The Graduate

Wahoo, she did it!

Lovely daughter finished college and what an exciting day!  She graduated last weekend with her B.A. in Sociology with a minor in addictions study.  Now, if she can only find her dream job of working with troubled youth/young adults. . . .

Can you spot her in the crowd?

Hint:  she’s the shortest one and oh yeah, I see her now!

Better Half got tears in his eyes when he spotted her cap; I just yelled obscenely loud!

Couldn’t be prouder; that’s my girl!

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I Love Komen’s Pink Ribbons

My Name is Lisa—I ♥ Pink.

I’ve “met” a lot of awesome breast cancer survivors/bloggers since I started my blog.  The thing that’s so neat is that while we may not agree with the other’s point of view, we respect the person.  That just doesn’t happen in the real world, unfortunately.  Some of my favorite bloggers have pink-aversion.  I try to understand it, really I do, but I still ♥ Komen and pink breast cancer ribbons.

I’d like to present snippets of my fellow bloggers’ thoughts regarding “pink” because what they have to say needs to be heard.   I encourage you to read their entire posts so you have a full understanding of their opinions, because I’m only posting some parts pertaining to “pink.”  I  get what they are saying, but I can’t diss the pink, which I’ll explain below.

Stacey, Bringing Up GoliathMy brother asked if I’m anti-pink.  Not exactly.  Like so many these days, I’m against what “pink” has come to represent. The happy-go-lucky, early stage, still having fun, never sick, all is right in the world, let’s get coffee with perfect hair and makeup, cancer survivor.  My skin prickles at this unrealistic vision created by major marketing machines.

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The thing is, it hasn’t worked.  Thirty years, no cure and more questions than answers.  The promise most of us grew up with, has yet to come true.  We’re still being told we have breast cancer.

Nancy, Nancy’s PointRecently someone said to me, I’m paraphrasing here, you bloggers need to be careful not to alienate people about pink. Most people are just trying to do the right thing. Most people are just trying to do something.

I get that.

Whenever I write a post I always try to bear this in mind. It is never my intention to put anyone down for buying pink stuff, wearing pink ribbons, running in races or donating to their favorite charity. I think doing any or all of these things is wonderful. In fact, if truth be told, I still like pink.

But turning everything pink this month is just not good enough!

Katie, Uneasy PinkI know why we would rather look at people in cute pink boas and capes racing for a cure instead.  I understand it way down into my gut.

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The question is… do we care enough about REAL awareness?

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That’s why I won’t wear the pink shirt.  That’s why I know we’re not racing for a cure.  That’s why I wanted to spit on all the teenage boys wearing their FBI – Female Boobie Inspector shirts at this year’s race.

None of it has anything to do with reality.

That’s why pink has me down this year instead of angry.

I can’t say it eloquently enough; I know what I feel in my heart.  Have I been pink-washed?  I don’t know.  Honestly, I was clueless about breast cancer and Komen five years ago, and I’m not sure I’m that much more informed now.  I just know I can never tell Lovely Daughter that the pink she wears every single day in October doesn’t mean anything.  It does; it means that, God-willing, she understands how important self-awareness of her body is to her future health.  It means she loves me and is aware, and acknowledges, the pain I’ve gone through.   Do I care if she wears a shirt that says:  Save the Ta-Tas?  Absolutely, positively not.   (By the way, those are her hands above.)  Did (or do) I expect cure for cancer in my lifetime?  No.  Would it be awesome?  It would be unbelievable.  So would a cure for AIDS.  So would ending world-wide hunger.  Could I tell the men and women below that the Komen Rally tennis tournament last Sunday meant nothing?  It meant everything to me; their generosity humbles me.  The women who walk the Race for a Cure as a member of “Lisa’s Ladies”?  You should be so lucky to have those friends in your life.  Do I think the money raised goes toward research and research only?  No.  Without marketing, funds are not successfully raised and without money being raised research is hindered.  Don’t tell me pink isn’t “real awareness.”  You are giving it attention (e.g., awareness), are you not?

To be angry about pink is a waste of good energy!  Comments such as, “pepto-pink sea makes me turn my head and shut my eyes,” ” Pink is covering up the reality of the disease,” makes me sad.  Pink isn’t offensive to me; anger about millions of people just trying to help by wearing pink is what is offensive to me.

Maybe I just have pink-colored glasses on all the time.  Maybe I wear it just for me and my fellow sisters; I hope they don’t think I’m not into “real awareness.”  I just know that if coloring my hair pink and marching down the streets of Little Rock with 55,000 “friends” helps in even a teeny, tiny amount to not only find a cure for cancer, but develop better chemo drugs, or provide a wig or scarf, or just make one woman perform a self-exam, then I will wear my pink ribbons.

Battling Balls for Boobs!

I want to introduce some of my pink heroes and warriors–tennis players who battled balls for breast cancer last Sunday.  Almost 50 tennis players signed up to raise money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  A number of the participants could not actually be present to play tennis, yet they still contributed funds.  How awesome is that?

Major, major karma is stored up for all these players and most definitely Mark and Karyn Klingelhoets, owners of The Mountain Home Tennis Center.  Businesses (local and nationwide) were very gracious in donating door prizes which was, quite honestly, almost a last-minute thought!

Please support these nationwide companies who, knowing zip about me and my cause, supported us wholeheartedly:  Wellesse®, Save the ta-tas®, breastcancer.org, The Pink Ribbon Shop, and HEAD®.

For more information and pictures, as well as information about local supporters, which I beg you to thank and support, please click here.

I’m a lucky girl!

Meet My Pink Co-Survivor

Whenever I want throttle my kid, she throws me for a loop and the moment passes.  Look for her—she’s the one wearing pink every day in October (want to see a pink shirt get good use; send it this way because it will receive exposure!).

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago, among the shock, horror, and disbelief was this little 5′ pink star who became, in essence, the bell that notified Better Half when something was wrong.  Like a little fairy, she hovered quietly, listening, watching.  She wouldn’t, or couldn’t, talk to me about my cancer.  The only time I saw her laugh was when she, Better Half, and myself held a shaving party.  My hair was falling out in clumps; I needed a good shave.  A shaving party.   They were laughing and smiling, fumbling with the shaver, trying to make me feel better.  I was wobbly, sick.  I felt like I was dying inside, but that day there were two pink stars beside me. . . .

When I had my last chemo treatment, my family came to watch me ring the bell signaling I was done.  Finished.  Hopefully.  My daughter was 16 and More

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