What’s Your Color?

I promised myself I wouldn’t go there this year, yet here I am. I told myself I have to immerse myself in my own battle and not try to fight any others. Yet, here I am. I know I’m too tired to really fight effectively, but I will try. Someone has to.

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Despite the brilliant reds, oranges, yellows and tans of the leaves and the gorgeous sunsets, all I see is pink. Bubble gum, Pepto-Bismol pink. The Ultimate Bengal Fan commented the other day that orange and pink should not be worn together, and this is the kid who would wear stripes and plaids.

It seems that cancer has been boiled down to a color. What color is your cancer? Are you pink, blue, teal, yellow, purple, green, white or some combination thereof. Are you saving the ta-tas or some other body part? A fellow teal sister on a Facebook group I’m a part of commented on the tasteless “Go Braless” campaign to promote breast cancer awareness. She thought we should go commando to bring awareness to gynecologic cancers. Actually, guys could join in with this as well. Prostate and testicular cancer are below the belt as well.

I think the people who come up with these “campaigns” mean well, but they don’t think things through. When you’re fighting for your life, you aren’t thinking pink, teal, purple or any other color. You’re trying to figure out when you can take your next anti-nausea pill. You’re trying to decide how you can hide the overwhelming fatigue from your family so they don’t worry. Some days you wonder how you’re going to haul your butt out of bed to go to the bathroom, then you hear some perky AM news host talk about how they’re painting the town pink with bras. Hey, I would gladly go braless, but as a former boss of mine used to say “You’ll take your eye out ” (I’m rather well endowed).

I’m tired of hearing about moms who have breast cancer and take care of their families. Lots of people with cancer go through therapy and take care of their families and never receive one bit of recognition. I certainly don’t blog about my journey for the recognition. Truth is that the vast majority of cancer patients deal with their families and some have to work to keep their insurance or a roof over their head. Those are the real heroes. The ones that go through treatment and keep life going. They should get a gold crown. They deserve the recognition. Not that the mom with breast cancer doesn’t – she does. She’s doing the toughest job imaginable while fighting cancer. She just shouldn’t be singled out when there are so many others who do the exact same thing.

Cancer isn’t a color. It’s a wretched disease that destroys your body, mind and spirit and leaves families shattered. If you’re lucky, like I am, you have an incredible support system that holds you close when you can’t do it on your own. I have a God who is immensely powerful to save and holds me close. I have friends who will gladly stay with my children so I can get my infusions. Yesterday I discovered that I am in need of fluids on the weeks I don’t get chemo. This means a 90 minute infusion of saline, along with some extra steroid and anti-nausea meds. My quick 45 minute trip has turned into a “3 hour tour.” Fortunately, the 3 hours I spend affords me a few days of actually feeling good before I descend back into the depths of feeling lousy.

It just seems wrong to try to limit cancer to a color. It’s as if tying a deadly disease to a color makes it less threatening. How can something pink or blue or yellow take lives every day? I guess it’s like a tiger in the wild. They are majestic to look at, but I certainly don’t want to meet one up close.

Fortunately, we’re about halfway through the “pink month.” Then we can get on with life again. Until then, I will politely decline when asked if I want to give to a another “pink ribbon” charity. I will explain that pink doesn’t represent all women’s cancers. And I will laugh at the lack of color coordination on the part of the NFL. Pink shoes with football uniforms just doesn’t do it for me. And don’t even get me started on how much of what’s raised actually goes to patients. That’s for another rant on another day.

The color of cancer is reflected in the eyes of every patient, male or female. It’s reflected in the color of their skin since cancer is an equal opportunity destroyer of lives. Cancer is the plague of the 21st century. The only color I want associated with it is whatever color the cure is. Then, I will proudly wear the color of cancer. The color that caused it’s demise.

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Back Into the Deep

I

Have

Cancer

Again

And

I’m

Mad.

There I said it.  Still a survivor, but no longer in remission.  I am once again a prisoner of Dr. Downer.  My children are once again living in fear of losing their Mom.  My husband is once again playing Dad, Mom and chief cheerleader.  My mom has to go to the places no mom wants to go.  People cry, rail and scream.  Friends who’ve battled the beast deal with survivor guilt.  Yet, life goes on.

My cancer was found because I developed blood clots in my legs.  Apparently, some cancer survivors manifest a recurrence with blood clots if they have a history of them.  Being the over the top achiever that I am, I developed several clots which caused both legs to swell.  One swelled to the point of being non weight bearing and resembling a hoof more than a foot.  Every blood test pointed to everything being normal, except the clots were there.  When I went for a CT scan, I knew the cancer was back.  Don’t know how, I just knew.  Getting the news was a bit anti-climatic except that I was unable to get out of bed to take my walk (I was on bed rest).  There are several tiny (we’re talking millimeter) spots in the abdomen, lungs and liver.  Everybody wants to come to the party.

Before I go further, I know you all feel bad, but please understand I have more clarity at this moment than I’ve had for a long time.  Perhaps I’ve known that a recurrence was on the horizon on some level and now that it’s here I’m ready.  The kids are scared, but will be alright.  I’m alright.  Heck, no taxol this time.  I will have hair during chemo and we all know it’s all about the hair. In fact, I’m having teal streaks put in on Tuesday.

What it is about is living life and doing what God has planned for me.  This journey will be chronicled, just like the last one.  It WILL become a book.  In fact, I plan to look into starting to put it together soon and work on it while I’m getting chemo (chemo is BORING).  My beloved laptop will be my best friend as I once again enjoy the poisoning that only cancer can provide.

Okay, I have to say this.  Why is it called a chemo cocktail?  When i think of cocktails, I think of James Bond and having a good time, maybe a party.  Well, you do experience chemo with about 20 other people (not a bad size party) and it does come with a hangover, but that’s pushing it.  It’s certainly not a good time.  And while cocktails are expensive, chemo takes it to the extreme.

Ovarian cancer chemo incorporates platinum.  Does my cancer really need bling?  I know I have good taste, but does my cancer need to have such good taste too?  If I had bad taste, would it prefer lead?

So, here we go folks.  Everyone back into the pool.  I hope you’ll at least dip your toes in and read my musings.  I promise to keep the wit sharp, the story honest and give you a mix of laughter and tears.  I’m not going anywhere.  I have a lot of work to do.  I can still see myself on a stage making women laugh about the joys of bladder leakage, chemo fog and hot flashes.  I want to see cancer cured in my lifetime, so I’m sure I need to be here for at least 30 more years.  We all know how quickly the government works.  Better make that 50 more years.

Life’s a journey – enjoy the trip!

Not Really Me

Last night, my Ultimate Bengal Fan introduced me to a great move; 1000 to 1: The Cory Weissman Story. Based on a true story, Cory is known as Mr. 1000 since he scored 1000 points in his high school basketball career, then received a scholarship to Gettysburg College. While prepping for his freshman season, he suffered a massive stroke that nearly killed him. It took him 2+ years of rehab to be able to suit up for a game. In the final game of his senior year, he scored a single point. His team was up by 20+ points with less than a minute to play. His coach allowed him onto the court (he was still suffering seizures so this was a liability for the school). The other team fouled him, so he could make 2 foul shots. He made the last one. It was a great story about determination, heart and the desire to live life. The Bengal Fan even said the liked it better than most sports movies because it didn’t have a miraculous comeback. It just showed him becoming “normal” again.

During one point in the movie, Cory is speaking with a psychotherapist. He breaks down screaming that he just wants his life back. The one before the stroke. That one scene continues to resonate with me today and I think it will for the days and weeks to come. I completely understand what Cory’s saying. I understand that primal need to get back what you had before.

People who have faced or continue to face a life threatening or chronic disease know that there’s two phases to your life; the one before the disease and the one after. Try as you might, even with medical advances and technologies, your life is never the same. You can do all the same things, be with the same people and wear the same clothes, but you’re never, EVER the same.

My sons continually point out to me that I’ve changed since cancer, but I’m never sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. As I’ve said before, they love to mess with my ever present chemo brain. They also talk about my penguin strut, although with PT that’s pretty much gone unless my feet are really numb. The gray hair jokes are starting to lose their appeal and I’m pretty sure the B-man is getting tired of telling the kids on the street, “No that’s NOT my grandma! My mom just looks old because she had cancer. Duh!” He then proceeds to explain that when you lose your hair to chemo, it comes back soft and gray. Nothing like a trash talking 9 year old explaining the pros and cons of chemo hair. I believe I can count these conversations as a health credit for homeschooling purposes.

I talk with my husband about this quite a bit. I miss what we had before cancer. Not that our life was one of romance and roses. It wasn’t. It was an average life, doing average things. But sometimes I can’t manage average.

We love to go to Home Depot. It’s a date for us. We walk around the store and talk about all the things we’d love to do in the house. I look at countertops and cabinets. He looks at Pergo and light fixtures and we dream about what our house could look like if we’d just win that $5,000 gift card for filling out the survey (somebody has to win, right?). We even have a list of future projects.

Then I’ll look at the budget. Now I did this before cancer, but not quite as closely. BC (Before Cancer), I just checked to be sure the money was there. In my PC (Post Cancer) life, I not only check to be sure the money is there, but I’m also checking the reserves in case we spend the money and the Beast decides to roar back into our lives. While I hate my carpet, I hate cancer more. We spend a lot of time wishing rather than doing, and that makes me sad.

Our financial advisor recommended that I get more life insurance. While cancer patients have a tough time getting insured, ovarian cancer patients just can’t get insured. My AAA membership allows me to apply for insurance “that approves nearly everyone.” Guess who didn’t get approved? I actually called the number on the letter that said I was declined. They politely said, “We don’t insure people who’ve had ovarian cancer.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because you run a greater risk of dying.”

“Doesn’t everyone run a risk of dying?”

“Not like you.”

“Do you know something I don’t?”

“I’m sure you’re familiar with the survival rates. They just aren’t very good.”

“Yet here I am. How about a letter from my oncologist?”

“No. You’re not worth the risk.” OUCH! Now that’s customer service!

What I really wanted to say is “Let’s face it, life is fatal,” but that fact was lost on the Customer Service Representative I spoke with.

Fortunately, John’s employer offers spousal life insurance. Unfortunately, I could only get a fraction of what I need on a guaranteed issue basis. I was finally able to get Critical Illness Coverage as well. It will cover our deductible if and when the Beast returns. I hate feeling that I’m a drain on our financial future. We have to look at everything in the context of “what if.” We never did that BC. Being PC stinks.

There are parts of me that continually seek out my old life, while some parts embrace the new. Writing has become important to me once again and my faith is stronger than it’s ever been. I just hate not being able to do what I did before. I recently tried to do a 2 mile walk. After a mile I was about ready to fall over. I did finish it, but it was a sloppy finish. It’s a lot like how I clean my house. I start off strong, but in the end I just end up with a neater mess than I started with.

Coming to terms with myself PC is not easy. While I laugh at my PC quirks on the outside, there is a piece of the old me railing on the inside. That “new normal” everyone talks about stinks. But it beats the alternative.

Normally, I think being PC is overrated, but it has it’s benefits.

Life’s NOT a Blessing

Before the fireworks begin, please note that I asked my pastor to read through this and he did. I am not trying to be sacrilegious or start any battles. I didn’t ask for his blessing; I just wanted to be sure I wasn’t crossing any boundary lines. Enough said, let’s move on.

Anyone who says cancer is a blessing is an idiot. It’s not. It’s a horrible disease that takes far too many people and kills them, maims them, disfigures them or just messes with their minds. Cooked up in Satan’s kitchen, its sole purpose is to obliterate any cell that does not share its mutation. I believe the correct terminology would be “Conform or die!” It’s not content to just tear down the patient. No, it has to wreak its havoc on entire families; often ripping them to shreds and leaving nothing that resembles any sort of previously known reality in its wake. It’s like living through an earthquake with just a few minor cracks and broken objects, then having an F5 tornado blow through and destroys whatever’s left of your home and those you care about.

The destruction doesn’t have to be immediate. It can occur months or years later. Ask someone who’s been in remission for 5 or 10 years how they feel about cancer knocking and saying, “I’m back.” Talk to my friend Lisa who has managed to beat back the Beast for 5 years (YEAH Lisa!), but faces a lifetime of worsening neuropathy, debilitating migraines, bone pain and a whole host of other crap while she raises her two grandbabies (who, by the way, are absolutely adorable). Other people deal with continuing bowel issues, anemia, vision problems, lymphedema, bad teeth, osteoporosis, or who knows what.

Sometimes I wonder if the cure is worth the price I paid. Now don’t get me wrong, I am eternally grateful to God for the healing and the life I have. But I am really ticked off at Him as well. Great, I got cancer, which has deeply affected not only me but also my husband and children. It’s okay for me to get it, but did my family have to suffer? Yes, it was a learning experience and my children are richer for it. I’d hoped a mission trip would have sufficed, but apparently not. There is a deep lesson to learn. Yeah, right. Before my kids could tie their shoes well, they had to learn about life and death. This does NOT work for me. And yes, I know other kids have lost a parent. I’m thankful I’m still here, but mad for those other kids who weren’t nearly as fortunate.

Then there’s the whole, “Well, you’re done with chemo and life goes on,” song. Maybe for you, but not for me. True, there are days when cancer isn’t even a blip on my radar any longer. It’s taken me months to get to this point. Then my feet go numb and well, here we go again. It’s like a crazy merry-go-round created by Phineas and Ferb (guess what my kids watch on Netflix?) that I just can’t get off. Right now I’m struggling with PT. My body is so far out of alignment that to walk without my feet swinging out, I have to physically look at them and will them to move heel toe while focusing on my pelvis and lower back alignment. Seriously, walking should NEVER be this hard after the age of 2.

I’m mad, REALLY MAD! No one gets it. The chorus of “You’re cured. You’re in remission. You’ve been blessed with healing,” are sung by the choir. Choir music has never been my favorite. Give me Switchfoot, Casting Crowns, or Mandisa any day. If God was blessing me with healing, why couldn’t he have gone all the way? No neuropathy, no chemo fog, no digestive issues; just pure healing. Oh yeah, because when I asked for healing from my ovarian mass, he didn’t do that either. Okay, he did, just not the way I asked. I asked to avoid surgery. His answer was an awesome surgeon, but surgery with the added bonus of a pulmonary embolism necessitating a 4 day stay in ICU before I could begin recovery from the 13” incision on my belly. As my beloved Coach Cathy would say, “It’s your new normal. You need to accept it and go on.” And being a beloved friend, she knows why I say, “I don’t like it. It sucks!” She nods and gives me a hug. She grapples with the same issues. That’s why I love her so and always count her among one positive that came out of the whole cancer mess.

You know that saying that goes “God never gives you more than you can handle?” Well, He does. What most people DON’T read is that you can only handle it if you give it over to God so the two of you can handle it together. What if you never wanted it in the first place? The catch is you still need to deal with it. Sounds like a bad deal to me. I didn’t ask for any of this, but sometimes a tough life is the gift that keeps on giving.

I am not turning my back on God nor am I questioning His Sovereignty. He reigns in Heaven and set the universe in motion. I believe that Jesus carried the sin of the entire world of His time and for all time to come until His return so that we can rejoice in Heaven when our work here is done. I just have trouble with the fact that the monkey wrenches of life don’t merit immediate intervention. Yes, I can look back and see how God laid the groundwork for our children through our infertility struggle and my husband through a previous relationship that toxic doesn’t begin to describe. I think that may go along with the prayer that goes “Give me patience Lord, NOW!”

My greatest struggle isn’t over what’s happened. You can’t change the past. It’s what’s to come. I know God is beating me senseless to take this blog and create a book, a study, a series, something with it. He needs to imprint that on the 2×4 He’s beating giving me so I get the idea. I think about Beth Moore and get this glimpse of “That’s it.” Holy cow Batman, putting that much of my life out there is not on the agenda. Wait, not my agenda anyway. Then there’s the whole recurrence thing. Seriously Lord, you put me on this path with the dark cloud of recurrence over my head. Harsh, don’t you think?

So no, cancer is NOT a blessing and I will smack you if you tell me that. I really don’t believe God wants me to look at it that way. What He does desire is that I try to find the blessings that came from my experience. God doesn’t want bad things to happen to us, but they do. He created the world and the natural laws that go with it. We sinned and haven’t been good stewards so now we pay the price. I think God gave me hindsight so that I could take some solace in the journey.

What I have learned is that God brings special people to come along side throughout the journey. Coach Cathy and I knew each other to say “Hello,” and that was about it. Now I count her as a confidant that I can share my deepest, darkest fears with and not be judged. There’s my Facebook friend Lisa, whom I’ve never met, but share a bond with that goes beyond the internet. My boys are blessed with someone they can call “Mom” and I can call friend at any time. Kelley, you’ve opened your arms and heart to my family. You’ve shared my tears and triumphs. Momma Renie, I relied on you like the Mom are to me and felt blessed that I was able to be there for you as well (just don’t do it again!). My sister Sue was a constant presence as she’s always been over the last 30+ years, pushing me to get past the wall. Denise visited and cried and hugged and helped me decorate my tree when I was too tired to do it myself, leaving her own family to support mine.

I still hate cancer and the fact that I face a lifetime of shadows. It’s not a blessing, nor will it ever been. It’s a fact of life for me. Like it or not, this is my journey and I’m sure there are many more 2×4’s to come. Here’s hoping I’m up for it.

Like the Leaves

While at co-op today, I had this sudden urge to get outside.  I’m not sure why. I just needed to get some air and enjoy fall before fades to winter.  I love to hear the crunch of the leaves under my feet and see the colors.  There is a beautiful half mile meditation trail on the church’s campus that winds through part of the woods on the property.  As soon as I got to the woods I felt a sense of peace.

About halfway through my walk, I was struck by two different trees.  One tree was still in a blaze of yellow, orange and red.  It was spectacular.  The tree next to it was covered with dried up brown leaves which were desperately clinging to the branches.  It was then I began to wonder what kind of leaf am I?

I am by no means in the winter of my life, but neither am I in spring.  I’m guessing I’m in that early September, still hot but the nights are beginning to cool off.  I am wondering, though, if I am like the first tree ablaze with glory or if I am like the second, just clinging onto what I can until I inevitably fall back into the throes of cancer.

I still feel fragile, like those leaves desperately clinging to the tree in hopes I won’t fall off to be crunched underfoot and swallowed by the inevitable snow.  Every ache and pain scare the crap out of me.  I hesitate to make any plans beyond a month or so.  What if I’m in chemo?  What if I have to have more surgery?  What if all my tests have been wrong and I’m not here?  The Beast has a tendency to worm its nefarious fingers into your psyche and won’t let go.  You almost have to physically go toe to toe with it and pry its clammy claws out of your heart and soul.  It’s a constant battle and some days you’re more ready for it than others.

I’ve spent the last year marking time.  Counting days until my hysterectomy. Counting days until I could go home from the hospital. Counting days between doctors’ appointments and procedures.  Counting days until chemo started,  then the days between treatments.  Then you count down the chemo treatments until you finally finish.  Everything revolves around a date.  When you’re done, you start marking time in ways that sound something like this.  “One year ago today, they found my tumor.”  Or, “One year ago today, I started chemo,” which was, in fact, this past Saturday.  Like obsessing about tumor marker numbers, you begin to obsess about dates and time.  It moves and stands still all at the same time.

In a way, I’m jealous of those brown leaves.  At some point, they will realize it’s okay to let go.  They will float gently in the wind and return back to the earth that gave them life.  I need to give myself permission to let go of the dates and the numbers.  I need to accept that ovarian cancer isn’t who I am, but it is a part of me.  I will always be a patient of my oncologist.  I will always have to be vigilant since no one does that for you.  And I will always be forced to try to beat back the Beast.  It makes itself known to me every day in numb fingers and feet, achy joints, and, on days like today, achy areas from the surgery. I hate all the drama that seems to come with being a survivor, yet it’s part of surviving.

So, I will choose to be dazzling –  as dazzling as a 49 year old woman with salt and pepper hair can be.  While I can, I will be a brilliant leaf showing my splendor. I still have work to do.  I have two children who need a Mom and a husband who needs a wife.  My mom still wants her daughter and I have a dear friend who was there for me during my chemo.  Now it’s my turn to be there for her.

I think God gives us fall to remind us that even when things are about to go down the toilet, which is how some people see winter (I fail to see why, it has it’s own special charm), there’s good and bad.  Spring’s arrival brings new birth and gives way to the mosquitoes and humidity of summer (you can see I am a heat wave hater), which turns to the colors of fall and the crystal blankets of winter.  Life isn’t a rotation through one set of seasons, it’s a continual cycle.  We all go through multiple springs, summers, autumns and winters.  It just depends on where we are.  Sometimes we spend more time in one season than another, but we do get to experience all of them.

I’m thinking it’s okay to be like the leaves, even the brown ones.  It’s time to let go of what happened last year and move on to what lies ahead.  The leaves are changing and so am I.

Pink is the New Black

Last night, I watched the Cleveland/Buffalo game with my husband.  The first thing John noticed was not the score, which surprised me since the Browns were losing at the time.  The first thing he noticed was the pink.  Pink was everywhere.  Pink ref towels, pink socks, pink mouth guards, pink goal posts, pink yard markers, pink ribbons on the field.  It was a pink lovers paradise.   John said, “Boy they’ve got a great lobby.”  Yes, they do, and they’re not afraid to use it.

Let me say upfront that I am NOT anti-pink.  I know several people who have had to fight the Beast called breast cancer.  Some of these women were the ones who prayed most fervently for me.  One in particular continues to walk along side of me as I struggle with this season called remission.  I lost a friend to breast cancer.  It’s an ugly, disfiguring, vile and evil disease that must be eradicated from the Earth.  That being said, so do all the rest of the cancers.  What I am is anti “my cancer is worse than your cancer.”

In the past, I’ve always thought it was cool that the NFL and MLB would sport pink.  These traditionally male sports were honoring wives, sisters, aunts, lovers and friends by wearing pink during Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Last year, I looked at it a bit different.  After I came home from my hysterectomy and was waiting to have my port inserted, I watched a game and thought, “Seriously?”  Later that week my friend Cathy made her first visit to me as my unofficial Chemo Coach and I asked her what she thought about all the pink.  After reflecting, she said that initially it made her feel good, but as time wore on she started to feel like a commodity.

Watching the game last night, a couple of things popped into my head.  First was “Why pink?”  Granted men DO get breast cancer, albeit a relatively low percentage.  So if the “wearing o’ the pink” brings awareness to male breast cancer, it’s a great thing.  I’ve been prayed over on Facebook by a woman who lost her husband/soul mate to breast cancer.  If the NFL would use the platform to raise awareness for that, I’d say paint the stadium pink.  But, sadly, that’s not the point.  The point is to support women with breast cancer.

My second thought was “Why not blue?”  Blue represents prostate and testicular cancer and while prostate tends to be a slow growing cancer, testicular cancer is not.  These big burly men could all develop prostate or testicular cancer.  Shouldn’t they go blue to get their fans to get checked?  Maybe no one has brought this up to the NFL.  Or maybe big, burly men don’t want to deal with what might happen to them.  Who knows?  I may have to Google or Bing that.

My third thought had to do with John’s observation about having a great lobby.  Breast cancer has an awesome lobby.  Two of my hometown’s big corporations, P&G  and Kroger, scream pink.  P&G makes donations based on coupons redeemed and Kroger spotlights employees who have fought the beast and won (female employees only, I’ve noted).  Campbell’s has pink cans.  Yoplait has their pink lids.  The other night my son was eating Yoplait and asked, “Where are the teal lids?”  I had to suppress a laugh.  I explained that there were no teal lids and I didn’t anticipate there ever being teal lids.  “Why?” he asked.  I simply told him, “Not enough women get my kind of cancer.”  His reply, “That’s stupid.  Cancer is cancer and it all kills people.”  Ah, the wisdom of a 10 year old who fears the Beast will take his Momma.  But I recognize that it took Susan Komen’s sister and Dr. Love going to Avon to get the ball rolling.  Prior to that, you pretty much had a “Save the Ta-ta’s” sticker and that was about it.

John’s uncle has been battling muscle and lung cancer for a few years.  He is one of the most humble and Godly men I know.  If anyone should have a ribbon day, he should.  John’s dad died from lung cancer.  No ribbon for that.  My grandma died of colon cancer.  Where’s her ribbon month?  Thank goodness for Katie Couric or that cancer would still be in the dark.  My niece battled thyroid cancer last year.  No ribbon there either.  While I am thrilled that teal is getting recognized, I realize there are some cancers that are still avoided completely like pancreatic and liver cancer.  Talk about needing a lobby!

I do plan on wearing my pink T-shirt this month for Cathy, Joules, Ronnie, Paula, Lori, Charlene and all the other women I know who’ve battled breast cancer.  The back of my shirt says “It’s not a color, it’s an attitude.”  Now that’s something I can get behind.  Rather than painting America pink, maybe we need to get into the mindset that all cancer is bad and we need to find a way to cure them allnot just the one with the who has the best PR machine.

Actually, I’ve packed away most of my teal stuff from last month.  I am wearing my “Power is Teal” T-shirt today, but not to make a statement.  It’s actually very comfy and it was on the top of my stack in the drawer.  I could have just as easily pulled my “All-American Mom” which is my shirt to promote International Adoption or my “Homeschool Mom, Just Add Coffee” shirt.  Tomorrow I will wear my “Flight Crew” shirt from VBS last summer.  Not because I am trying to make a statement, but because both my boys have games tomorrow and both have blue and white uniforms.  My T is blue and white so I am supporting my kids.  Granted the message is a bonus, but it’s not the reason why I’m choosing that shirt.  Not every color has to stand for something.

Pink, like teal, blue, yellow, purple, red and green, is just a color.  I realize when they take the shape of a ribbon, they represent something visceral.  Colors are a great way to grab attention and bring awareness.  God put seven distinct colors in the rainbow, not two or three.  All the colors are necessary to make the rainbow complete.  It will take all the ribbons coming together to beat the Beast.  Who’s with me?