Thursday, October 14, 2010

October is my favorite month...BUT...

It is marred by a big pink ribbon.

You would think as a cancer survivor I would relish in all the pink this time of year. You'd be wrong.

Let me clarify on thing. I HATE CANCER. Breast, uterine, colon, testicular, skin, lung, you name a cancer, I HATE it. (And let me just say, I DO NOT use the word hate lightly.)

Come October 1st, I HATE PINK! It probably started in October of 2003. I was struggling with my own cancer battle, and I remember The View having special episodes each week, I think in connection with Ford's Warriors in Pink (this may have been 2004, can't really remember). You know, it is very easy as a cancer patient to become completely self absorbed (I know I did, and I am so sorry for those people who had to live with me back then, well, and now). I watched The View everyday, and every time that talked about breast cancer survivors it killed me. I was DYING too, I had CANCER too.

Honestly, a lot of this resentment probably started because my cancer did not (and still doesn't) have a name. My cancer was, and to this day is still, just CANCER. Sure, we can get technical, metastatic carcinoma of unknown primary, according to one oncologist, or diseminated malignant neoplasm, according to another. Both of these scientific diagnosises basically mean that cancer was attacking my body and it was everywhere. Where was the national campaign for that?

There are a lot of people out there that are sick of seeing pink ribbons everywhere, but would propably never say it out loud. I understand that you need a new toaster, so why not buy the pink one because a portion goes to breast cancer "awareness." I would have to say at this point the world is AWARE of breast cancer. How about making a donation to the American Cancer Society? It will probably be more than the toaster people are giving them anyway.

You know, if I were a marketing major, I would probably give Susan G Komen's sister mad props, but I am not a marketing major. I am a cancer survivor who gets choked up (and kind of pissed off) at the sight of a million pink ribbons.

Did you know that there are several cancer awareness months? January is Cervical Cancer Awareness month. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness month. April is Cancer Control month (???). May is National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention month. September has several awarenesses: Gynecological Cancer Awareness month, Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness month, Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, and Prostate Cancer Awareness month. And November is Lung Cancer Awareness month and National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month? Were you aware of any of these months? I guess they need better publicists.

I would also like to say that I understand having a minimum donation for walks and runs; however, I find it difficult to understand the Susan G Komen for the Cure 3 Day having the minimum set at $2200, per person! If you are able to raise thousands of dollars for the charity, that is AWESOME, but being required to raise thousands to walk doesn't make since to me.

I hope that I have not offended anyone with the rant, which is exactly what it is: A RANT. My absolute favorite time of the year has been transformed from beautiful fall colors, to PINK.

Some links I found on anti-pink people like myslef, and OTHER cancers awareness:

National Cancer Awareness Calendar

Sarah Horton, Alive and Anti-Pink

Pink Proceeds, Where Does the Money Go?

Before You Buy Pink


  1. I fully agree with you Lonnie. I get really annoyed about the way the money is raised in our local area for Breast Cancer Awareness. I fully support the American Cancer Society who not only raise funds to support cancer "awareness", but more important raises funds to support cancer sufferes and their families during treatment, and most important supports cancer research in numerous locations. I know that the local "Relay for Life" does not receive half the media support, but is more grass roots oriented. I love the Cancer survivor walk that leads of each community "Relay", that gives the community an opportunity to cheer on the survivors. I also love the lighting of the Luminarias with each bag dedicated to a friend or family member that has been a victim of cancer. I remember sponsoring one for you, my Mom (Elnora Anaya), Aunt Martha (your grandmother's sister), and Grandma Anaya, it was a special thing to walk by each luminaria around the track and say a short prayer for the survivors and for the families that cancer had taken from us. I know our family has been touched by numerous forms of cancer, including breast cancer. I think that it is important that we support organizations that support all cancer patients/survivors and their families. Too much money in the local area is spent on breast cancer publicity especially t-shirts, and not enough on supporting those hurting from the various forms of cancer. Awareness is important, but blatant publicity that often discounts other cancer forms is detrimental to society.

    We love you Lonnie. Tim and I keep you and Marshall in our prayers daily. Your life is an inspiration. I often speak of you to locval young people as an example of overcoming adversity and constantly seeking to triumph in your life.

    Thank you for being you!

  2. Found your blog by Google imaging "anti pink ribbon" because I just wrote a blog similar to this. My mom was diagnosed with bladder cancer and you know nearly no one even knew that existed. Breast cancer is the bully of the cancers and all other diseases for that matter.

    I liked reading your point of view on this as a cancer survivor. Congratulations on beating it, even if no one knows what it is you beat.

    P.S. I hope you don't mind me stealing your pink ribbon for my own blog.

  3. Thank you for this post. I know it was a while ago but I just stumbled on it now with the search for "anti pink ribbon". From one survivor to another I appreciate your journey.


Thanks for reading my blog, and showing your support!