PREVIVOR: A person who is not diagnosed with cancer, but has survived the predisposition, or higher risk, of cancer due to a genetic mutation and/or strong family history. After being armed with this information, a previvor can make informed choices prior to a cancer diagnosis.

Friday, October 9, 2015


Well it's that time of year again. My Facebook timeline is flooded with either pink ribbons and sparkly pink memes touting breast cancer awareness and "Save second base!" or articles and memes that almost border on angry that people are making light of a horrible disease and how we should fund research not awareness. I would say I fall somewhere in the middle of these two categories.

I would say that I am keenly aware of breast cancer. I don't need more awareness in my life. I watched my grandmother fight a long hard battle with it that she eventually lost. I met my biological mother for the first time who later passed away after battling the disease. She died the day before my grandmother died..which if that's not irony I really don't know what is. I had my struggles too, with the testing and the waiting and the wondering. Then, if you read previous entries you'll know, my mastectomy was hardly a walk in the park. To this day I still get sharp pains or dull sensations in what now serve as my breasts. I'm not entirely happy with them but what woman is ever entirely happy with her body? But I'll take that over a cancer diagnosis any day.

But I digress.

The point is, WE GET IT. We all know breast cancer exists. Calling this "breast cancer awareness month" is almost pointless at times.

And the pink....lord jesus the pink. And don't get me wrong, I love pink. "Pink is my signature color" (If you don't know what that's from then you don't know me at all). It just is so disgusting that companies will throw a pink ribbon on their product, make some vague promise that you're helping breast cancer research and it FLIES off the shelf. The people buying it have the best intentions but the company gives little, if any, proceeds to actual breast cancer research. Do your homework! If you want to contribute, great! But make sure you know where your money goes. I only buy products that name a very specific reputable charity. Then you'll be really making a difference.

On the flipside, I celebrate October because of the people who've fought, and those who are no longer with us. THEY'RE the real heroes and they deserve to be celebrated. And we deserve a cure, so no one else has to earn the term "survivor" or "previvor" If I think I had it rough? I can't even imagine what these women go through.

Every October I remember how pleased Granny was with the month. She loved the pink ribbon and all of the awareness and celebration. She was so pleased the year that most of her grandchildren did Race for the Cure in her honor.

So wear your pink. Buy your pink products. Hug a survivor or someone who lost a loved one to breast cancer. Just remember to donate your money to actually finding a cure so that one day October won't be breast cancer anything any longer. And remember early detection is feel up those girls and go get them smushed in a mammogram machine if it's time.

And amidst all of the pink and the pretty, just remember that breast cancer is not a pretty disease by any stretch of the imagination. And for the love of all things holy...don't start with those stupid Facebook games. Because I will find you. And I will kill you. (Again, if you don't know what it's from...)