Light bulbs and pink ribbons

I just had a light bulb moment.  Light bulbs and I have a real love/hate relationship.  On one hand, I’m all about insight and, ah, illumination.  Ha!  On the other, well, like most people, I just plain hate feeling dumb.  Sometimes those Ah-ha! moments can do that to me.  Maybe this one was more of a Homer Simpsonesque “Doh!” moment…

Anywho….  I was reading back through the recent posts here at MWC, admiring Sarah’s beautiful picture sans hat, when I also noticed her Pink Ribbon T-shirt.  (Sarah, you look lovely in pink.  It’s a wonderful color for you!)  I was remembering what an intense aversion I had to all things of the Pink Ribbon variety when I was going through treatment.  I marvelled at women like Sarah who could wear their hearts on their sleeves so freely.   

I remember seeing pink ribbon shirts and hats, keychains, bookmarks, car magnets, merchandise ad infinitum.  I just couldn’t do it.  To be fair, I’m not a pink person to begin with.  Fuchsia?  Absolutely.  Salmon?  Make me look tan, baby!  Pink?  Eh, not so much.  Secretly, I used to think, “Why Breast Cancer?  The Pink Ribbon.  Ugh!  Why couldn’t I have gotten a cancer whose ribbon was black, or a nice winter color that I’d look good in?”  LOL!  I guess I needed to trivialize it somehow, huh. 

Well, that’s where the Ah-ha Doh moment came in. 

It’s been 2 years and 10 months since my diagnosis, and just a few moments ago I realized that my shuddering Pink Ribbon Aversion was the First Stage of Grief.  Denial.  A big fat dose of it, complete with a chorus of ‘La, la, la.  I can’t hear you’ and it’s fingers shoved deeply into the recesses of my ears.   

What’s worse is that I don’t think I’ve ever been in denial before.  And yet, I get the irony of that sentiment.  I suppose I always took the Stages of Grief:  Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance, literally.  As in, “I do NOT have cancer.”   And that is just not my style.  Besides, who am I to argue with CT scans, bloodwork, and a grossly enlarged, red angry breast?  I didn’t realize denial could be so insidious.  Sneaky little bugger. 

I better start turning on some more lights around my house.  I thought I skipped right over the anger phase, too.


8 Responses to Light bulbs and pink ribbons

  1. bcjenster says:

    Lucky for me, pink is one of my best colors. HOWEVER, I became overwhelmed at all things pink. Last October was horrible for me. I spent the entire month depressed and the color pink made me nauseous – or at least very sad.

    Guess what my favorite color is now? PINK! My lap top is pink, my planner is pink, I have pink sharpees and pink ribbon bling on my cell phone. In fact, I’m hoping to get a pink cell phone when they start selling all the pink stuff next week.

    Great post and one that totally resonates with me.

  2. sprucehillfarm says:

    Oh I love pink too. I kind of see it as a conversation starter. When I wear a pink ribbon item people talk to me and ask questions. So I feel like I am spreading awareness!

  3. I never liked pink. When my daughter was born, people who clearly did not know me well enough, gave us many really cute outfits that were… pink. My husband challenged me: “what, you’re not going to dress her in any of these?” And, when I did, he challenged me again: “admit it, she looks really cute in pink!”

    Well, I’m still not into pink, but when my daughters were their pink “mothers-sisters-daughters-friends” bracelets, I couldn’t be prouder!

    Btw, I think I might have been in the denial stage for a year. I mean, I was in treatment and everything, and my brain knew the situation was permanent, but I think my heart didn’t really believe that it wasn’t going to go away….. I think I might have slipped into the angry stage without even realizing what was going on….

  4. k8 says:

    well – I still shudder at the whole pink thing. I won’t wear the pink cancer shirts I got before it was me they represented. I did buy the pink Garth Brooks CD. I gave away or threw away most of the icky pink ribbony things people gave me during chemo/after surgery. I love the pink pen I got from the surgeon’s office in my ‘welcome to breast cancer’ gift basket and use it for the Sunday crossword. I won’t drink coffe from the pink Longaberger travel mug a friend just gave me. perhaps it’s a love/hate thing. I don’t want to be reduced to a color/ribbon. Denial? Don’t know about that.


  5. whymommy says:

    Yeah. I just don’t know what to do with the pink cancer stuff. I mean, if it helps spread the message, then GREAT. But really? For me personally? It’s just a reminder that I don’t need.

  6. imstell says:

    Whew! Thank goodness I’m not the only one.

    K8 – Exactly, on the “don’t want to be reduced to a color/ribbon”. I’m more than that.

    Susan – Who needs those reminders? Like I don’t have one every time I look in the mirror. 😉

    Rivka – I was just the opposite. That’s why denial surprised me so. I didn’t figure I was a gonner this time… but I consider myself a realist about my chances of staying cancer free for the next 30+ years.

    Jen & Sarah – I wish I could embrace it like that…

  7. Sandi says:

    I found your post while searching for pink ribbon shirts. WOW – I have to tell you I feel like I’ve found a lot of friends. When my dh and I retired from our full time jobs – him, because his job went away, and me because my office would not let me continue working from home (I can’t drive very much and our trip was 100miles a day) – I thought – look at all the stuff I can do now! And WHAM – 5 days later I’m diagnosed with breast cancer. That was in 2006. I’m a survivor!!

    (btw – I am a mom – just my children now have children of their own – does this make me too old for this blog???)

    Not being in the work environment any more – I didn’t get inundated with pink ribbon things – maybe it’s a good thing, because I’m really a very shy person – this is a joke – according to my dh. I go out of my way to talk to people and wear breast cancer buttons, etc – to spread the word.

    I am definitely bookmarking this blog. Thanks for being there!

  8. imstell says:

    Sandi, I’m sorry you qualify for membership. However, any mother is welcome here. 😉 Congratulations on your 2 years. Glad you’ve found us.

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