Raw October — Day 31 (October Wrap-Up)

Raw October: raising breast cancer awareness — one fact, figure, feeling, and photograph at a time.

Every October, I receive emails from marketing people trying to push their pink products. “Please help us promote our pink this and our pink that, and we’ll give you a pink this and a pink that as a token of thanks,” say the folks who promise to give a percentage of proceeds to the breast cancer cause. Maybe they do donate money to research; maybe they don’t. I have no way of telling, really, but I do know that the percentage is usually not enough to make a huge difference, and it’s always capped at some strategic amount. Plus, I’m almost certain the companies stand to make a pretty profit for their pink projects. Sometimes, they even peddle pink items that are not all that healthy for women trying to prevent or beat breast cancer (think alcohol and fried chicken).

This year, I declined all pink offers, and I devoted each October day to something breast-cancer real and breast-cancer raw. I shared sobering statisticsfantastic cancer findings, transcripts of interviews with my growing boys who don’t even remember my disease (here and here), photos of lost hair, and graphic images of scars and surgery.

My intention over the past month was to offer you an honest peek into the world of breast cancer. I want you to see that breast cancer can be crazy scary, but it can also be enlightening and happy. My ultimate goal was to pass on just one nugget of information that may help you or someone you know or love who will one day fight breast cancer. I could have given you a link to a discount on a cute pink bathrobe and fuzzy slippers, but I think what I gave you — a little bit of knowledge and a whole lot of hope — is even better. I hope you agree.

3 thoughts on “Raw October — Day 31 (October Wrap-Up)

  1. Thank you for posting your experience. I’m a 33 year old mother and wife with no family history of breast cancer. I was diagnosed Sept. 28th, had a double mastectomy on Oct. 15th, found out it was Stage 3a on Oct. 23rd, and will start chemo on Monday, Nov. 12. I’ve always supported breast cancer awareness and research through 5Ks, walks, and education, but now I get to look at everything from the other side of the window. Seeing others who have been down this path and won helps me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you:)

  2. Hi Kate! Best wishes to you as you SURVIVE breast cancer. Please let me know if I can ever answer any questions or lend an ear!

  3. Hi Jacki, I hope this email finds you well! I came across your blog a while ago while writing the below article for San Jose State University’s alumni magazine, Washington Square. The story is about a woman, Mary, who was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer during her master’s program here at SJSU and ended up making a documentary about the disease and, in particular, her feelings about the “pink movement” as her master’s thesis. The issue ran about a month ago and I thought today that I might share the story and the documentary with you. Mary’s whole goal with her documentary was education — she wanted the story told. After writing her story I sort of feel like it’s part of my duty to share it on her behalf. You can find the links below. I hope you find it a valuable read!



    With my best regards,

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