Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sharing this journey on Patch

Before I get started, I wanted to share the photo of my oncologist, Dr. Nakajima. Here he is:

He's so very, very kind!

I've decided to share my journey with my Patch readers. Of course, I can't go into the detail that I've shared with you  here in my blog, but hopefully I can get women to get mammograms. The first installment is called, "My Battle with Breast Cancer". I know, not the catchy titles, but my editor, Theresa, is smart. She words titles in a way that will get internet readers to find it. I'll post the second part here when it's out on Sunday. Let's just say that I'm a little more descriptive in how I was feeling. In other words, I share the battle with darkness that one wages when confronted with something like this. Sometimes, the darkness wins.

If you've been reading this for any length of time, you know that I dislike October's designation as breast cancer awareness month. And, yes, I know that sounds odd. But the reason I'm uncomfortable is two fold. First, why does any month have to be designated for one particular cancer? In my journey, I've met people with other cancers, who have no specific month designated for them. I've met colon cancer patients, a friend has pancreatic cancer, and my mother in law beat bladder cancer. While my cancer may be trendy, but still deadly, theirs is every bit as deadly. They just don't get the benefit of it being trendy.

The second reason I don't like this month is that it's the Holy Grail of months for manufacturers of all types of products. Everything turns pink for an entire month. Don't get me wrong - I love the colour pink. Always have (as evidenced by the prominent colour of this blog!). But just because the label on a can of soup is pink, doesn't mean that anything is being donated. 

I was at the grocery store, and as I walked in, there were giant photos of cakes & other pastries with pink ribbons all over them. Words like "hope" & stuff were printed under them. When I looked closer, there was no small print. There was nothing saying that any proceeds of these festively decorated cupcakes went to anything - other than the pocket of the grocer.

Something else I'll bet you didn't know. Even those that donate proceeds to charity have a preset cap; in other words, they decide how much of the proceeds are going to the charity that they've chosen before the campaign gets under way. After that cap is met, the rest of the proceeds is pure profit. And here's why that irritates me - the cap is usually some paltry number, say, $250,000. While that may seem like a lot, during the month of October, the sales of all things pink bring in millions. All purchased by wonderful people, thinking that their hard earned money, and their decision to pay more for the pink product, are doing something. The odds are, after the first day of October, the cap has been met. The manufacturers are now left with 30 days of huge profits.

Don't get me wrong - I think businesses have every right to profit. I don't begrudge a company their money. I DO, however, begrudge it when it's done in deceitful ways & profits from the suffering of others. If companies are truly concerned about fighting breast cancer, then let them donate a proceed of the profits without a cap. Then, I could get behind them. As it is, that will never happen. There's just way too much money to be made off the pink ribbon.

I'll post a link to part two of my story on Patch on Sunday. Until then, I hope that you will:


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