I originally posted this blog on StupidCancer.com, a while back, and since it is breast cancer awareness month I thought I would dust it off and repost.
I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Breast Cancer in September of 2007, a couple of weeks shy of my 38th birthday. Of course I was in the usual shock and state of panic that everyone goes through at such as emotional time but I also had the unfortunate luck of being diagnosed right before Breast Cancer Awareness month in October. So not only did I celebrate my birthday with this news I had to see that damn pink ribbon everywhere.
Now you think I am exaggerating when I mean everywhere, but there it was like a cloud of dirt around pig pen, following me everywhere. "Hey want to go to the store?" my boyfriend asks, "Sure I say" shopping always makes me feel better, but no can't escape that ribbon. Its on shampoo, soft drinks, keychains, yogurt, milk, golf balls soda cans and kitty litter, yes I said kitty litter, so everytime my cat Rocky makes a deposit in his box a portion of the proceeds will go to the breast cancer charity of your choice right??!!! I could not escape it.
TV, I will watch TV, but NO!! Every station seemed to have one of those "very special episodes" with the disease of the week being cancer. Even those Desperate Housewives had one of their own go through breast cancer. While I am sure most of America felt her pain, at the end of the day Felicity Huffman, the actress who played the character with cancer, could remove her scarf, take off the make up that made her look sick and hop in her car and drive off of the lot and go home, far away from cancer. I am sure she probably did what most actors do in these situations, when they find out that their character will be diagnosed with some disease she probably spent time in a cancer ward "researching" what its like. No offense Felicity, but a few days researching is nothing like actually going through it. (Sorry if I offend you Ms. Huffman, but your character was the reason I stopped watching your show last year, I watch TV to escape reality not be smacked over the head with it.)
And don't even get me started on Lifetime, television for women. I think I deleted that off of my cable box last year, and it was one of the main reasons why I had to start taking xanax. Sorry but I really don't want to know why you wore lipstick to your mastectomy, and aren't there rules in the hospital about wearing makeup? I couldn't even keep my earrings in and they let you wear makeup?
Its been a year now and I am over my frustration and disgust with the pink ribbon. I have actually come to embrace it. In January of next year I will be getting a tattoo of the ribbon on my back to commemorate my battle. Am I a hypocrite? I don't think so. I have just grown that's all. But take my advice. If you are going to get breast cancer, get it in the summer, far away from those "very special episodes" kitty litter pink ribbon special offers.Mel is the producer/co-host of The Vic McCarty Show. Listen Live Monday-Friday 10am-noon eastern time on wmktthetalkstation.com