Pink Tolerance - page 2

I've always hated pink. My color was RED, my sister's was pink. Then I had breast cancer. The fateful mammogram was two years ago, and I had my oncology visit at the Breast Center this afternoon. ... Read More

  1. by   llg
    One of my best friends is a breast cancer surviver who refuses to wear pink or have any pink ribbons, etc.. She wants to "get on with her life" ... doesn't want to be constantly reminded of that experience ... doesn't want her breast cancer to "define her" as a person ... and doesn't feel comfortable that "her" cancer gets such wall-to-wall attention, while the cancer that killed her husband is pretty much ignored.

    I have always liked pink and look good wearing it as it is flattering to my skin tones. But I don't like to wear it much anymore because when I do, people start talking to me about breast cancer. While I certainly have nothing but positive wishes for everyone with breast cancer ... no one in my family has ever had it and I don't want to have to discuss it every time I wear that color.

    That whole movement has pretty much ruined the color pink for "normal use."
  2. by   CodeteamB
    Quote from Not_A_Hat_Person
    I though pink got out of hand when NFL players started wearing it. To be honest, I refuse to buy pink. I hate to think that my mother's colon cancer (which killed her), my father's Hodgkins' lymphoma, or multiple other relatives' cancers are somehow less important because they didn't occur in the breast.
    For me it was the pink toilet paper. "Hey! Wipe your butt for the cure!"

    I also researched where the money goes, and sadly it is often not to the right place.

    Congrats Ruby on your recovery!
  3. by   mclennan
  4. by   Karou
    I have joked before that since pink is my favorite color, I benefit greatly from breast cancer awareness. My birthday is also in October. So October comes around and I am able to find things in pink colors that usually come in a standard color. When you think about it though, it's actually very sad.

    Right before Christmas of this year my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. We we were in total shock. Before this, around thanksgiving, she was told she had a "bad" chest x-ray and needed to go see a pulmonologist. A nodule was mentioned. She also got her yearly mammogram for the first time in four years because my younger sister needed one. We were prepared for her to be diagnosed with lung cancer. Fast forward to Christmas Eve and we are setting in her surgeons office discussing scheduling a bilateral mastectomy. We were so relieved that it was not lung ca at the time, that I think we didn't actually get the reality of the situation until after her surgery. She had a hard time after surgery, emotionally.

    Right now she is doing very well. She was blessed because after surgery she has not needed chemotherapy or radiation. Just started hormone blocking therapy and is looking at reconstruction in April. I can't stress enough how much this has changed my family. My mother is, and has always been, #1 in in my life. I can talk about that any more without crying.

    Ugh, emotional. Anyway about PINK. My mom has made a few small jokes now about how I need to get a pink ribbon tattoo, or run in the race for the cure this year. I do pay more attention when I buy pink things, or use some of my pink items. I remember WHY they are pink, and it's a constant small reminder about my mom. Even my stethoscope was purchased in October for breast cancer. Pink has a whole new meaning for us now, and it's taking some time getting used to.

    I agree about pinkwashing... But this is a positive thread and while I could rant about it forever, I want to stay positive. If someone else starts a new thread I may chime in.

    My mom is getting ready for us to go out and we are talking about pink right now
  5. by   Tina, RN
    I loved your post, Ruby!
  6. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from Ruas61
    I am glad you are in the pink Ruby.

    I am a little overwhelmed with the pink thing though in the promotion.

    When they started having pink recycling containers, I thought it was a bit much.
    I agree with the "a bit much" and raise you to "over the top" in some quarters. Sadly, other types of cancer don't get the same attention -- and funding.
  7. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from OCNRN63
    As an oncology nurse and as a cancer patient in remission (not breast) this is exactly my issue with pinkwashing. There are cancers out there that are far more lethal than breast cancer, but you don't hear about them. l don't mean to diminish anyone's experience with breast cancer. I just think there should be parity when it comes to funding for research, support, etc.
    Pinkwashing has gone over the top in some areas. NFL players wearing it? As my DH often says, "A real man can wear whatever he wants," but if they're not wearing it because THEY want to, it's way over the top. Ovarian cancer is far more lethal than breast cancer, and I wish it had some of the attention and the funding. It takes organization, a spokesperson and hard work. I wouldn't know where to start, but surely there is an AN member who has what it takes to start a colorwashing of some other type of cancer -- or maybe a rainbow washing for cancer in general!
  8. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from llg
    One of my best friends is a breast cancer surviver who refuses to wear pink or have any pink ribbons, etc.. She wants to "get on with her life" ... doesn't want to be constantly reminded of that experience ... doesn't want her breast cancer to "define her" as a person ... and doesn't feel comfortable that "her" cancer gets such wall-to-wall attention, while the cancer that killed her husband is pretty much ignored.

    I have always liked pink and look good wearing it as it is flattering to my skin tones. But I don't like to wear it much anymore because when I do, people start talking to me about breast cancer. While I certainly have nothing but positive wishes for everyone with breast cancer ... no one in my family has ever had it and I don't want to have to discuss it every time I wear that color.

    That whole movement has pretty much ruined the color pink for "normal use."
    I've never wanted my breast cancer to define me, either, but there are some moments when you have to stop and realize, "Oh, yeah. This is a part of my reality now and I need to attend to it less it recurr and kill me." But as so many have stated, it's a horrible shame that breast cancer gets all the attention while so many other types of cancer get overlooked.

    Pink always makes me look ill when it's next to my skin, so I don't wear it at all. (Except on my feet, which doesn't make my face look washed out.) In my opinion, no one should HAVE to talk about breast cancer unless they're working with patients who have it. So I'm sorry your pink experience is trashed.
  9. by   OCNRN63
    I think a rainbow or maybe a universal color would be a good idea. I can't keep track of all the different colors for different cancers, so a universal color would be good for me.

    I didn't want my cancer to define me, but the reality is that it has. I can't work anymore due to late effects from chemotherapy. I'm in the process of having surgeries to correct problems that have developed as a result of treatment. Once that's done, I'm considering going to school to become an esthetician. You have contact with people, but you're not running around with your hair on fire.

    Pink is actually a really good color for me. I gravitate toward it for clothing, makeup, etc. I try not to wear too much of it in Oct. though.
  10. by   Retired APRN
    I am one of the thirty percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer at any stage who develop metastatic disease. I will never be a survivor. In my case, I was diagnosed with a tumor that was characterized as "mostly DCIS" at Stage IIb or IIIa. (There was no consensus.) Within a year I had mets in the bone and joined the ranks of metastatic breast cancer patients.

    The problem with pink, as I see it, is that it focuses on cheerful, upbeat stories, tends to make the false claim that early detection is all that is necessary to "cure breast cancer" and often raises funds that are not used for research or treatment... and certainly not for research into metastatic breast cancer or its treatment. It also ignores the minority of male breast cancer patients.

    Ruby Vee, please don't get me wrong. I am delighted and cheer as loudly as I can whenever anyone with breast cancer goes into remission and remains NED (no evidence of disease) for years on end. It's wonderful! This is not an attack on anyone who has, had or will have breast cancer.

    All I'm saying is "think before you pink". There is a lot more about this, if anyone is interested, on my blog and elsewhere.
  11. by   VivaLasViejas
    I've wondered for some time if breast cancer gets all the publicity and the funding because female breasts are so objectified in our culture. "Save the ta-tas"---honestly, it's like America's a locker room full of 12-year-old boys.

    I am NOT making light of this deadly disease; in fact, I wish it were taken more seriously. But as the wife of a man who suffers from pancreatic/neuroendocrine Ca, the daughter of a man who died from lung Ca, and the friend of a woman with stomach Ca, I'd like to see more attention AND research focused on ALL kinds of cancer.
  12. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    Quote from Retired APRN
    The problem with pink, as I see it, is that it focuses on cheerful, upbeat stories, tends to make the false claim that early detection is all that is necessary to "cure breast cancer" and often raises funds that are not used for research or treatment... and certainly not for research into metastatic breast cancer or its treatment. It also ignores the minority of male breast cancer patients.
    The New York Times did an article about the spread of pink, even to the NFL, a few years ago. One woman quoted makes the same point; it makes breast cancer seem more like a manageable chronic condition than a serious acute illness.
  13. by   Aurora77
    Quote from VivaLasViejas
    I've wondered for some time if breast cancer gets all the publicity and the funding because female breasts are so objectified in our culture. "Save the ta-tas"---honestly, it's like America's a locker room full of 12-year-old boys. I am NOT making light of this deadly disease; in fact, I wish it were taken more seriously. But as the wife of a man who suffers from pancreatic/neuroendocrine Ca, the daughter of a man who died from lung Ca, and the friend of a woman with stomach Ca, I'd like to see more attention AND research focused on ALL kinds of cancer.
    I 'm so glad I'm not the only one, but I've felt this way for years. Breasts are sexy. Colons, lungs, ovaries, pancreas, liver, not so much. Prostate cancer is very prevalent (if I recall, it's about as common as breast cancer), but it doesn't get the support that breasts do. As an ovarian cancer survivor, I admit to occasional twinges of irritation with all the pink washing. I'm always thrilled to hear that someone is a survivor, no matter what the cancer, I just wish the support for people with cancer and survivors wasn't so lopsided.

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