“To all of my friends and family — It’s October 1, which means it is the first day of ‘Pinktober’, which is a month of hell for most of us who have/had breast cancer.
Let me repeat.
This isn’t ‘our’ month or an exciting time to be accosted with the color pink. We’ve all been talking about how to deal with it for months now. I’m so entirely disgusted by awareness campaigns and slogans that consume our lives during this time and am so horrified by just how traumatizing and dismissive they are.
Sure, it’s easy to sign up for a walk, to sponsor someone, to buy a ‘fun’ t-shirt or to sport a pink ribbon… but, do you want to know what most women with breast cancer despise?
All. Of. That. Sh*t.
Just so we’re clear. A few ‘awareness’ slogans:
‘I stare because I care’
‘Save second base’
‘I’m here for the boobies’
‘Save the boobies’
‘These boobs were made for walking’’
‘I am a breast man’
‘Save the hooters’
‘Don’t let breast cancer steal second base’
‘Boobies make me smile’
‘Breast in show’
‘Big or small, let’s save them all’
‘Put your breast foot forward’
‘If only women paid as much attention to their breasts as men do…’
So. Did you laugh a little? Maybe a little smile? Did you chuckle or think any of this is cute? I know, you’re thinking about boobs right now, so you might be a little distracted. Let me refocus your attention.
Do you know what *wasn’t* mentioned in those slogans, even once?
THE WOMAN. A WOMAN. ANY WOMAN.
Did you even realize that last awareness campaign and slogan BLAMES WOMEN FOR THIS DISEASE?
Do you know what is mentioned when that woman/ a woman/ any woman dies from metastatic breast cancer?
That she ‘lost’ a battle.
No, she didn’t. She did not. She lost her life, her family, the opportunity to see her children grow up or her partner grow old. Or just the opportunity to put her feet on this earth, her toes in the sand, reach her hand out for a hello.
She lost everything, but not a freaking battle. She was never weak.
This is NOT in our hands. We don’t lose because we aren’t strong enough, we die because there is no cure.
Most women would dissect their own body and amputate their own limbs to stay here, on this earth, with their loved ones for one more day. I certainly would AND I certainly will.
PLEASE don’t dismiss, demean, disrespect or sexualize breast cancer this year. Please don’t sit in your ignorance for one more day — breast cancer is not pink, meaningless ‘awareness’ is NOT the answer and a heart emoji on social media does NOTHING but harm. Stop perpetuating the cycle. Please.
If you want all of us with early AND late stage breast cancer diagnoses to have the opportunity to survive, we NEED a cure.
I’m posting this old photo because, even a year and a half after my bilateral mastectomies and reconstruction, the only pink things about my breast cancer are these lifelong scars.
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Acasia Stratt Vicknair of California. Acasia is passionate about METAvivor and would like you to find out more information here. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.
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