Pink is the New Black

What is the color of breast cancer?

Posted Oct 26, 2015

I Think I Hate Pinktober was the title of a blog post I wrote 3 years ago. I went back to look at it recently to see if my feelings had changed. After all, I've changed a lot in three years. I'm a six year survivor, my kids have left the nest, and I'm a published author. I've had the opportunity and privilege to speak with many women about their experiences with breast cancer, and also to participate in some breast cancer awareness events this month.  As I open my suitcase on the last leg of my trip, I'm struck by two things. 1. I didn't wear half the things I brought with me - what did I think I was doing, anyway? 2. Boy, there's a lot of pink in there.  There's the scarf we were given as we took the field at the Seahawks game, there's the pair of sneakers I bought because 10% of the proceeds went to breast cancer awareness, there's the Making Strides t-shirt from the American Cancer Society and there's a hat from Swedish Cancer Institute. There's even a pink pompom. My suitcase looks like I murdered the worlds cutest muppet.  I'm not a pink person. I hear that every time I participate in a breast cancer event.  What is a pink person, I wonder? Is it by definition a frilly, frivolous girly girl? What's the right color for breast cancer? Is it red for the blood we've given in a million blood tests? Or white for the way the tumors show on our scans? Perhaps it's grey for that chemo pallor we sport during treatment. Why not black for all the women we've lost?  We could walk in a rainbow of colors to celebrate one more day on this earth, but when I stood on the field at the Seahawks game surrounded by a sea of pink ribbons -- shoulder to shoulder with 15 women proudly wearing pink to show that cancer couldn't knock us out -- pink seemed just about right.