Pink Ribbon Overload: Roxanne, You Don’t Have to Put on the Pink Light

bulbI’ve got an idea!  See?

 Heh heh.  Really though, this is just odd. 

 “Now with the flip of a switch, you can turn on a pink light to honor someone you know who has breast cancer, is a survivor, or lost the fight.” (Or perhaps just lost their light)

 Like an eternal flame, I suppose.  At least until the bulb burns out.  But as a survivor, I have to say that with the flip of a switch, you could also be turning on your coffee maker.  I’d much rather be honored with a cup of coffee than a pink light bulb.  And considering that each bulb costs $5, you could actually spring for Starbucks.  Just a thought. 

bc bulb This product is made by a company called Mood-factory, and the bulb itself is known as a Mood-lite.  Too bad it’s not Moody-lite, eh?  Adding to the weirdness is that the different colored bulbs are “created to elicit feelings of <insert mood here>”.  In this case, the mood is “sassy” and in fact, that’s what they call the bulb itself.  A sassy.

 The website goes on to say:

 “Brighten Our World Pink is an exciting new way to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness. Putting a pink Sassy in a porch light or window on October 12th reminds people…blah blah blah” 

I don’t know about you, but I think it’d be much more “exciting” to put a pink sissy on my porch.  Kind of like a Salvation Army bell ringer, except collecting money for breast cancer research.  One that would pinch you, or at least give you a good old fashioned feather boa roundhouse if you didn’t donate to Komen.  “Oh no you dinn’t just walk by here and not put some change in my pink sassy sissy receptacle!”

(Props to Faye for enlightening us with this one.)

The Pink Parade, and Why I Won’t Be in It.

Saturday is the day of the local Race for the Cure.  Last year was my first year participating in this event, and I have to say, it was a good time.  When I did it last year, I was still mostly bald from chemo.  When I did it last year, it was the weekend before my mastectomy—in fact, I had the mastectomy date bumped out just so I could attend.  When I did it last year, I had only had two surgeries.  When I did it last year, I was another month away from beginning radiation. 

 

I didn’t participate in the survivor activities.  Didn’t go to the breakfast.  Skipped the survivor parade.  At the time, it just all felt really weird to me.  I was in the middle of my various treatments, and I didn’t feel like I’d survived much of anything yet.  Several of my survivor friends asked me, “Hey, where were you?” when they saw me after the parade, and I told them I’d just been hangin’ with the fam.  I was way more comfortable watching the parade than I’d had been walking in it.

 

Fast forward.

 

I’ve now done the radiation.  I’ve had three more surgeries.  I’ve been cut, and fried, and poisoned so much that people long ago got bored with my drama and stopped sending cards.  (Probably couldn’t afford to, what with the price of postage these days.)  My hair is long enough that if you didn’t know, you’d never know.  I suppose I’m probably an official survivor now, but I still don’t want to do the parade. 

 

This time last year, I thought maybe I’d feel differently the next time around.  I don’t.  I know that it’s supposed to be a celebration of survival, but to me, it still feels like “Woo hoo! I’ve got the cancer!”  You know, I’m not special because I’ve had to go through this crap.  I’m just me.  And I’ve gone through some crap.  That’s all.  And I don’t like the squirmy feeling I get inside when it seems that people are admiring me for simply living.  “Look at YOU!  We thought you were gonna die, and here you are breathing and everything!”

 

That’s not to say that I want to be all in the closet with my cancer experience or anything.  Obviously, that’s not the case.  If nothing else, I’d wear my pink shirt just because I think people need to see that there are a whole lot of young survivors.  (Isn’t it cute how I’ve somehow convinced myself that I’m still young?)  Maybe one of these days that will result in some better options for post-mastectomy garments.  The kind that say “Grrr!” instead of the kind that say “Grandma!” 

 

So, I’ll be at the Race, but I’ll pass on the survivor celebration.  I celebrate every day by living a normal life. 

 

p.s. Tomorrow is October 1, the official start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  (What?  Breast cancer?  Who ever heard of breast cancer?) Check in to see the first of my readers’ favorite pink ribbon products.