October 1 marks four years since I was told those fateful words, “You have breast cancer.” On most days, it isn’t something that dominates my thoughts anymore. But on many days it feels like I am in a cancer time warp. I can’t seem to escape it. Stuck in Cancerland.
And it’s no wonder…
No other time of year can compare to the month of October when it comes to breast cancer thoughts. It is everywhere you turn. TV commercials, friend’s registering for walks, pink products everywhere. It’s almost nauseating. I know I am not alone in feeling like we are spinning our pink wheels in the efforts to find a cure. In 30 years of the pink ribbon, the score seems pink=30 / breast cancer=0 . I know that some advancements have been made, but in my 4 years of immersion into Cancerland, I only continue to see more and more women diagnosed, younger and younger women, and sadly, women dying of their disease.
We seem to be getting it all wrong. Finding the cause(s), developing vaccines, focusing efforts on preventing recurrences…these seem to be coming along far too slowly to save women from dying from breast cancer. All of the pink fluff is pulling money away from where it could really make a dent, and instead is filling the pockets of many a merchandiser. They’ve capitalized on our disease and are laughing all the way to the bank.
To mark this year’s Cancerversary, Tim and I went up to Maine to see the New England foliage in all its glory. And glorious it was! A fellow breast cancer survivor generously offered up her lake cabin to us for a few days. It was the most relaxing vacation we have had in 25 years. The colors were breath taking! We saw a moose in his natural habitat as well as vistas and overlooks that mimicked a multi-colored quilt of reds, oranges and yellows. We definitely want to make this an annual excursion! (Scroll below)
Our time there was something we will not soon forget! If God has a country, it is sure to be New England. It was just great to forget pink-tober (as well as any health related issues, tests, worries)
for a little while.