I have red hair. Light pink has never been my color of choice. And now we are approaching October the month of light pink – National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Last year my chemo start date landed right in the middle of this awareness month. Finishing my treatment in April, I was ready to gallop away from breast cancer. And, between bodily remnants of the last year and knowing other women being diagnosed monthly, that’s impossible. Remembering how strong and formidable women helped pull me to the other side of this, I’m not far enough away from it to be as confident and strong as they have been for me. Some days I feel like a cow, branded with a pink ribbon and being forced up a pink ramp into a pink livestock trailer going somewhere I don’t want to be. However, I’ve been very candid about the experiences of the last year and, believing that there is a greater good at work, I’m working to find sure footing in the aftermath. As much as the rest of my history has shaped my future, so will this.
After moving into our first home together in 1991, I was alone in the house one early fall Friday night and found a huge spider in the entryway. With bumps that looked like grapes on its back, it was so unusual I decided to put it in a jar and show it to Bill when he got home from softball. Then I decided I didn’t want to scare the thing silly running around in a little jar but rather just get the bug spray out. Like a horror film scene unfolding, a hundred baby spiders fell off the big spider’s back and started to scuttle away. I wanted to flee the house. Instead I went on-line to study spiders, which is when I learned that a female wolf spider carries her babies on her back for up to 40 days, AFTER carrying them on her abdomen for two or three weeks in an egg sac, which she holds up to keep from dragging on the ground, while she continues to hunt. This woman, I mean, this spider is amazing. Whenever and wherever I see a wolf spider carrying an egg sac, I give her wide berth. I spout these facts to the boys when we see a wolf spider outside. I protect her.
Knowledge. I pledge this month to investigate pink awareness and to share my findings – what I’ve learned through a little research and through my own experience.
To embrace pink? I can’t wait until the end of the month when the words on my calendar above the month change from “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month” to “National Adoption Month.”
Outside of writing about pink-related topics in October, I embrace the stunning colors in the trees, blooming mums, purple kale, and orange pumpkins. As for light pink and the brilliant shades of October… Well, quite frankly, they clash.
Staying strong, Linda