By ANA FERGUSON
Yesterday, I had to go on a little shopping adventure. A pretty normal excursion, you would say. Nothing uber exciting. A bit of retail therapy normally puts a smile on any woman’s dial. Traditionally, I find wandering through the shops and focusing on something other than cancer, a great way for me to take my mind off my woes. I like to lose myself in all the sights, sounds and activities going on around me and just roll along with life.
BUT NOT IN OCTOBER.
In October, I can’t escape the pink. There is Pink Pink Pink – everywhere. Pink cardboard figurines are over enthusiastically scattered all around the stores. Pink ribbons on lapels. Pink merchandise at the counter. Every way I turn my head I can see pink pink pink and I hate it.
As a mother of four daughters pink used to be such a part of my life. When the girls were younger it was pink everywhere and the lovely colour used to generate a warm fuzzy feeling inside as I reflected on the memories of pink tutus, pink shoes, pink fairy wands, pink rooms and generally just the joys of being a mama to little girls.
Now I despise it. Pretty powerful words I know, but I know I am not alone. There are a lot of us Stage 4 Breast Cancer patients out there walking amongst you who feel exactly the same.
On my shopping outing, the well-meaning sales girl approaches me and whilst trying to flog me a certain type of floor board, she throws into the conversation how they are assisting breast cancer and I can feel my fist start to clench. I am not a violent person, but I wanted to deck the poor unassuming girl right there and then.
You see, like many of us terminal patients, this pink craze feels like it’s belittling what we have to live with everyday. The sale of a pink T-shirt or a ribbon on your lapel has not helped me or my fellow terminals. Sure, some of the charities pay for new research, but otherwise the whole pink thing just highlights how people living with metastatic cancer feel – that they don’t get enough help.
The pink water bottle in the non BPA free bottle is the greatest irony of the lot (studies have linked BPA chemicals to breast cancer). And then the cracker this year was one particular breast cancer charity joining with a fracking company who then promoted a pink drill! All I can say is: @$#@*^&@%$&.