Today is October 1st. Typically “Pinktober” reminds us of breast cancer awareness. When I was getting ready this morning, I wasn’t sure if I should wear pink. Do I wear pink all month long? I’ve done that before. Do I ignore it and go on with my day? It’s a fine line between hope and fear.
I wasn’t sure what I’d write about today. I had three other topics in mind, but all of these “pink” messages and memories popped up, so I took that as my sign. (Even though I likely lost many people once they saw the subject.) I’ve put away many of my warrior/survivor/pink shirts. It’s not that I don’t acknowledge it. Every day I have a reminder of what I went through. Do I wear pink for me? For you? For someone just diagnosed? Maybe all of the above.
I wear pink for me as a reminder of my strength. When we were cleaning the boys’ rooms this weekend, there was a shirt from a 5k we ran, supporting breast cancer research. It said “I run for ____” and “mom” was written in black sharpie in that blank. A lump formed in my throat and I just couldn’t get rid of it. Even though it no longer fit, I had to save it. Part of me wasn’t ready yet.
I wear pink for you. I wear it as a reminder to get checked. Have a yearly mammogram. Encourage others to do the same. The temporary pain is minimal. Don’t ignore something unusual. Don’t assume it can’t happen to you. Don’t put it off. You may think I’m annoying, but if it reminds someone to schedule their appointment, it’s worth it.
I wear pink for someone recently diagnosed. When I was diagnosed, I didn’t wear a giant sign that said “Hey, guess what? I just found out I have invasive ductal carcinoma.” I looked fine. I looked normal. I didn’t lose my hair. Someone else might be going through the same thing. Or their wife, friend, daughter or sister. I’m here with you. I support you. I wear pink for you.
I actually felt ill today. The thought of October brings anxiety that punches me in the gut. I think I’m fine, and then “wham.” Do I live in fear of recurrence or hope for good heath? The fine line. Today, I chose hope. I chose to make a change, to chose joy, to live my best life. I chose to support “Pink it Forward” – an organization who sends care packages to breast cancer patients. I chose to write about it because it’s a part of me. It doesn’t define me, but it shaped me in ways I wouldn’t have thought possible.
I wish you peace on your journey of enough. May you have the courage to make the appointment. May you chose hope over fear in all aspects of your life. Life is short, enjoy the journey.