It’s that time of year again. Pinktober. It is a time where we are bombarded with pink so that we are “aware” of breast cancer.
Is there really anyone at this point who is not aware of breast cancer?
For those of us who have experienced it, it is very personal. We are not just those who have battled this disease, we are the family, friends, and caregivers who know how earth-shattering this experience is. It is not about the pink, not about the faceless masses who disappear in and out of infusion centers, it’s not about all the pink garbage that will be marketed this month where a few paltry cents will be donated to a vague purpose. It is about individuals with lives, families, careers, hopes, and dreams. We have names and faces and people who love us. We are not mass-marketing tools.
Which brings me back to this October. This year I want to escape the large, corporate walks and fund-raisers. I want to focus on the most important breast cancer warrior that I have ever known. My mom was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer back in a time when treatments were still archaic, and those who knew her only spoke of breast cancer in hushed tones. It was too late. She died in 1976, when I was only six years old.
I have cried, I have tried to forget, I’ve avoided talking about her to my family, who I know struggled with her death even worse than I have. Mom has inspired me to spread as much education and support about this demon disease that I can. I want those who are diagnosed to have every tool, treatment, and hack available at their disposal. I sadly can’t save every woman (and man) from metastatic breast cancer, but I can give them the fighting chance that Mom was denied. She drives me to do more for those who need it. Her memory always rides shotgun.
This year it is going to be all about her. This year I am going to walk in her honor, alone. A 5k of one. Because that is what we are, one. No matter how great our support system, at the end of the day, we battle this beast alone. And that is what I want everyone to know about breast cancer.
Please consider donating to our cause. Every dollar we raise is used to fund our website, educational resources, and support for survivors. If you would prefer to donate directly to research, let us know, and we will happily send your contribution to Metavivor, which uses 100% of donations for metastatic research. We are grateful for the support of our community.
And please consider doing your own personal walk in honor of someone you love. At the end of the day, what drives you?
Please stay tuned for more information on my 5k of one, scheduled for Saturday, October 27.