  • candy-678
    candy-678 Member Posts: 4,073

    HopesFiercely and Shetland--- WELL SAID !!!!!!!

  • illimae
    illimae Member Posts: 5,514

    I did watch GMA this morning in support of a BCO stage IV friend who was on stage with her family. I suspect that participants were asked to wear pink but don’t know for sure. Anyway, I did notice that it was more about living with the disease, rather than beating it and focused on new drugs and ways to lower recurrence risk. Overall, I thought it was informative, yeah, cheerful and pink but I’ve seen worse. What really gets me is the massive repackaging of products to play on people’s good intentions and of course things like this (below), which, regardless of intention, absolutely trivialize this disease and the fact that we’re dying from it.

    image



  • finallyoverit
    finallyoverit Member Posts: 131

    As heard on a news show just now, “as you know, early detection is the key to survival.” Ummm... WRONG! I’m so tired of the ignorance.

  • simone60
    simone60 Member Posts: 952

    I used to be one of those women who walked in the Race for the Cure walks. I quit many years ago when I found out almost none of the money goes for researching metastatic bc. How can they expect to find a cure when they do very little research?


  • ShetlandPony
    ShetlandPony Member Posts: 3,063

    Catsme, no shame to you for not knowing. How would you? Shame on organizations who take money for awareness campaigns but don’t actually promote true awareness.

  • nkb
    nkb Member Posts: 1,561

    I hate it too. This is a profit scheme for companies whomake money on these campaigns and keep it. It is a way to tell women to be sweet and pink and this disease is just a blip in your life- buck up warrior- don’t make it uncomfortable for us.

    I did hear recently that the Koman organization is putting 25 million dollars toward MBC - research finally. Finally admitting that it is the woman with MBC that are dying.

  • finallyoverit
    finallyoverit Member Posts: 131

    How’s everyone doing so far? 4 days down.. 27 to go.

    I’ve only been asked once so far if I wanted to donate “to the cause”. To which I responded, “I donated a tumor, I think that’s enough”. The clerk replied “ok, I’ll take that as a no”.

  • edj3
    edj3 Member Posts: 1,579

    finallyoverit that made me laugh out loud for real here at work. Fortunately no one else is in or I'm sure they'd be wondering why I cackled like a maniac.

  • finallyoverit
    finallyoverit Member Posts: 131

    @edj3... glad I could bring a little humor to your day. 🙂. The look on the clerk’s face was priceless. I was completely serious though. 😊 I probably should just respond with a simple “no, thank you.” Maybe next tim

  • finallyoverit
    finallyoverit Member Posts: 131

    @edj3... glad I could bring a little humor to your day. 🙂. The look on the clerk's face was priceless. I was completely serious though. 😊 I probably should just respond with a simple “no, thank you." Maybe next time