Pink Ribbons


pinkribbon2          I recently read a post that a friend of mine shared that started with …. While the majority of people believe that Breast Cancer is a pink ribbon, a pink Pom Pom, a pen with a pink ribbon … engaging you to be a “part of the cure. First, a hard reality, you are not being part of the cure, you’re just throwing your money away to propaganda.”

This person was needing financial aid and did not receive it but I am not sure where they went for help. There are places that help and I hate that this person had this experience. I don’t agree that buying things with Pink Ribbons is throwing your money away but the post did make me stop and think about what Pink Ribbons mean to me and also why it is important to know when you give to charity where the money goes.

For me, Pink Ribbons are a symbol of triumph, heartache, solidarity, pain, terror and love. I experience an overwhelming feeling when I see them that I do not really have a word for.

They also answer the questions people want to ask – what do you have? What’s wrong with you? Do you have cancer? They say I am not alone and that You are Not Alone. Most importantly they say You and Me – we’re bad-asses! …. whether we win or lose, we are bad-ass because we are warriors!

I have never had an illness that had a ribbon or a color associated with it – who wants that, right? No one — until you go through it. I want acknowledgment and I am not ashamed to say it – I am in the hardest fight of my life and damn it, my family and I have been through the wringer.

I was diagnosed March 15, 2017 and now at 7 months into the fight. I completed chemo with miraculous results all the while experiencing the worse pain and fatigue in my life. And then, when the tumor is gone, I developed horrible side effects: blood clots in my lungs, lung inflammation, dizzy spells, a body that is trying to repair itself but fights against my need to be whole again. I then have surgery with more side effects. I am now getting ready for radiation which will have more side effects.

The side effects are better than the alternative but still so hard. My life has been put on hold. Financially I have spent a LOT of money and I am one of the lucky ones – I have a good job and good insurance (not everyone does and my heart breaks for the people that die because they cannot afford treatment).

So wear pink [ribbons] if you want and educate yourself about the charities you give to. And know that there is one warrior out here that feels loved when she sees the pink ribbons and symbols of Breast Cancer awareness … because this journey has taught me that I am stronger that I could ever realize and confirmed that I have family and friends who were/are willing to drop everything to help me.