This is the annual posting of my anti-pinktober rant. Time to quit pinkwashing cancer, people! Originally posted in November 2013 under the title “Sink the pink – breast cancer ain’t pretty” – cancer details updated. Rage intact.
My systir has stage IV metastatic breast cancer. That’s not news. The original cancer was diagnosed in 2009 followed by mastectomy, lymph node removal, chemotherapy, radiation. in 2012 that same breast cancer found its way into her C6 vertebrae. Well, it found its way there long before last year. That’s just when ‘they’ found it. You know, ‘them.’ The medical community. They try hard, and we’d be screwed without them. But sometimes they just mess up in a big way and read scans wrong. Sometimes more than once.
She’s now gone through more chemo because cancer found its way into the lymph under her other arm, around her neck, and she developed inflammatory breast cancer in her other breast. She had a second mastectomy to remove her remaining breast. I guess the good news is, she won’t need a third mastectomy
But fear not! All is well. Why? Because breast cancer is pink! It’s all shiny and pretty and soft and happy. It’s all hope and sunshine and rays of rosy light. So let’s get this pink party bus on the road and let the good times roll!
Fuck that shit.
Cancer is not pink.
Cancer is brown. Not chocolate brown, not Sambeau brown. Not even dirt brown. It is the ugliest of putrid shit brown. The slime of goo that works its way into the crevasses of the soles of your sneakers when you tromp through the dog-shit infestation that is your back yard without paying attention. The vile smutz of crap that makes your gut lurch with nausea that no amount of soaking and scraping will ever clean away. It is the sewer sludge of filth and waste that oozes into clean rivers and lakes because someone, somewhere, is not being diligent with our world. Yes, cancer is shit.
Brown is the new pink.
Cancer is red. Not cherry red, or strawberry red, or tomato red. Not the red of the fake cranberries that circle our atheist Christmas tree, or red of the Santa hat perched atop it. Cancer is the red of flashing ambulance lights. It is the red of blood and mangled flesh, of skin burned by radiation and eyes burned by tears and frustration.
Red is the new pink.
Cancer is puke green. ‘Nuff said.
Puke green is the new pink.
Cancer is grey. Not the soft, silky grey of Ming Sue’s long coat, nor the seven shades of grey that speckle my mother’s braid that hangs down to the middle of her 81 year old back. It is the shades of grey between black and white. Between what is known and what can be determined beyond a shadow of a doubt. It is the unknown. It is the shadows. And in its own way it is dull and boring and I’m sick and tired of it.
Grey is the new pink.
Cancer is black. Not penguin black, or cat black, or tuxedo black. Not the perfect black purse black. Not even my favourite blazer black or blackest-black mascara black. Not my Buddy black. Cancer is the black of a darkened room you are unfamiliar with. The black that sends a chill down your spine and makes your pulse race with uncertainty and fear. It is the black of deadly mold spores spreading and growing and reaching for your throat, choking the life out of you from the inside out. It is black hole black. Black that claws at the edge of the event horizon with nowhere to go but into the vortex. The deep unknown from which there is no return black.
Black is the new pink.
Most people mean well. They buy pink to support a future without breast cancer because the folks selling all this pink stuff promise that ‘a portion’ of the proceeds will go to that cause. So it has to be true. Right?
Wrong. Mostly it doesn’t. Mostly it is a marketing tool. Or even a marketing scam. The portion, if any, that does go into finding a cure is tiny at best. And then it is donated to some organizations that spend more than 80 cents on every dollar on administration and awareness campaigns. Yup, more marketing.
Breast cancer can’t be beat by shopping.
Do I sound pissed off? Well, I am. So please stop bombarding me with memes about save the tatas and go braless for breast cancer. I know your hearts are in the right place. But let’s save the women instead. Tatas be damned. And for crying out loud, if you need a bra, wear one. If you don’t want to wear one because they are uncomfortable objects of torture, then by all means, go braless. But breast cancer doesn’t want you to take off your bra for it. More importantly, breast cancer sufferers don’t want you to either. It doesn’t help anyone with cancer. Or anyone who loves someone with cancer. Or anyone at all except the pervy guy on the street corner who always has his hands in his pockets. It doesn’t.
Pissed off is the new pink.
Read my systir’s cancer rant here… she has insider information.
See a Pinktober expose at the Accidental Amazon (a woman living with cancer)