I first posted my thoughts about this topic on the Dandy Giveaway blog back in 2013. My thoughts haven’t changed and I figured that it was time to share again. So here it goes… There are so many different cancer colors. Did you know that? Basically every color of the rainbow plus some. But for some reason we primarily hear about the pink color. Not always the other colors.
Image source: Drexel.edu
Every year there’s this big race for the cure held in May. Lots of people participate and tons of funds are raised each year to find a cure. Back in 2003 I even participated in the Komen race in San Antonio, but over the years I’ve developed some resentment towards the whole thing. Okay this time of year just makes me cringe. There’s tons of media coverage. The presence is all over the internet. Women wearing pink shirts that read, “Fight Like A Girl” are all over the place. Pink ribbons: Everywhere. And… it’s a false sense of security.
Don’t get me wrong. Breast cancer IS horrible. It’s unfair. It can strike anyone at ANY time. I dislike the pain it causes individuals and families with every fiber of my being. BUT. There’s more than just pink ribbons. There are so many cancer colors. There’s yellow (bone cancer), white (lung cancer), grey (brain cancer), green (lymphoma), black (melanoma), and so many others. All different shades. Women (and men) are struck by more than just breast cancer.
When my nana survived colon cancer and then brain cancer I felt enormously blessed. She was left with some major deficits, remotely not the same person she was, but she was given more time with us. We are able to spend time with her. My older children knew who she was. Nana was was able to meet her great niece. All things that wouldn’t be possible if cancer had taken her life.
This extraordinary women left us in 2014 and my heart continues to break every day. I miss having her in my life. I miss calling her just to chat. I miss her laugh. I miss her smile. I miss my world without cancer being in it. I miss that she beat cancer and I miss how she was before the deficits took her from us. I just miss her.
There are so many different cancer colors.
Then the real kicker in my life occurred. My mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma the beginning of January 2012. One week after our little girl was born. I was initially in shock. Couldn’t believe that this was happening just a few short years after our family dealt with brain cancer of a loved one. I also couldn’t believe that it was happening to my mom. Then that false sense of security kicked in. My mom was going to be just fine. She was going to do the treatments, rid her body of the blood cancer, and we would never have to think of it again. After all, breast cancer was “the only” non curable type of cancer. That’s what the big race is all about. Finding the cure for breast cancer.
Sure I took loads of health classes before getting my degree in college. I shouldn’t have been that clueless, I should have put two and two together, but somehow I remained oblivious to the facts. Other cancers have no cure. Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma has no cure. LLS has walks, races, and other events, but I honestly never heard about them until my mom was diagnosed. I probably knew that the cause existed, but I never saw documentation in the media. I’ve only ever saw pink everywhere. Lots and lots of pink. Not the other colors. May we all remember that there are more than just pink ribbons out there. There are so many other colored ribbons. So many cancer colors. People are fighting all sorts and need our support for more than just pink.
My mom still has Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, but it does not have her. She is a fighter and she’s living with cancer.
I’m so very proud of my mom. She underwent six months of rigorous chemotherapy in 2012. She’s now in remission. But there’s still no cure.
She’s my hero and she fights like a girl wearing green.
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