October is officially Breast Cancer Awareness Month or as I like to call it Rub it in My Face Month.
My mom suffered from two bouts of breast cancer complete with chemotherapy, radiation and a metastasis. I doubt that cancer killed her. It was probably the uterine sarcoma that lodged itself in her lungs. But she passed in India and her MRIs do not show color contrasts so it is hard to pinpoint exactly what did her in. While I’d like to blame someone or at least the entire Indian medical community, I know people die from cancer all the time in New York. Wealthy people with access to the best medical care do not always beat cancer. But hey, nobody beats life so something is bound to get you in the end.
Signaling out one month to acknowledge a disease that has struck so many serves as a reminder that we still have a ways to go in terms of research and medical development. It’s also an opportunity to manufacturers to make an item in pink or stitch a ribbon somewhere, charge a premium and donate that premium to research. Why not donate a portion of the proceeds on everything sold that month instead of just the pink thing? And if you are going to spend an extra $5 for a pink flashlight, why not just donate to Breast Cancer Research independently. Must you advertise to the world that you support cancer?
I walk past aisles in stores and windows in storefronts reminding me that October is reserved to remember a disease that has affected my family so significantly. A reminder of why I get ultrasounds, mammograms and MRIs annually to prematurely catch any mutation in my breast.
Okay, maybe the awareness month will lead other woman to get a mammogram that normally would not, but I’m certain there is a better way.