Friday, October 30, 2009

pink musings from a crazy brca chick

Pink october is almost over so I need to jump on the bandwagon real quick and add my two cents. Seems like such a hot topic among all the brca bunch. I'm not really a pink person although my grandma once told me I looked good in pink. Thank god it didn't seem like such a popular color when I grew up. Seems like I grew up wearing blue and my twin wore red. Hmm...maybe that is where mutant 2 first hatched, cuz I wore the boy color!

I only own a couple of pink things. I have a pair of fuzzy fake crocs that I call my dog pee shoes. I wear these to take my dog out for the last piss before bed. Why pink? All the other colors were uglier, believe it or not. My other pink item is so cool! My cancer journal. It is pink and covered in the skull and crossbones. Had to get it the minute I saw it! DW did not like it or find it as humorous as I did. I have to say she does not have much of a sense of humor when it comes to cancer or brca. The journal makes her think of death. I like to think of it as 'fuck cancer' or death to the pink cancer! I never had much luck keeping up with a journal before but I do find myself using this one. I also like looking at this journal because it reminds me of chocolate. I bought it in park city. We like to go to this chocolate shop there that has a book store attached to it, and that's where I got it.

This has been a strange year for us, to say the least. At the beginning of the year we decided we needed something to motivate us at the gym so we decided to start training for a 5k. My brother and sis in law suggested doing the susan komen race for the cure with them in may. So we did it and I ran for my sis in law and my dad. At the time, they were the only ones I was aware of with bc. It was a mob scene. Seemed like everyone in slc was there. When we got close to the finish, you couldn't even move it was just a bottleneck. Afterwards, we checked out the tents and my sis in law collected a bunch of survivor stuff. She survived some nasty stuff, chemo, radiation and all that. Little did I know at the time that I was walking around with cancer in my boob. Flash forward to the fall and we found ourselves at the acs making strides walk. This time I was walking for myself and wore a survivor sash. It was an odd feeling to say the very least. Life can change so quickly.

A lot of bc and brca peeps have opinions on this pink month. They wonder if the message is really getting across. Are non cancer people really getting the message? Do they do their self breast exams? Are they getting their mammograms? Is this really just a big marketing gimmick or is some of that pink money going to actual research? And what about those of us trying to forget about our cancer selves. Hard to ignore when every store you enter has a pink display and some junky bracelet or pink water bottle they are selling for "the cure." That's great but I would like to know where this cure is. I am still holding my breath for the mutant one cure I was promised 24 years ago. Supposed to happen in my lifetime but I'm no spring chicken anymore. Rambling, I know. So I see all this pink stuff in the stores and read the fine print. Some sound pretty good. 100% to research plus matching donation by such and such company. I like those. Then there are the ones that say 100% of net proceeds. Well how much is that really going to be? 50 cents on the dollar or more like 1 cent? And what are they going to do with all the unsold pink stuff after october? Is it going to end up on the discount rack next to the halloween crap? Who gets the proceeds then?

All in all, I think this pink thing is good. Any publicity is good and the media really focus on it and feature a lot of stories during october. I know there are still people out there that need educating. Last time my little sister went in for a mammogram they told her that she didn't need to go in every year because the cancer was on our father's side. Really?? I know I was ignorant and didn't know that I should have been getting mammograms every year but I didn't work in a freaking breast care center! Somehow you expect a little more from your health care professionals. Speaking of which, I have a great team of docs and counselors, etc that are very well educated and I get a lot of help from. I know I've heard some bad stories from others about their tods. It makes things so much easier when you have a good team. I asked one tod yesterday to write a letter for me so I could send it to my ins company to try and get my surgeon approved. She had her letter done before I even finished my own. I didn't even have to tell her that I was in a hurry. All my tods have been like that so far. I always get my calls returned pretty quickly and they always give me the time of day. I wonder how/why people work with cancer people day in and out. It seems so emotional draining to me. But I'd like to thank them all! And I'd like to thank my friend at the acs and all her colleagues for all their hard work. This is an especially busy and stressful time of year for them! I feel like a slacker next to all these people. Years ago when my mom died I thought about volunteering with cancer patients and just never got around to it. Once my life settles down I'd like to follow through with it. I wonder how all the people do it that just don't have anyone in their lives to help them out. How do they get to and from all the appts and surgeries? There are some procedures where they do not allow you to go home by yourself. What if you don't have anyone to take you home? And what about all the single moms out there? Do they drive themselves home from chemo and struggle to get dinner together for the kids? That is the kind of volunteering I would like to do. No one should go through this alone. And I'm not alone so I need to thank my family and friends. Even though I don't live near most of them anymore, I still feel their support. And a big shout out to my dw. I wouldn't want anyone else by my side. DW, you're the best I ever had. Love you:)


  1. Janine! Love your blog....thanks for sharing. Saw the pic of Izze..hard to believe a year has gone by. We miss you guys so much and think about you alot. So, you heard the news. TWINS....I cannot comprehend how crazy it's gonna be. Did you hear Katie is my new bff? She always is helping us out in a pinch. Better stay friends with her so when the twins arrive she can come over everyday!!! Lol. I have to send you a pic of Izze in her just chillin you can post in your blog. Peace out

  2. Twins, yippeee!!!!!! Twins rock. J9, love the pee shoes and Shelby thanks you for late night pisses. Mutant 3 step aside because Nov is mutant 1 month! Love you. wondertwin

  3. Hey KO! I know you think it will be crazy with twins but don't forget they are double the fun:) And there are support groups out there for twin parents. I know my mom went to one. You are going to have to beat kt and the girls off with a stick once the babies get here! Izze is too darn cute. She's making dw itch for a baby so maybe no more pics? :0 Did you get that boxing stuff out of kt's garage yet? I know if you don't get it b4 the twins come you may never do it! Hi to lib and we miss you guys too. Wish we were closer.

  4. Oh fuck...november? can't we just have a normal month? grrrr

    Hey, send me pics of all the boys in their costumes:) If c&j have a camera phone, just text it.

  5. I really like what you said about wanting to volunteer to help the women who don't have a support system at home. That's such a generous and selfless thign to want to do. I always think about how much harder all of this BRCA stuff would be if I didn't have my family by my side. Going through this is hard enough, going through it alone has to be a nightmare. Good for you, for wanting to reach out to other people like that.

  6. Thanks for the praise, Teri, but I haven't proven myself yet:)