Cancer – the New Black?

Suddenly it seems like cancer (intentionally left lowercase, screw it) is all the rage.  I feel like it’s the primary subject matter everywhere I turn.  I’m not entirely sure what that’s all about.  Are there tons more people getting diagnosed?  Am I just hyper sensitive and zero in on the mention of that word?  Have I unconsciously surrounded myself with people who only talk about cancer?

Well, there’s certainly been a chunk of celebrity deaths and diagnosis lately, that can’t have helped.  Also, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  (PS, if you’ve got a loved one going through cancer-ness and you take them a big pile of magazines to keep them entertained, do me a solid and avoid all mags published in Oct…and also skip the mags featuring cover articles on hot hairstyles for fall.)  The boobs aren’t the only cancer getting press this month.  Oct. 2nd was Livestrong Day.  I’m participating in Light the Night on Oct. 15th.  October seems to be cancer-in-your-face-six-times-a-day month.

I know I talk a lot about how most of the media coverage just plain pisses me off.  I’ve already ranted and raved (no I’m probably not done, either) about the lexicon we use to discuss cancer.  I’m tired of schmaltzy articles that sugar coat and turn cancer into a Hollywood-esque gimmick giving the lucky survivor a chance to really appreciate life.  I’m nauseated by all the pinkwashers selling bouquets of pink carnations allegedly raising money for the Susan G Komen foundation.  Bitch, bitch – moan, moan – enough already, I know!  But I can list about twenty things I’ve heard this week that got me all riled up.

That being said, I’ve heard/seen two spectacularly nifty things in the past week that I want to give props to:

1 – I read a fantastic piece in Good Housekeeping of all places.  (You would have never guessed I’m a subscriber, would you?)  It’s entitled “Who Needs Pink Ribbons With a Friend Like You?” which sound pretty douchey, but the author actually says some pretty real and pretty tough things while remaining incredibly positive.  While the piece still has a nice tidy feel good ending, the author doesn’t trivialize or romanticize cancer in any way, shape or form.

And they sent flowers—so many flowers. I felt guilty for hating the flowers. But they made the house smell like a funeral home. You understood that. You told me it was okay to put them all in the garage.

-Alice Lesch Kelly

2 – My other beautiful moment this week was watching the Today ShowDr. Nancy Snyderman and Dr. Susan Love were chatting about their Army of Women, a movement to recruit women for breast cancer research.  Most of the discussion was the usual tedious stuff, but I liked that they were more focused on preventing the disease rather than treatment.  A few moments into the segment, Dr. Snyderman said something that made me leap off my seat.  Love was listing the treatment options for breast cancer when Snyderman interrupted stating, “It’s like having a light switch in the house that’s not working, and you bomb the house.”  That’s by far the best analogy I’ve heard to date.  Twenty points to Dr. Nancy Snyderman.

I’m awfully glad someone gets it right now and again.  Thanks to both those kick ass women for preventing me from breaking anything valuable in a fit of frustration this week.  This David Lee Roth kick is for you.


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