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October 01, 2012

I walked into my new favorite coffee shop today,

and was hit with the realization that it is once again that time of year.  No, not Halloween or Christmas, or even just lovely fall decor...I was lightly slapped with the pink.

If you remember from this post, I am not a fan of a certain large corporation (let's face it, that is what they are) that claims they are racing towards a cure (while suing small non-profits that dare to use the word "cure" in a campaign and giving their top dogs rather inflated salaries).  It dismayed me to be diagnosed with bc during the month of "Pinktober" (now apparently an official Hard Rock Cafe term - triple vomit) and have to deal with not only the pink crap being thrown at me right and left, but the stuff being sold everywhere in stores in the name of a cure.

The only problem?  The stuff being sold is junk...t-shirts, pens, mugs, "Pink Ribbon pasta," pots, pans, Kitchen-aid mixers (really?!, okay, the mixer isn't junk, but the color...) and all are huge reminders to those of us who have dealt with this issue, that we are nothing more than pawns in a giant movement and poster children for a few CEOs.

When I was diagnosed, I was in the opposite camp already.  I was predisposed to loathing the "K Kulture" and figured I would deal with the whole thing and go back to my normal life.  This is great, except that then the Pink Ribbon business started to ramp up even more.  More junk appeared in stores, I received more requests for money (cause we weren't paying enough for treatment and other related issues?!) and I realize that many were blinded by the whole awareness thing.

Here's the deal:  if you have even thought about this issue, you are aware.  The whole awareness thing, excuse my French, is a load of crap.  Awareness did nothing for me.  I still lost part of myself and spent 3 painful surgeries getting it back.  It took me 8 months to go from feeling like I didn't want to get out of bed to realizing that my life was not over.  You know what have really helped?  Not more awareness of bc, but more awareness that the best thing you can do for yourself is to get back to what makes you tick, what makes you happy, what makes you...YOU.  For me, that is not bc...not now, and it never will be.

I think if I had to guess, there would be many out there who feel the same way.  I am fairly sure if I had to deal with any other type of cancer, I would not have had to feel like I was supposed to be part of a new and sexy (vomit...it's hardly sexy, trust me), cause.  There  wouldn't have t-shirts with insulting sayings bandied about everywhere (own a Pink Ribbon t-shirt with any slogan and you want to support me? Turn it into a dustrag!), items made from cancer-causing ingredients and you know who (the leader of the K culture) standing up saying how much good her corporation is doing (wow, last year they spent a whopping 15% on research awards and grants according to Reuters...and how much was on pink porta-potties and t-shirts?).

Now, I must admit today I was not nearly offended as I could have been.  Instead of being assaulted by the Pink (like in last week's trip to Bed, Bath & Beyond), I was only lightly slapped.  Caribou coffee did have a few items, but not shockingly pink and the display was dedicated to employees who have dealt with the issue.  Even better?  Last week, Caribou announced they were splitting with the K Kulture and will be donating to CancerCare instead.  Go, Caribou, and many thanks to Sarah Novak for introducing me to the fabulousness that is the 'Boo!

So, this?


Would you ever see a man wearing shorts that say, "These are fake, the real ones tried to kill me?" I didn't think so.

A perfect dustrag.






Even worse....

And, my "favorite" the pink ribbon pasta with God knows what in it....

So, in light of all of this, what should you do if you really feel you need to do something?  Well, put the money back in your wallet unless you feel like donating to an organization that truly cares (like CancerCare). Do what my friends did for me and just help take care of someone dealing with bc, whether by cooking dinner, taking them out for coffee or just calling them on the phone and not discussing the pink elephant in the room.  

Even better?  Get out, enjoy the month and the changing of the seasons.  Enjoy October for what it should be...leaves, hot cider, pumpkin patches and warm sweaters... not the massive consumerism mess it has become, thanks to the Kulture. 

This just in...

Oh, NO, they didn't...


Someone tried to pink my pumpkin! It. Must. Stop!



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Wow! I found you via a Defund Komen FB post and you completely nail it the right points! (The rest of your blog is pretty great, too). Thanks for the awesomeness.

Great post! Thank you for sharing from your perspective.

Wow! You just voiced what I feel. I actually dread this month which used to be one of my favorites. I haven't been diagnosed, I'll add "yet" since media makes me feel like it's just a matter of time. I really believe we are being victimized by a culture of fear, and yes, we certainly are aware of what little we can do to take care of ourselves. Thanks!

I love you, Jen.... Yep. I really do!


Yes, Jen. Yes to everything you said. I was also diagnosed in October, so it always feels like salt on my wounds. Knowing that others feel the same way gives me hope that this whole thing may be playing itself out.

That's just wrong! Pink Pumpkins?! ick.

The 15% is disgusting. You have made me aware with your first post on the topic. K should be ashamed of themselves. I wish we all could take the color pink back.

Very well said. My own blog is full of anti pink ramblings. I used to like pink, although I always had a problem with THE pink and pinkwashing even when it didn't affect me directly. I was going through chemo last year in October and it was nauseating that even the CANCER CENTER went all pink for the month, when there was no mention made of ANY other specific cancer at any time during the rest of the year. Disgusting! Thank you for your post.

Well said! And if you know anyone in Massachusetts that could use support, have them call us. The Ellie Fund provides for the immediate needs of breast cancer patients and families completely free of charge. Critical support like transportation to medical appointments, childcare, housekeeping, groceries and meals. Free of charge for two months. No red tape. No bureaucracy, and no political agenda. We're just here to help. www.elliefund.org

Beautiful post. Thanks for saying what has long needed to be said. Among everything else, Komen is clearly suffering from a bad case of founder's syndrome. A shame. Their original intent was pure but they have been sullied by their distinctly old school corporate approach. The very approach that landed our country and economy where it is today.

Wow! Thank you so much for posting this. I've never been a fan of all this "pink ribbon" stuff. But I also was not aware of everything you mentioned in your blog post. So thank you so much for letting us know about this. People need to know they are reinforcing an organization that is clearly operating for all the wrong reasons! So thanks again!

The merchandizing is an eye opener an quite offensive, really. Thanks for continuing to be a voice for those affected and effected by cancer in calling out the popular company and bringing light to where funding actually goes. You are a survivor and a warrior and a voice of reason. Carry on!


You said everything that I feel. Being a survivor who is trying so hard to move on with my life, I find pink October to be so offensive. I can't turn on the radio, watch tv, go to the store or a restaurant or drive my car with COSTANT reminders of the breast cancer I am trying so hard to forget! I don't want to watch the news and see anchormen with pink ties, or football players with pink shoes, or even toilet paper that says it will give'hope for breast cancer! I could go on and on. I think the marketing ploys are awful and they should be ashamed of themselves! I am all for money for research and am glad for those who donate, but I think that everyone in America is now very aware of breast cancer. Those of us who are survivors should not have to be reminded every time we turn around!!!!

Thanks. You strike me as something of a hero. I myself have Parkinson's Disease, and I am as eager to make a career out of that as you are to dress yourself in pink and join a parade. I have a life, and it isn't about what cells my brain may or mat not be producing.

This is a beautiful post--you do a great job of reminding us that finding better treatments should remain the priority. Oh, and of finding pictures to illustrate how out of hand the pink-ness has gotten. Thank you.


Amen sister!!! As someone who has fought (and beaten) both cervical and ovarian cancer, as well as a Mom who beat breast cancer. I appreciate your post. I was always 'the pink girl' if it came in that color I loved it. I have been cured of that by now. My poor Mom, who HATES pink is constantly inundated by it. On a kinda funny side note, when I went ot the CancerCare website the asvertisement was pink TicTac's. I ish you not, I even took a screen shot because that is the sum total of my life....

Thanks for informative post. I am pleased sure this post has helped me save many hours of browsing other similar posts just to find what I was looking for. Just I want to say: Thank you!

The location could have a lot to do with the way you design the exterior of your coffee shop. If you have no specific location in mind, you should at least have some general ideas about where your shop might be. Thanks.

Pet owners may leave several contact phone numbers in case of an emergency. House alarms or alarm codes will also need to be remembered. Clients may also give instructions for watering house plants or how to handle the mail or trash. Thanks.

Thanks for having us participating to this great article. It makes me feel a litle pensive about life. Anyhow, people who can afford themselves should donate for cancer research.

Pet owners may leave sevral contact phone numbers in case of an emergency.

Pet owners may leave sevral contact phone numbers in case of an emergency.

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