Today....pink ribbons are on my mind. I don't want to get into all of the Komen controversary.....I just want to talk about pink ribbons.
I love pink ribbons!!!! I love them so much I had one tattooed on my arm! I also added an orange star in remembrance of my mom and a yellow star in honor of my sister! The pink ribbon symbolizes survival to me! I don't see it as a "bad thing". I am proud to be permanently wearing it! It signifies a year out of my life where I went through so much physically and emotionally and survived! Having done it on my Cancerversary, it also signifies that I survived cancer for my first year and was ready to move beyond all that happened to me the year before!!!
I also love the white ribbon (lung cancer) because it honors my daddy who passed away from lung cancer. I'm even thinking of getting a little white tattoo on my ankle to honor my dad. I also love the teal ribbon, as it reminds me of my friend, Andee, who is currently fighting for her life with ovarian cancer. The pink ribbon also reminds me of all of the wonderful breast cancer survivors I have met on my journey.
Did you know there are all kinds of ribbons for all kinds of cancers and all kinds of other diseases? When I see these ribbons, I don't think of greed, or mis-use of funds or abortion.....I see people. People who are fighting a life threatening disease! People who have lost their lives to their particular disease! People who's lives have been changed forever, even though they are surviving.
I know that research has helped me survive my cancer today. Whether that research came from the Komen Foundation, the American Cancer Society, or elsewhere....I am just thankful for the research. I know more and more people are surviving cancer today. Yes, people still die from cancer today....many....too many. Yes, I wish we could find a cure. Yes, I wish we could stop cancer before it even begins to grow. But, I refuse to believe the theory that there is a cure already and they won't release it because our treatments make them more money. What good would it do me to believe that? If there is no cure available to me, then it's not there! I don't believe my doctors don't care and that they are a part of this big conspiracy. I won't believe it! I love my doctors and I know they have cared and done everything they can to help me live a longer life! I am grateful to them!
When people find it necessary to tell me there is a cure but my cancer makes too much money....or when people rally against the very race I walk in or the ribbon I wear proudly on my arm....well, it stings a little. It makes me feel like they are taunting me about how "stupid" I am to believe the lies! I don't know what it is about me....maybe it's something deep-seeded in my childhood experience...but the worse thing anyone can say or indicate to me is that I'm "stupid". It's always caused me the most pain and anger....to have someone indicate I'm stupid. Call me ugly, call me fat, call me anything else....but don't call me stupid...it stings the worse!
Now, having said all of that, I have to confess that I have bought into the negative and jumped on the bandwagon before. Not this time. I have changed. The negative can be found in anything....but I choose to find the positive. The races, the ribbons, the month....all of it.....brings attention to my disease and I feel like it has helped with the research that has helped me survive today. I don't want to even think of any of the negative....abortion, selling my disease for profit, misuse of funds....I don't want to think of any of that! I just want to think of the love and support I have received....even from strangers! I want to think of that line of people on both sides of the "survivor walk" cheering me (us) on and congratulating us for our survival. I want to think of my family (husband, kids, grandkids) joining me at this special race that celebrated me surviving. I want to think of the wonderful people I have met on this journey. I want to think of the other survivors I have celebrated with.....and the Merry Crazies! I choose to be positive and let God sort out the rest!
Maybe I need this more than others. I didn't have a bunch of family members there to cheer me as I walked that "survival walk". But, I had my cancer sisters and total strangers cheering me on....and I needed that! Maybe I need to know that others care that I lived....more than others need it. I didn't have all of my family supporting me through my journey and was left to wonder if some even cared if I lived or died. So, this race that so many rally against feeds a need I personally have.
Yes, I guess I take this "anti-pink ribbon rally" personally. Maybe I shouldn't....but it stings a bit. But I will proudly wear my pink ribbon until the day I die! And, even in death, I will still be wearing it and will still be a SURVIVOR! I will be surviving eternally with my Heavenly Father. Now, it doesn't get any better than that...Right? :=)
Until next time..... Try to look at the positive....not the negative. Remember that some people may need the very thing that you rally against. Cindy