Tomorrow starts a very significant month for me. October is when the awful disease of Breast Cancer is spotlighted to bring awareness. The Pink – the articles, written reports, media, awareness and remembrance walks, all of it – it is undertaken with a goal in mind – to make the public aware of things to know about Breast Cancer. With awareness comes knowledge, and knowledge can help find a cure. Each October begins and ends with the hope that an October will eventually come when Breast Cancer is no longer the threat it is now.
Cancer survival rates have gone up significantly since the 1970s, but there is still a long way to go. So many good people have been lost to this disease. We lost actresses Ingrid Bergman and Bette Davis. Breast Cancer also took Ethel Mertz, who was played by Vivian Vance. Paul McCartney lost his wife Linda to Breast Cancer, and Charles Bronson lost his wife Jill. Roxie Roker aka Helen Willis of the Jeffersons also died from Breast Cancer. Men have been lost, too – Rod Roddy from The Price Is Right died from Male Breast Cancer. Yes, it happens.
Bernice Gemmel died from Breast Cancer in July of 2008. She was my Mom. She had a left-mastectomy in April of 1992 and lived cancer-free until February of 2005. For her last three years, we like to say she lived with cancer rather than dying from it. I am forever grateful for the last six months of her life – she lived with me and my family. It was nice having her around us. And she liked the loud hustle and bustle of living with two older teenage boys, a younger teen, and two kittens…Beavis and Stan, who are still with me today. She really was only in what they would call “bad shape” for maybe the last three weeks of her life. She looked gorgeous up until the end – the woman had style! I am proud to have had her for my mother and proud to have been her daughter.
Tomorrow I will again start something I have done for the last several years. For every day during the month of October, I will be wearing Pink. It will either be the dominant color in whatever outfit I’m wearing, or it will be prominently featured. I might wear a pink blouse with black pants, and carry a pink purse. Maybe I’ll have pink slacks on with a white blouse. I may wear black and gray with pink accessories, shoes and a purse. My jewelry will have pink overtones, or will be pink beads, earrings or bracelets. My toes are painted Pink. Everyone who sees me this month will see Pink. I am spreading the word and bringing attention to Breast Cancer. I want people to remember their loved ones. I want them to be aware of the warning signs so they themselves get checked out. I want Breast Cancer to be no more.