Pinktober has started in earnest. This is the month that breast cancer; and talk about breast cancer; and pink stuff being sold to supposedly support breast cancer awareness; is all up in everybody’s faces. Having breast cancer and knowing how little funding goes into research for metastatic breast cancer, and how it mostly goes into overhead and pink trinkets, has made me want to hate October.
Until I remember it is fall and Halloween is at the end of the month and the line between this world and the next is getting thinner for everyone – not just those of us straddling it with a terminal illness. So I refuse to hate October because it is one of my favourite months and no stupid marketing scheme is going to take that away from me. I’m thinking with my bald(ish) head it would be a good year to go as a skeleton for Halloween but I’m hoping that won’t be too creepy for my children. Or in bad taste? Or maybe as Jack Skellington because how awesome would that be?
During my first post-diagnosis October (2016) I participated in the CIBC Run for the Cure – even though I suspected it was going to be a loud pink mess.
Radio stations were set up and were loud and screamy. People were yelling and holding up signs like “You Got This!” and “F**K Cancer!” and talking about being survivors and warriors and throwing bras around. It was really rather garish to be honest. However, I was happy to be there with my family and friends who wanted to support me (a whole crew of elementary/junior high school friends and who can lay claim to that?) Happy(ish) to put a face to Metastatic Breast Cancer where there are no survivors, just people trying to survive. But also sad about that last part.
During the walk I saw a woman with her husband and two small children. She was being pushed in a wheel chair and wrapped in a blanket and I thought: that could be me someday. That someday is today. I walk with a cane and need the use of a wheelchair for an outing longer than the length of our block. (Truth: I haven’t actually be around the block in a really long time.) I don’t know who that woman was, or if she is still alive, but I hope she is. I hope if she is participating for the Run for the Cure this year she will be able to walk it on her own. I hope, like me, she is still around to enjoy her children being three years older.
This year instead of walking I’m doing a read-a-thon called Turning the Page on Cancer. The idea is to sponsor me to sit around all day on the 20th of October and read books. So basically you are paying me to do what I do daily but all funds goes directly to metastatic research through the Canadian Cancer Society. (This fabulous idea is the brain child of Samantha Price a young woman also living with Metastatic Breast Cancer. There are a LOT of us out there.) So many people have reached out and have offered monetary support for which I will be forever grateful – and thankful that you don’t feel the need to have a pink physical commodity of your generosity for which you should be thankful too because that means one less lecture for me on consumerism. (At least for this blog post.)
Feel free to join in on the 20th of October. Either sign up to read for the day and raise funds yourself, share this post to encourage others to join in, or just spend the day reading. The link I provided takes you to the main Turning the Page on Cancer fundraising page. I am linked there but it isn’t a competition, you can support anyone.